Riding the Bullet (2004)
Movie InfoA young man who has flirted with death is forced to come to terms with mortality in this tale of terror based on a story by Stephen King. Alan Parker (Jonathan Jackson) is a college student studying art at the University of Maine in 1969. Cursed with an over-active imagination, Alan constantly obsesses over the worst outcome of any situation, and when he begins to suspect his girlfriend, Jessica (Erika Christensen), is thinking of leaving him, it drives him to the brink of suicide. Shortly after this brush with death, Alan receives word that his mother, Jean (Barbara Hershey), has suffered a severe stroke and may not pull through. Alan grabs his jacket and hits the road, hoping to hitchhike the one hundred miles to the hospital. As it happens, Alan is trying to catch a ride on Halloween night, and after he's picked up by one George Staub (David Arquette), he realizes that he's riding the highway with a creature not of this Earth. Riding the Bullet was directed by Mick Garris, marking the fourth time the filmmaker has brought one of King's stories to the cinema or television screen. … More
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Critic Reviews for Riding the Bullet
A ponderous, incoherent horror mishmash that turns King's short story into utter nonsense.
Both the anticipation factor and writer-director Mick Garris' slick adaptation fail to live up to the old hype.
A better name for the film would be Taking the Bullet, because that's what sitting through this dopey, pretentious mess feels like.
It's a navel-gazing meditation on death smothered under excess and ham-handed direction, better suited for late-night cable.
The ending of which, both on the page and, now, on the screen, lands with an overly elegiac thud. Still, the journey is often fine.
As obras de Stephen King já renderam alguns ótimos filmes, mas também muitos péssimos. Infelizmente, Riding the Bullet se encaixa nesta última categoria.
Imagine a feature-length version of the "Large Marge" sequence from Pee-wee's Big Adventure and you won't be too far off, only that was scarier.
An incoherent melange of horror movie gimmicks that's genuinely laughable when it strives for profundity. It induces more tedium than terror.
There are lots of cheap scares and mind games that detract from the main attraction: the interesting family drama.
Goes beyond simply being a bad movie, to the point where it becomes one that insults your intelligence.
As good as any Stephen King movie. Not the profound classics ... and not the classy thrillers... but certainly on par with any effective supernatural tale.
A fairly middle of the road fright film that treads dangerously close to being silly.
...a nifty supernatural drama that features some truly terrifying scenarios, while also offering up a bit of well-placed humor and poignancy.
Audience Reviews for Riding the Bullet
I liked this Stephen King adaptation of his short story taken from 'Everything's Eventual', the author's most recent collection. Mick Garris ('The Stand', 'The Shining (TV)') has not strayed too far from the path with this macabre tale of a hitchhiker who is offered rides from a handful of weird and wonderful characters one Halloween night.
The year is 1969 and Alan Parker (Jonathan Jackson) learns that his mother (Barbara Hershey) is dying of cancer, so instead of going to see Lennon and McCartney, the troubled teenager is forced to hitchhike back to his hometown. He is eventually offered a ride by a young man with a sinister secret. Parker is then forced to confront all the demons from his past if he is to survive what could be the last ride of his life.
Like the original story, the film has all the makings of a campfire tale. There are lonely stretches of highway flanked by tall pine trees - roads that are interspersed with graveyards and other dark places one shouldn't venture into after the sun sets. There are carnivals and rollercoasters. There are plenty of laughs as well as scenes that will chill your soul to the bone. Even Death himself makes an appearance.
Terrifyingly entertaining, 'Riding the Bullet' will also make you question what really is important in life.
Also stars David Arquette and Cliff Robertson.
Adapting Stephen King's internet released novel shows that anything King will be adapted. Riding the Bullet is a bit like The Dead Zone, in that it has a very episodic narrative. Jackson goes hitchhikes from car to car, with each driver being weird and creepy. Each driver also makes Jackson confront a part of himself. It's a repetitive formula that gets tiresome. It also has the last driver being David Arquette who goes a bit too crazy and borders on comical. Robertson is the best, he's slightly peculiar and unsettling. It's the only real time that the enclosed space and lack of real escape becomes scary. Decent enough, but should have been shorter.More
Just watched it for the second time and remembered exactly how much I loved this movie. It's a kind of different take on death with a dark edge to it. Can't say I'm a King fan - book wise, but this movie definitely enticed me to pick up one of his books sometime.
It does a good job of reminding us of our own humanity and just how valuable our lives really are.
I recommend it to anyone, it's a rather interesting film!
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