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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One ride you should not miss!
I'm happy to report that Joy Ride is NOT just another teen slasher movie, nor is it a Scream clone, instead, it is one of the better thriller/horror film that came out of Hollywood recently. The Thomas brothers while traveling towards New Jersey decided to pull a prank on a stranger by using a CB radio, posing as a female they agreed to a midnight rendezvous with a...
Published on October 5, 2001 by Jason Cheng

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent little road thriller that is flawed but fun
Joyride is about a young collegiate who suddenly one day finds that his long-distance female friend-hopefully with benefits-has broken up with her current boyfriend because he was getting too "serious" (I like hearing that word out of college students' mouths, I really do). Well, faster than you can say GONE IN 60 SECONDS, our lead male played by Paul (my `car' movie was...
Published on March 13, 2002 by cosmickman


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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One ride you should not miss!, October 5, 2001
I'm happy to report that Joy Ride is NOT just another teen slasher movie, nor is it a Scream clone, instead, it is one of the better thriller/horror film that came out of Hollywood recently. The Thomas brothers while traveling towards New Jersey decided to pull a prank on a stranger by using a CB radio, posing as a female they agreed to a midnight rendezvous with a trucker who calls himself 'Rusty Nail.' Hoping to get a good laugh, the brothers found instead that the joke is on them as they flees from the psychotic stranger out for revenge.
What makes Joy Ride scary is its believability, this kind of thing can actually happen, probably not to the extreme as portrayed in the film, but people do play jokes on each other constantly, and some do get carried away. Composed of a relatively young cast, Steve Zahn (Fuller Thomas,) Paul Walker (Lewis Thomas) and Leelee Sobieski (Venna) did a good job keeping the audiences attention glued to the screen, the pacing was actually well done because there was not a dull moment on this road trip. Unfortunately, with this genre there is usually little character development, which is true for Joy Ride, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing here.
Joy Ride was an entertaining and short movie that doesn't take itself too seriously, the direction was tight and the script was decent, it's a great film for adults and teenager alike. Just remember, it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt, and do unto others as you would have them done to you.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Duel" For The Millenium, July 16, 2006
This review is from: Joy Ride (DVD)
In "Joy Ride", the Director John Dahl (Last Seduction, Red Rock West, Rounders)pounds you right from the beginning and never lets up.

It's "Duel" updated for the millenium and for a contemporary audience.

Two brothers, Paul Walker (Fast and The Furious) and Steve Zahn (Shattered Glass) take a road trip to pick up Walker's college girlfriend (Leelee Sobieski).

Using a CB radio, they play a practical joke on a trucker who turns out to be the biggest movie big rig psycho since Rutger Hauer planted a finger in C.Thomas Howell's french fries.

What the trucker, whose CB handle is "Rusty Nail" does to exact revenge keeps the audience on edge for the film's 97 minutes.

(Note: one of the sequences in the chillingly directed and edited climax cribs gleefully from "Silence of the Lambs")

Dahl pulls of the the difficult challenge of blending scares with a few laughs with little effort..he's a wildly talented director with a taste for hip, off beat material.

Dahl directs from a script by JJ Abrams ("Lost") and Clay Tarver

The voice of "Rusty Nail" is supplied by the great Ted Levine.

