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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bunch of teenagers go into a fun house and they are not all getting out alive
In between screenings of movies at the After Dark Horrorfest (a.k.a "8 Films 2 Die 4"), when we were discussing the relative merit of the films there was a general consensus that if the distributors (Lionsgate and AfterDark Films) had their druthers, then it would be "Dark Ride" that would be their choice for the film to be selected as the best of the fest and get the...
Published on March 21, 2007 by Amazon Customer

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new
I watched this movie knowing it was a slasher flick and it was part of the 'After Dark' collection. I have to say, I'm not really all that impressed with that collection.

Penny Dreadful could stand alone. The Hamiltons was a very good new look at an old theme. Those two were the best of the group.

This could very well be the worst.

Nothing...
Published on June 4, 2007 by Kevin Stanton


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bunch of teenagers go into a fun house and they are not all getting out alive, March 21, 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)   
This review is from: Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest) (DVD)
In between screenings of movies at the After Dark Horrorfest (a.k.a "8 Films 2 Die 4"), when we were discussing the relative merit of the films there was a general consensus that if the distributors (Lionsgate and AfterDark Films) had their druthers, then it would be "Dark Ride" that would be their choice for the film to be selected as the best of the fest and get the general release. That honor when to "The Abandoned," which was something of a surprise to me, but "Dark Ride" would have been a safe choice because studio executives would recognize it as your standard formula horror film circa 1980s (e.g., Tobe Hooper's "The Funhouse" came out in 1981). Of course the heart of the slasher film is to put a bunch of soon to be dead teenagers in a specific location, such as Camp Crystal Lake or a carnival fun house, but one of the hallmarks of the genre in the 1980s was that there was always some story about what happened once upon a time in that particular place and you have to pay attention to it because it not only tells you who the slasher is but also another part of the puzzle that gets revealed at the end as the "twist."

One thing to say for this 2006 horror film from director Craig Singer ("Kill Charlie"), is that he is working with much better cameras and film stock than Tobe Hooper was back in "Funhouse." "Dark Ride" certainly does not look like a low budget splatter flick from way back when, but it definitely embraces the genre. Jumping in the van for a road trip to Cleveland are Cathy (Jamie-Lynn Sigler of "The Sopranos), Bill (Patrick Renna from "The Sandlot" and last night's episode of "Boston Legal"), Steve (David Rogers from "The Legend of Butch and Sundance"), Jim (Alex Solowitz from "Never Been Kissed"), and Liz (Jennifer Tisdale from "The Hillside Strangler"). Along the way they pick up hitchhiker Jen (Andrea Bogart from "DarkWolf"), who gives a bit of a harder edge to tonight's dinner menu. As soon as you see Sigler's name and realize it is the only one your recognize you know who has the heroine's role in "Dark Ride" as the good girl (so forget about looking forward to her gruesome death like you did Paris Hilton in "House of Wax"). Jen is the bad girl and Liz the cute girl, while Bill is the nerd, Steve the stud, and Jim the mouthy guy, completing the Mouseketeer roll call that makes up tonight's smorgasbord.

On their way to New Orleans the crew are traveling near Ashbury Park New Jersey, where way back in the 1980s (which decade did you expect?) a deformed psycho named Jonah (Dave Warden), brutally murdered a pair of young girls who made the mistake of going on the Dark Ride. After all these years the Dark Ride is being reopened and given the choice of driving on the Big Easy or breaking into a fun house in the middle of the night, the group picks the latter. Of course what we know that they do not is that Jonah has just escaped from the mental institution that has held him since he was convicted and now that he is free it is safe to say that he is not going to New Orleans either and that most of these kids are going to end up dead with their blood and guts all over the place.

