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Joy Ride (2001) Review

Joy Ride Review

by Yo Adrian on February 25th, 2019 | | , , ,

Joy Ride was directed by John Dahl and stars Paul Walker, Leelee Sobieski (from Wicker Man, In a Dark Place) and Basil Wallace (from Return of the Living Dead 3). It’s about a couple of guys who play a prank on the wrong guy.

It was just a joke, just for fun.

Joy Ride Review

Joy Ride is a quality Hollywood horror written and produced by J.J. Abrams, a guy who originally planned on being a dentist, but later decided to study film and went on to write 25 screenplays, directed 15 movies and produce 64 movies and TV shows, many of which were major Hollywood blockbusters including Star Wars and Mission Impossible. So yeah, good call bailing on the whole dental thing. TV credits include Lost, Person of Interest and Westworld. Joy Ride was his first venture into horror, but went onto produce many others off its success including Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Cloverfield Paradox and Overlord.

So needless to say, Joy Ride is a very polished and professional Hollywood production. It’s one of the great road trip horror movies, up there with The Hitcher and Jeepers Creepers. And in true road trip movie fashion, the car is a beauty. Lewis and Fuller hit the highway in a 1971 Chrysler Newport.

The movie has a very simple premise. Two guys screwing around on a CB radio to kill time on a long road trip. They end of screwing with the wrong trucker who begins stalking them with surprising accuracy. No matter what they try, they just can’t shake this guy. But despite this simple premise, it works on all levels and really pulls you in. I was gripped within 10 minutes, watched it all the way through the credits and watched it again a day later.

One thing unique to this movie, compared to most horrors, is that it completely switches gears (pun intended!) at around the 45 minute mark. I won’t dish out any spoilers, but I can safely say that the tone completely changes in a very creative way.

It’s been days since I watched Joy Ride and yet I still have the psychotic trucker Rusty Nail’s voice looping through my head: “Candy Caaaaaaaaane…”


The script, casting, acting, chemistry, cinematography and editing were all exceptional. But hey, this is J.J. Abrams we’re talkin’ about here, not some family dentist.

Worth Watching?

Absolutely. It’s a solid thriller that sports a near 7/10 on IMDb and a 73% on RT. A fun watch from start to finish.



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