Note: not long before "Joy Ride" began shooting, the studio decided it wanted a different ending, supposedly a few alternate endings were shot, one of which, running 29 minutes, is included on the DVD which also includes Eric Roberts vocal audition as Rusty Nail...Roberts obviously lost the gig to Levine.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Good Creepy Fun Give Joy Ride a Try, March 14, 2005
By 
David Girod (Westminster, Maryland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Joy Ride (DVD)
I am surprised at some of the negative reviews posted here?! I guess some of these folks thought they were taking home "Hamlet" and got "Joy Ride" by mistake??? Sure there isn't much character development, sure you may have seen this premise before, and yes "Joy Ride" is a B-Movie.....and it's a great one! I don't know what more you could ask for with a movie like "Joy Ride", it gave me plenty of chills, and had me really rooting for the two brothers who get on the wrong side of a homicidal truck driver. "Joy Ride" may resemble "Duel", "Breakdown", "Highwaymen" or any one of a hundred thriller "road" movies, but the story is definately edge-of-your-seat fun, and worth adding to your collection if you are a horror fan. Within the first 10 minutes you get sucked into this thriller and it does not let go. Ted Levine is perfect as Rusty Nail (you forget how menacing he can be after watching him as Stottlemeyer on "Monk"), and if Levine's voice oozing through the cb radio doesn't give you goosebumps, you should really go have your blood pressure checked! "Joy Ride" is the perfect movie to watch late at night while you cower under the blankets.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Develop a Phobia for Big, Black Trucks and Roadside Motels.., November 15, 2001
This is a brilliantly directed and scripted, 5-star thriller. The casting of the 3 leads - Steve Zahn, Paul Walker and Leelee Sobieski is perfect as they deliver wonderful performances and share great screen chemistry.
I can't remember the last time I had so much "fun" at the cinema. The suspense in "Joy Ride" is taut and heart-pounding while the laugh moments are also plentiful. The movie's about the danger that 2 brothers, Fuller (Zahn) and Lewis (Walker) get themselves into after their "seemingly" harmless prank on their car's CB radio goes horribly wrong when their "victim", a truck driver (who calls himself "Rusty Nail"), decides to get even with them. Watching this movie was great fun! Loud LAUGHS from the cinema audience during the funny scenes and SCREAMS from the female (mainly) audience during the "scary" moments testify to how effective the movie is. To me, one of the most hilarious scenes is the one where Fuller goes to the rescue of Venna (played by Sobieski) who is being harassed by a bunch of men in a motel bar.
The villain, "Rusty Nail" has the scariest voice! Listening to him talk on the CB radio ("Candy Cane... I'm looking for Candy Cane...") is enough to send a chill down your spine. You'll have to watch the movie to know whether he does show his face or not in the end.
This movie ends with a "delicious" twist.... to pave the way for a "Joy Ride 2", maybe?
I don't know if this type of movie is termed "black comedy" but trust me, the laughs and thrills are first-rate all the way. Just fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the Joy Ride!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent little road thriller that is flawed but fun, March 13, 2002
By 
"cosmickman" (Coventry, Rhode Island United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Joy Ride (DVD)
Joyride is about a young collegiate who suddenly one day finds that his long-distance female friend-hopefully with benefits-has broken up with her current boyfriend because he was getting too "serious" (I like hearing that word out of college students' mouths, I really do). Well, faster than you can say GONE IN 60 SECONDS, our lead male played by Paul (my `car' movie was way better dude and yes the first 15 mins of it was about a tuna sandwich!) Walker, is embarking on a cross-country journey to pick up his wannabe squeeze Vena, played by Lelee Sobieski. Along the way, our hero picks up his useless brother, who has once again been arrested for an alcohol-related incident. Since they haven't seen each other in some 5 years, you would figure they would do some catching up...but instead decide to alter their fates forever by playing a not-so-original joke on a CB radio. They start a conversation with this man (with the voice of Ted Levine, unbilled; yes that voice u hear is familiar, he played Buffalo Bill in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) who goes by the handle "Rusty Nail". Paul pretends to be a female and starts a flirtation with this Rusty Nail of whom they know NOTHING about, and eventually takes the joke to the extreme of inviting the lonely trucker to meet him/'her' to a hotel in room 17 (while the two brothers stand idly by in room 18 and get to be `in' on the joke). Well, the movie starts to go in various predictable directions as our two brothers are menaced by the now very peeved and relentless Rusty Nail; giving them a "break" per se, and then eventually menacing all three of our headlining stars in a sometimes frightening and claustrophobic (but predictable) manner.
Ok, so what are we dealing with here you ask? Well, I could steer you picky viewers away by telling you that JOYRIDE is anything but, and is merely a rehash of Steven Spielberg's ultimate classic DUEL with a hint of Scream-like humor and pace; with a consummate air of predictability that is consistent throughout. But, taking the film at face value, the film is fun and has some very tense moments. It definitely isn't as funny as it thinks it is, but has a few laughs courtesy of the always-humorous Steven Zahn. JOYRIDE is one of those time-wasters, a movie that wasn't intended to be dissected under a microscope and picked apart like I did in the in the first few sentences of this paragraph (hey I have to appeal to the masses here). It was made to entertain, and does on a few different levels. It succeeds as a good thriller with decent acting (though as good-looking as Paul Walker is, he would DEFINITELY benefit from some acting classes-lets just hope he doesn't go the Keanu route and wing it throughout the rest of his career), a genuine sense of paranoia that lingers whenever we aren't aware of the villains whereabouts, and some well-placed scares throughout. It won't become a classic, but if you are in the mood for a little formulaic thriller with bite, then this just might be the thriller for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BAD TITLE BUT GREAT FLICK, February 28, 2002
By 
Robin Simmons (Palm Springs area, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Joy Ride (DVD)
The sub genre of teen horror is treated seriously in the superb, relentless, intense, and absorbing thriller "JOY RIDE". John Dahl ("Red Rock," "The Last Seduction") delivers a noirish and stylized tale about a college guy preparing to fly home for the summer when he has a chance to pick up a girl he has a crush on and drive her home. It's a no brainer. He sells his plane ticket, buys an old convertible and along the way bails out of jail and collects his older black-sheep brother. At a rural gas stop, they install a junker CB radio and tease a trucker in a girl's voice, telling him to meet at a motel at midnight. It's a cruel joke they get away with and soon forget as they race to where they hook-up with the girl. Paul Walker and Steve Zahn are terrific as the brothers and Leelee Sobieskei is a natural as the pretty, would be girlfriend. It should be no surprise that the trucker is not out of the picture, but now there's a real girl to menace in horrific payback. The direful voice of the trucker is malignantly rendered by Ted Levine (the killer-skinner in "Silence of the Lambs"). Extras include four alternate endings, voice auditions for the villain and a making of featurette.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ROAD KILL, June 30, 2002