Actually, "Dark Ride" is not particularly gory, because half of the fun here is the anticipation as Jonah goes after each next target. Then there is also the dark humor that runs throughout the film, which is not really all that great, but it is not laughably bad, always a plus in this genre. If this movie had been released twenty years ago it would have been one of the slickest splatter flicks around, but that probably means those of us who cut our teeth on the original version of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and flicks like "I Spit on Your Grave" and "Friday the 13th" are going to be the ones to round up on "Dark Ride" while those weaned on the recent remake of "TCM" and films like "Hostel" and the "Saw" trilogy will decide to round down. All I ask you to bear in mind when you get to the end and Sigler's Cathy does the right thing at the exact right place at the exact right time, that this bit of audacity is par for the course in those 1980s splatter flicks that Singer is emulating here. Just remember that in such films what happens at the end is not the twist: it is the punch line.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new, June 4, 2007
This review is from: Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest) (DVD)
I watched this movie knowing it was a slasher flick and it was part of the 'After Dark' collection. I have to say, I'm not really all that impressed with that collection.

Penny Dreadful could stand alone. The Hamiltons was a very good new look at an old theme. Those two were the best of the group.

This could very well be the worst.

Nothing new. Acting was poor. The action didn't take place until late in the flick. With other great slasher movies out there like Friday the 13th, Halloween, Black Christmas and so many more, I was sorry to have wasted my time on this one.

It's schlock. Pure and simple. Just another display from no new angle.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glad I missed seeing this in the theatre, April 15, 2007
This review is from: Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest) (DVD)
When I first saw the commercials for HorrorFest, I was quite excited. I checked out the previews online, and checked back every week or so to see when they would start posting venues, and then dates and times. When I finally had all the information needed, including MapQuest directions...it all fell flat. The directions were poor, and so I arrived too late to bother seeing the first movie I had planned to see that night, and the next TWO were completely sold out. It was three hours until _Reincarnation_ was going to start, so there seemed little reason to bother hanging around the Elizabeth outlet mall. HorrorFest had become dead to me.

For some reason, I had had no idea that these movies would be released on DVD, but when I did, I thought I might give HorrorFest a second chance. I had previously found _Reincarnation_ on the eBay gray market, and wasn't thrilled. So I ordered up the official releases by way of immediate interest, and picked this one up first.

I REALLY hope the others are far better than this one.

This movie intrigued me first because it seemed that there might be a comic element to it--the set-up seemed so cliche (insane killer escapes asylum to return to the spot of his original crimes, just when a group of college kids make a stopover on their way out on Spring Break), that I thought there might be a chance for some fun--over the top violence that might, like _Shaun of the Dead_, both make fun of and pay homage to its genre.

But no.

The humor of _Dark Ride_, if there is indeed humor to this, is thin. With the prodigious amount of blood and guts and brutality that has already blessed the genre, the bar is now high, and this movie does little to meet that bar. People are stupid in their usual manner for a horror movie, and the killings neither imaginative or offer any attempt at revulsion, just blood. I wanted to think that all of this was at least a little cognizant of its typical method, but even the ending twist makes this movie a mere imitation of unimaginative horror, or if it's a parody, it's a parody that is so dull in execution that it is about as boring to watch as the movies it might be parodying.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'd like a second opinion if this is one of the 8 films to die for. Could've been better, April 30, 2007
This review is from: Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest) (DVD)
I don't see why this film didn't make the movie theatre mainstream. Dark Ride is your standard slasher film, bunch of kids on a road trip, killer on the loose, where have we seen this before? Uh, I dunno....Halloween, Friday the 13th, Sorority house massacre, need I go On? Ok, well the angle on this film is the setting, in an amusement park funhouse. It quickly becomes cliche in a veritabal you win of slayings. If you wanted to you could place bets on which one dies next. At least make some fun out of this so-so slasher film.
Yes this film had gore in it, some of it pretty good. However, because of the enclosed funhouse setting I felt that this film was very boring. However this film adds a scream type angle where someone in the cast is there to add a fine assist to the killers agenda. Not bad, but kind of predictable. The only surprises in this film is the gore was pretty messy in some parts.
DVD extras include 2 making of featurettes, deleted scenes, Story boards, and director comentary.
Bottom Line:..............Standard Slasher Fair, not very memorable, Could've been much better.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but I hated that little creep, August 3, 2007
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This review is from: Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest) (DVD)
For me, this film earned 4 stars because it did a good job of reworking the original movie 'Funhouse', which is on my list as one of the 5 greatest movies ever made. In fact, I thought it was downright eerie how much Jamie Lynn-Sigler reminded me of Elizabeth Berridge at the end of the film. There was some humor in the film that seemed very natural like these were people who might actually talk and act like they did. I felt that the characters were actually people you could care about one way or another. This movie was bloody enough for me, had enough violence and jumps to keep me interested and had some pretty good characters. I won't say what little creep I didn't like (actually he was great) but if you watch it you will know. I also loved Jim played by Alex Solowitz. This guy played the part of horror movie fodder for the bad guy terrifically. The only mystery is how he survived so long, but I loved his character's mental deteriorization. The killer was pretty standard fare but the little twist at the end was kind of neat. All in all, this was a nice diverting hour and a half. The original 'Fun House' was a classic. This one was pretty good and did not shame the original. I now own both.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad at all..., February 21, 2007
By 
P.K. (BKK, Thailand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest) (DVD)
I picked up a rental of this at Blockbusters without much thought, assuming it's another one of those low-budget straight-to-video movies. I believe this one actually did make it to theatres. I had no idea at the time since it didn't mention 'After Dark Horror Fest' on the cover. It has lots of decent gore scenes and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, despite the extremely bad acting and slow buildup.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average slasher fare with shout outs to Slasher past greats, March 28, 2007
By 
Geminiguy (Bloomington, IN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest) (DVD)
"Dark Ride" is hardly innovative. For that matter, it isn't really all that scary. The jumps are amped up because of the setting (an eerie funhouse) but the scares are not all that frightening. It begins with an interesting premise. Twin girls go into a fun house ride and are offed in grotesque fashion by a man who is out of his mind. Fast forward about 14 years and a group of college aged friends break into the "Dark Ride" for a night of cheap fun... only to be terrorized by the same killer who weeks earlier escaped from the mental institution.

