Joy Ride - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Joy Ride Reviews

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cosmo313
Super Reviewer
½ June 21, 2006
All college student Lewis wants to do for his summer break is travel cross country to pick up his girlfriend Venna. In tow is his recently paroled practical joke pulling brother Fuller. Their trip goes from banal to scary when a prank of Fuller's using a CB radio on a lonely trucker known as Rusty Nail goes horribly awry in this tense thriller heavily inspired by Spielberg's masterpiece Duel.

Admittedly, Fuller's prank is cruel, but when it turns out that Rusty is a psychopath that can't take a joke, the boys find themselves in a real world of trouble. You kinda pity them, and feel for them, even if Fuller does deserve to get some sort of comeuppance.

One of the best parts of the film, arguably, is the use of Ted Levine as the voice of Rusty Nail. His delivery and demeanor are creepy and really make your skin crawl, and really help elevate this basic, semi-derivative material into a pretty solid and intense thriller.

Paul Walker is decent as Lewis, and Steve Zahn is fine as Fuller. As Venna, we get Leelee Sobieski, who, to me at least, is a bit of a treat, even if she probably looks at this movie as just a paycheck. But as decent as they are, none of them steal the show quite like Levine does, and he's just using his voice, so that says something.

The film is a bit out there, and not the most realistic, but if you want a movie that delivers the thrills (as well as some visceral stuff), then yeah, give this a look. It's a lot better than it seems it should be.
Super Reviewer
½ October 1, 2010
This movie is both trilling and fun at the same time, mixing laughs, spooky moments, and just plain cheesiness in almost every scene. Paul Walker and Steve Zahn play great brothers together, and their chemistry is very believable. Sure, the premise is simple, and one thing just kind of leads to another, seeing as something had to happen in order for the next to follow. I found myself laughing even in the thrilling moments, but that was okay, because the character were so zany that it was okay to chuckle. Some moments will make you role your eyes, and the script may be predictable for the most part, but J.J. Abrams clearly had his hand in the script, because the few twists really do work. The ending left me disappointed, but it's still a fun movie!
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2012
Like a bigger, dumber version of Spielberg's "Duel" with excellent production values.
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2006
For me, this was one of the better teen Horrors, with lots of suspense, corny - Yes! Cliched - Yes, but definitely more watchable than most.

A guilty pleasure for me.
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
½ June 10, 2010
Joy Ride is a good little horror film. Though not very original, the film has great tense moments and terrifying, sequences that will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. Considering that Paul Walker played in this film (I hate the actor) I thought he was very good in this film, not excellent, but good. But for me, the performance that made this film was Ted Levine, though he only provided the voice of Rusty Nail, but as far as the characters are concerned, Steve Zahn is the best, he brings a comical twist to the film, and he's a better actor than Paul Walker. Joy Ride as the title of the film suggests is definitely a joy ride to watch. In almost the same style as Steven Spielberg's Duel, this film brings back Rage in road rage. A blast to watch. Joy Ride can be seen as an updated version of Steven Spielberg's Duel. Truly intense and well written, Joy Ride is a superbly crafted Horror film. I can easily compare this film to a roller coaster ride. Every thrilling scene is outdone by the next, and Rusty Nail's cat and mouse game gets more dangerous at every turn. What makes Joy Ride so terrifying is the fact that the horror presented here is fairly realistic and the characters are thrown in ever day situations. Not saying that this could happen, but there are definitely a few nut cases out there. It's the same reason as why Spielberg's Duel worked so well, it was a realistic situation. Which is something that we have here in Joy Ride. A joyous ride into terror.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2010
This is one of my all time favorite thrillers. It amazes me how many people I personally know that never saw this movie. Not only was it suspenseful, but had a bit of funny thanks to Stever Zahn.
Super Reviewer
½ December 13, 2009
Not so much scary or creepy as just plain gross. Trucker killer? Okay then.
Super Reviewer
½ October 11, 2008
Implausible and absurd, but not a complete waste.
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2007
A very good modern thriller that has elements from other great thrillers like Duel, The Hitcher. It was enjoyable and will have you on the edge of your seat at times.
thmtsang
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2008
Three friends on a roadtrip speak to a trucker who then turns psycho and tries to kill them.
SilentWarProductions2009
Super Reviewer
May 29, 2007
Directed by: John Dahl.
Starring: Paul Walker, Leelee Sobieski, Steve Zahn.

Somewhere in the earlier years of the new millennium, this film cropped up. Not many knew about it and most ended up seeing it on DVD. I remember seeing it many years ago on the shelf, it didn't look appealing, but it did have a review written on the front of it (then again, what bad straight-to-DVD looking film doesn't?), but I picked it up and I am glad I did.