By 
Mr. N. Carnegie (Kirkcaldy, Scotland, UK.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Joy Ride (DVD)
Directed by John Dahl, previously best known for Red Rock West and The Last Seduction (the movie that launched Linda Fiorentino's career), the ironically titled Joy ride is very much a homage to the seventies Spielberg movie Duel but rather than being just a cheap rip-off Joy Ride is in fact a very entertaining, genuinely scary edge of the seat ride, which proves that you don't need a big budget to make great movies.
THE PLOT: The film's instantly likeable hero, Lewis, played by Paul Walker (The Fast and The Furious) a scholarship student at Berkeley, buys a battered 1971 car so he can pick up Venna (Leelee Sobieski), who he has a major crush for, from the University of Colorado and drive her to the East Coast for summer vacation. However, on the way he unexpectedly has to pick up his irresponsible older brother Fuller (the always excellent Steve Zahn) who's in a Salt Lake City jail on a drunk-and-disorderly charge. During the journey Fuller buys a cheap CB radio and involves Lewis in an unpleasant practical joke at the expense of a truck driver with the CB handle 'Rusty Nail' but they find themselves in fear for their lives when old Rusty turns out to be a psychopath who takes a violent dislike to them. From then on, they themselves become the objects of the unseen Rusty Nail's revenge. After several hair-raising encounters, they resolve not to tell Venna of their adventures when they pick her up at the clean, well-lit Colorado campus.
It would be easy to criticise Joy Ride (known as Road kill in the UK). Its premise is hardly original and its reliance on a CB radio as a plot device harks back to the seventies, rather than the present day when everybody (except in this movie) has a cell phone. However, Joy Ride is actually a stunning success due to its faultless direction, which creates Hitchcock like suspense and provides many heart stopping moments. The script is excellent too combining and balancing humour and horror in equal measures, often hinting at violence that is not actually seen and providing nervous moments of humour whilst avoiding corniness. As for the three leads they are perfectly cast with Paul Walker, minus the blonde beach boy locks he sported in The Fast and the Furious, making a good fist of the part of the boy from the wrong side of the tracks in love with the girl from the right side of the tracks played by the equally impressive Leelee Sobieski (Deep Impact). Steve Zahn (Out of Sight) as the misfit brother Fuller is also excellent and he steals many of the scenes with witty one-liners but ultimately this is a movie whose strength lies in the sum of all its parts. Cheaply made it shows that its not big budgets that make great movies its talent and imagination. Here's hoping there's a sequel! Four stars, well merited. ****
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific suspense (DVD REVIEW), March 13, 2002
This review is from: Joy Ride (DVD)
"Joy Ride" got many rave reviews when it was playing in theaters, and now I see why. The suspense is unrelenting. I liked the unusual villain, voiced by Ted Levine (unforgettable from Silence of the Lambs). It seemed like he had an almost supernatural hold on the trio of main characters, and his moves were certainly unpredictable. The cat-&-mouse game between the Nail's big rig and the brothers' vintage automobile reminded me of another similarly suspenseful movie called "Duel," the debut three decades ago from a director named Stephen Spielberg. That movie also featured an automobile driver being hunted by a never-seen truck driver. The DVD of "Joy Ride" has a bunch of interesting extra features. One of the alternate endings starts about half-way through the film and was about half an hour long! (And it unfolds in a very different way from the theatrical version.) And the feature that allows a side-by-side comparison of three different voices for the killer (incl. Eric Roberts) was fun.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern "Duel" on Premium Fuel, November 26, 2001
By 
If you're in the mood for an uncommonly witty, decidedly unpredictable, savagely sardonic, and oppressively ambient adrenaline pumping suspense thriller, than look no further than Joy Ride. Starring Paul Walker (Lewis Thomas), Steve Zahn
(Fuller Thomas), Leelee Sobieski (Venna Wilcox), Jessica Bowman (Charlotte Campbell), and habitual antagonist Ted Levine (Rusty Nail), John Dahl's (Rounders, Last Seduction, Red Rock West) effervescently dynamic Joy Ride is a spaciously well performed thrill ride which weaves a thematically eloquent and morbidly psychological laced narrative that habitually leaves the viewer breathlessly craving more and hesitantly doing so. Graced with an abnormally textured and unreservedly robust cast of characters, an astoundingly effective ambiguous antagonist that harkens back to the insanely unforgettable thriller villains of the 60's and 70's, outrageously wicked erratic story twists that even contradict a hardened Thriller Fan predictions, and an expertly evasive droll wit that reinforces Joy Ride's unaccommodating manipulation of intelligent fear with an unadulterated depraved sense of humor that spikes the film's thrills with unexpected and uncomfortable laughs in typical Hitchcockian style. Joy Ride seems to have it all.
Joy Ride commences by the telling the tale of Lewis Thomas's college summer break. Lewis has been platonically friends with Venna Wilcox for a while now, and after impulsively selling an airplane ticket home in exchange for an inexpensive automobile junk heap. Lewis decides to do the chivalrous thing and drive all the way to Colorado to pick Veena up from college and take her home for break. On the way there, Lewis discovers that his consistently immature older brother Fuller has been arrested in Salt Lake City, Utah, and his mother would like for him to pick him up. After picking Fuller up, Fuller purchases a CB player, as a gesture of gratitude, and begins to pull verbal pranks over the CB player. This leads them down an initially seemingly innocent trail of zestfully energetic humor that eventually stales into a fully unadulterated descent into unfathomable
details of grisly horror and indescribable anxiety.
Joy Ride represents the metaphorical zenith what a thriller should deliver on a regular basis. Instead of providing the audience with overabundant gore and exceedingly outrageous cleavage and nudity, why not just tell a comprehensively sound story that amuses with ingenuity rather than excess. Charged with indulgently clever shrewdness in its presentation, Joy Ride demonstrates acutely the rather sparkling joys of suspenseful storytelling that as of late continue to be ignored
by a majority of the Hollywood establishment.
As for Joy Ride's upcoming DVD release hopefully it includes a ravishing anamorphic widescreen presentation, an informative John Dahl commentary track, deleted scenes, and documentaries. We'll have to wait and see.
Deliriously recommended to anyone who really enjoys a tearfully intense movie and even those who don't. Footnote: Ted Levine also played the unforgettable antagonist Jamie Gume in Jonathan Demme's Silence of the Lambs.
P.S. Never Buy Pink Champagne
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally Good Movie!, October 30, 2006
By 
This review is from: Joy Ride (DVD)
Wow! I was very impressed and surprised by this one! I give the special features 10 STARS!