The setting provides most of the jump moments as previously mentioned, and the killer is effectively eerie in the manner in which he carries himself. Donning a mask too small for his face, he has an odd child like quality to him that makes his brutality seem even more disturbing.

Being a slasher flick that has elements from other horror greats like the origonal Texas chainsaw Massacre and Black Christmas, this film has a chilling feel to it but that's really all it has to offer. The acting is average... some of the stars hitting and others missing. The characters they play are a blend between stupid and dumb as intellegence seems to be left at the rides enterance. There are decent kill scenes and others that happen off screen. There is a mildly sexually explicit moment and brief nudity for horror fans who are into that sort of thing. Including the obligatory "twist" ending (a twist I picked up on rather early) modern slasher flicks feature these days, this film is merely average with a couple of jump inducing red herrings and messy gore shots.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing return to a old slasher genre..., May 11, 2007
By 
FJW (Escondido, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest) (DVD)
Warning : If you are like some of new breed of horror fans who prefer the new fangled horror movies which predominantly feature nothing more than men torturing men, this movie is not for you.

I had a blast watching this movie and I noticed it kept the interest of the packed theater at the Loews on 42nd street. Most seemed to appreciate the originality and humor of this film which is what a "real" slasher movie is all about.

I did find a bit of over-acting by some. Even Jamie Lynn Seigler was not at her best (but she still looked good which is really all that matters in this type of movie).

That girl Andrea Bogart (Hippie Hitchhiker Chick) was a babe. She was perfect for the part, not to mention extremely hot. I'm surprised I haven't seen her in anything else.

There's one guy that reminds me of a cross between Gary Busey, Anthony Michael Hall and Puck (from the real world)- HA! I hate all of those guys individually, but I found this guy funny and non-irritating for some reason. Probably due to great writing I guess.

I congratulate Lions-Gate for taking a chance on movies like this. The audience who appreciate what "real" slasher movies are all about will probably appreciate this "curve ball" away from the big budgeted mindless garbage that I've seen over the past couple of years. At least I didn't leave the theater feeling like I needed a shower.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite a dark ride, March 1, 2011
This review is from: Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest) (DVD)
Just some thoughts...

