Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dark Ride (2006)

Note: This review is part of my coverage of After Dark Horrorfest: 8 Films To Die For.

Dark Ride

You know those rides they have at carnivals and amusement parks, where you sit in a little moving seat that takes you through a dark, haunted house where creepy things jump out at you? That's the Dark Ride. In this movie, there's one particular Dark Ride in New Jersey that housed a rather brutal murderer that killed a couple of twins, prompting the ride to be shut down for twenty years or so. Just before its grand reopening, a bunch of idiot college co-eds decide to take a detour on their way to New Orleans for Spring Break, and spend a night in the abandoned Dark Ride. Unfortunately for them, the murderer recently escaped from the insane asylum and has come back to resume his old hobby of killing people.

I had kind of a love/hate relationship with this film as I watched it. The characters were morons, and their dialogue was asinine - basically, the only thing they had going for them was the fact that the hitchhiker was pretty hot. Lucky for me, the murderer was actually pretty intimidating, and the fact that most of the movie took place inside a dark and scary carnival ride allowed for a truly creepy setting. Flashing lights everywhere, creepy faces of all kinds, a labyrinth of halloween decorations. Truly a worthy setting for a slasher film. The murderer even donned a white (child-like) mask that made me think of Michael Myers from the Halloween films. I have to say, despite the idiot characters and their equally idiotic conversations, this was actually a pretty creepy film, and certainly more entertaining than watching Michael Myers break out of a mental institute to go on a murder spree yet again.

Reasons for banning: There was plenty of "rude" language and violence (including a disemboweled adolescent and a decapitated slut), a tad bit of nudity (not unappreciated), and even a little sexuality (implied offscreen), but my instincts tell me that the primary reason for 'hiding' this film from the public is the drug use. Not that it's heavy drugs or anything, just a little pot and maybe a few mushrooms. But it's right out there in the open, and I can imagine the narcs screening it and erupting into disfavor over a couple harmless scenes.

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