I have wanted to see this one since it was advertised on television many years ago. For some reason, I just never got around to it. I rarely see movies in the theater anymore, and I just never got around to seeing this on DVD. Recently, I went on a budgetary required fast of DVD purchases. I just recently joined an on-line DVD rental service, and this has been the best decision I've made, since deciding to marry my beautiful wife!

I am a big Paul Walker fan. He really is a good looking actor, and his acting skills match his good looks. He's a man's man, with a super smooth style. I have a feeling he's a lady's man, in real life! And Steve Zahn is hilarious! I think both of these parts were perfectly filled by these two young actors. Also outstanding is the young female part, played flawlessly by Leelee Sobieski.

I sometimes don't get a chance to view all the special features on a DVD, especially when I rent it, but thankfully I decided to try to view all of the special features on this one. And I'm so glad that I did! This DVD included three or four extended and alternate endings. I have a feeling many movies film extended and alternate endings, but choose not to include them on the DVD. I say shame on them. I really appreciate when the company chooses to include it, as, in my opinion, it adds tremendously to the viewing pleasure.

There are also three commentaries for the entire movie. I listened to the one from Steve Zahn, which was hilarious! He's a really funny guy.

The movie was very well done. The cinematography was excellent! I have a component Video set up on my HD TV, and the colors were brilliant and the scenery was beautiful throughout. In particular, the colors of the Police cars and the Motel lights throughout was brilliantly done. I like how this movie featured a part of America rarely seen in Hollywood films.

A great October movie to rent or purchase!

MC White said: Top notch entertainment!!! Highly recommended!!!
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Joy Ride [Blu-ray]
Joy Ride [Blu-ray] by John Dahl (Blu-ray - 2013)
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