For those of you who have seen Tobe Hooper's horror movie The Funhouse (1981), well, Dark Ride (2006) is pretty much the same concept, except for a subplot and a twist at the end. In addition to borrowing from The Funhouse, this movie also borrows from horror movies of the past, such as Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and others. Watch this movie to see what I mean. This movie is not an official remake of The Funhouse, but it comes close to being one.

Basically, this movie is about a bunch of stupid, naive, foul-mouthed, horny college kids who get high and are on spring break and decide they want to spend the night in a carnival funhouse in New Orleans called Dark Ride. Back in 1989, this funhouse attraction was the site of two twin girls' brutal murders. Now the funhouse is re-opening a decade after the murders. The murderer from ten years earlier, named Jonah, has escaped from a mental institution and is returning to the Dark Ride funhouse to prey on these college kids. While the movie is very predictable in parts, it is unpredictable near the end. I think the pacing is bad. It is very slow moving for the first two-thirds of the movie. Everything seems to happen in the last half hour. The acting is fair at best. You'll hear lots of foul language, see some breasts, some sex acts, and of course a lot of blood and gore. I found (as is the case with so many slasher movies) that I didn't care about any of these kids AT ALL. There's no character development. They're just shallow characters who are set up to be killed. One of the girls is a real airhead. Very typical of slasher movies. The ending? Unpredictable.

The props inside the funhouse are cool, definitely on par with the The Funhouse, if not better. The sound effects throughout the movie were good.

The Funhouse is better than this. Even though that movie pays homage to Halloween and Psycho at the beginning, it's an original from the imagination of Tobe Hooper. The Funhouse is the real deal.

Overall, Dark Ride is a pretty good slasher movie. I give it 3 1/2 stars. I recommend it if you don't set your expectations too high.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars and a time well spent!, March 30, 2007
This review is from: Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest) (DVD)
To understand these movies is to truly understand what HorrorFest and Movies to Die For IS and IS NOT.

What it IS NOT: It is not a series of extreme or graphic movies that cannot be released to the public by theaters. Some of these are graphic, but not to the point where these were being hidden away from public viewing.

What it IS: HorrorFest is however a great concept from the director of AN AMERICAN HAUNTING who is a huge fan of the horror genre. The director is quoted in Fangoria as saying, "I was pissed off that there were so many cool and different types of horror films that were made for the big screen, but weren't getting there. I really wanted to create a venue that would at least let some of them [get on the screen] for a limited time. So from that, the idea for the Horrorfest was born."

So they put the word on the street for people to send their movies to them for a chance to be selected to be part of HorrorFest and have their movie on the big screen. They received about 50 movies in all and so they selected an assortment of different horror themes for the public to see. They are not all one type over the other. They each stand on their own and in my opinion are just great.

Some more than others for sure.

I think DARK RIDE is one of those that is really, really good. Without going into the fine details on the synopsis of the movie, I will tell you briefly it is a throwback to the good ole slasher films, but this one is different where the writer and director went further in character development and creating a wonderful atmosphere.

Yes you have young kids making dumb decisions and getting killed for it, but that's what you expect when you see these movies. No, in real life no one is going to have sex in a creepy house or on a creepy ride, except maybe my friend Bentley, but that's a different story entirely. This movie does what it sets out to do: Introduce us to a wicked killer, bring in the kids, take them towards the DARK RIDE, and scare us along the way. This movie delivers!

And let me tell you...WOW!!! This ride is very creepy. The jolts and shocks came and I recommend if you have 5.1 surround, turn down the lights and crank it up!!! That's what I did and I found myself hearing things all over the room and it was freaking me out!

Most of all I am so glad there is a HorrorFest because I know for myself I do not rent straight-to-dvd horror movies because they typically look lame. Only twice have I been proven wrong and that was with SESSION 9 and DEADBIRDS. HorrorFest gives life to some movies that may have went straight to dvd and never got the publicity it rightly deserved. I hope you take the chance to experience this movie and I highly recommend you seeing UNREST, REINCARNATION, and GRAVEDANCERS as well.

I cant wait until HorrorFest 2007. It's going to be even better!
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Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest)
Dark Ride (After Dark Horrorfest) by Craig Singer (DVD - 2007)
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