The story follows college student Lewis who is prepared to travel across country to see Venna, his 'friend' miles away who doesn't realize he has an interest in her. On the way through, he passes a police station where he hears word of his brother, once again being held in a cell. As they travel across country, they buy a CB scanner to keep tabs on the cop's whereabouts and to have some fun with the other truckers. When they mess with one of them, it leads to a horrifying trip to not only stay alive, but to save Venna. There are so many key things that make this film work so well, but it still isn't as original as it could be. The screenplay co-written by 'Lost' and M:i:III' man J.J Abrams and unknown Clay Tarver is a strong point. Although it has its fair share of clichés to help introduce the thrills and scares, its everything around them that work. In any common thriller (or film in general), the structure consists of 3 parts....simply, a beginning, middle and end. As it is in any formulaic film, the thrills happen at the climax, with no real relevance for the first two acts.....Roadkill is different. Within the first 45 minutes, we are given a films worth of intensity and excitement, with a mere 10 minutes of down time before it picks right back up for the last 30. The film never tries to focus on its characters because that could be a downfall for the film, making it strangely paced. Instead, it is tightly paced and delivers pure adrenaline, with John Dahl, who builds suspense deftly and delivers an intense atmosphere and style, with a great feel of such classics as 'Christine'. The acting ensemble could have done with an upgrade, although Steve Zahn can be a comic genius and he has his silly moments here, no one else takes the stand. Paul Walker is as terrible as always, with his sudden outbursts, lack of control and his terrible 'scanning eyes' and 'bobbing head' trademarks that he does so much and Leelee Sobieski just adding a visual touch to the film (she is better than this)....thankfully it doesn't falter the film. And out of the 3, Ted Levine's voice has more depth and skill than all of them combined, its quite chilling.

It can't pass through without having its clichés, but what we do get is a tightly structured, brilliantly directed thrill ride that is tense and highly enjoyable. A very solid B-movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Super Reviewer
September 16, 2007
I really, really liked this movie. The best Paul Walker movie there will ever be. Just suspenseful all the way, and a great voice job by Ted Levine.
Beefy
Super Reviewer
½ April 25, 2007
Great, dirty little b-movie.
deano
Super Reviewer
March 28, 2007
Above average chase thriller that's essentially Steven Spielberg's Duel grafted to I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2007
Creepy thriller with a good cast. It was set up for a sequel that never came.
Super Reviewer
September 16, 2006
This was something I didn't expect to like at all. The story was believable for start, something any teenager would do.
One thing that makes this film work is Steve Zahn, he really makes his character believable.
Just wish the film stayed with the english title" Road Kill" as it sounds a lot better. Would recomend this film to anyone who hasn't seen it.
Cinema-Maniac
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2012
When it come to the horror genre the most likely victims are annoying teenagers and often we want to see these characters get killed. That wasn't the case with this movie, though lacking in scares, it deliver some entertainment.

Joy Ride is about three young people on a road trip from Colorado to New Jersey who talk to a trucker on their CB radio, then must escape when he turns out to be a psychotic killer. Now clearly the movie doesn't do a good job of providing any scares as the truck driver is never menacing and the atmosphere really doesn't work in this movie. Though it will disappoint horror fans for it lacks of scares, at least the story is actually good and not too over the top like other horror movies. We actually want these teenagers to live and they never come out as annoying which is a welcome from the cliche characters we're tire of seeing. It's certainly better than most of the horror movies with teenagers as the main character, but it's nothing special and the fact that it has no scares is a letdown.

Now when it come to horror movie the cast is usually what sells it for me, the cast does a good job. Though I am disappointed that not one of them offer anything memorable and the killer truck driver never comes out terrifying. Now while on the topic of characters, I will say we do get to learn quite allot about them. It what helps separates this movie because they're not constantly craving drugs and sex which is honestly the only kind of characters like Jason ever kills and I had enough of that to be honest.

Joy Ride fails to provide any scares, but it's characters and story redeems it from being a disaster. While no the ideal horror and certainly not for everyone, it's definitely worth a watch.
stevetheman1236
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2011
Great tongue-in-cheek entertainment. Thrilling and fast-paced.
xxdebxx
Super Reviewer
½ January 20, 2009
Lewis (Paul Walker) decides to cast his plane ticket to buy a used car to make a move on his long distanced relationship female pal (Leelee Sobieski) by picking her up. On the road, Lewis ended up also picking up his older troubled brother (Steve Zahn).
Steve Zahn, being the prankster that he is, taunts a mysterious trucker that goes by the handle "Rusty Nail" after the pair have bought a CB radio for the car, to pass the time. Fooling the trucker into thinking it's a woman on the other end, they dupe "Rusty" into meeting "Candy Cane" in a hotel room. However, things go wrong from there and "Rusty" wants revenge and they find themselves stalked by the vengeful trucker (Voiced by uncredited "Ted Levine" who's best known playing Buffalo Bill in "The Silence of the Lambs") on the desolate highways.
The true star of this show though is none other than the psycho of the film, "Rusty Nail". I'll say this much about his performance. Try to watch this movie in the right setting. Lights down low, volume up, attention focused. When you hear his voice come on over the CB communicator, see if you don't get the heebie-jeebies. He makes this film a genuine thrill-ride.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2007
A good fun thriller
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