Customer Reviews: Joy Ride (Special Edition)
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on 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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on July 16, 2006
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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VINE VOICEon March 14, 2005
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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on 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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on October 26, 2013
There's something to be said of the buddy road movie genre. When they're done well they can be pure, cinematic magic. Think of films like Thelma and Louise, Terrence Malick's Badlands, National Lampoon's Vacation, Vanishing Point, and even Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. What they all share in common is precise casting, clever script development, and enough substantial character development to make you really give a damn about who these people are. In Joy Ride, the two very attractive male leads (Paul Walker and Steve Zahn) play brothers who are terrorized on the road by a maniacal psychopath--with the clever CB handle of "Rusty Nail". And why are they terrorized? Because Zahn talks the more subdued Walker into playing a trick on Rusty Nail by impersonating a woman over the CB. So the prank turns into pure, and terrifying mayhem when Rusty Nail, whom is never shown discovers he's been played. What works very well in this film is the very believable interaction between the two brothers. Zahn plays the immature but likeable counterpart to Walker's more sartorial character. Zahn is the Joker to Walker's Jack--both prone to outlandish behavior because it's just a part of their brotherly bond. The evil in the film is more of the manufactured variety since the viewer never "sees" Rusty Nail. We only hear his deep, dark voice talking over the airwaves. Even when the film cuts to the big rig that he's driving we never see him through the windows. So the viewer is left imagining what this guy looks like. Is he hideously deformed? Does he look like Frankenstein on steroids? Or is he simply a twisted, human being? It all depends on your perspective of the genre. Joy Ride represents a type of terror that is firmly rooted in the real world--the world of homicidal road rage incidents, random mass murder, and dysfunctional people doing mayhem that ends up on the 6 o'clock news. That's the magic of this film, and the notion that the real world makes better film fodder than any made-up movie monster.
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on January 26, 2016
This movie seemed to fly under everyone's radar back when it came out. I loved it then and I love it now. It is intense, albeit a little silly at times. Paul Walker was never a strong actor, but he was always likeable on screen and I am sad that he is gone. Zahn is hilarious as always. I find myself revisiting this movie every couple years, and I always enjoy it.
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on September 18, 2015
There are those movies that you just have to see every year or so and this is one for me. You know the story I'm sure. It's starts with some fun humor then takes a bad turn. This genre is overbloated nowadays but this one never got so out of hand that it was absured. Kind of paved the way for ripoffs also. The cast is great, Zahn and Walker seem to really get along well, all American type guys without the cockiness of some other actors in the biz. They're the buddies who'd probably help you move if you asked.
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on December 5, 2013
This is a really great movie!! This movie was basically what introduced me to both Paul Walker and Steve Zahn. I have loved them both ever since. It's a fun thriller. It's also something that could happen in the real world from people just playing a prank. I am so heartbroken over the passing of Paul Walker.....he was one of my favorite actors!! I already have this movie on dvd but myself and my kids have watched it a million times so I ordered a's that good of a movie!! If you have not seen it, you need to, you'll be glad you did! RIP Paul <3
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on December 22, 2012
Joy Ride is a 2001 horror thriller I remember the network FX liked to air quite a bit for a period. Somehow, I almost always ended up watching it so I finally bit the bullet and bought the movie myself.

Joyride follows two brothers (one being played by Steve Zahn who has been starring as the father in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies recently), neither having spoken or seen the other for five years, as they travel across the country to meet up with one's female friend. Along the way, the brothers get to messing with their car's CB radio and play a prank on a trucker named Rusty Nails, leading him to believe he's chatting with a woman with the handle "Candy Cane" who wants to meet him at a local motel. Things quickly go downhill from there as the trucker (somehow) learns exactly who they are and what car their in based solely on the fact the brothers admit it was a prank to him.

Similar to Duel, Rusty stalks the brothers and their friend throughout the movie trying to exact his revenge.

I think Joyride, though more or less straightforward and simple, is one of the more underrated horror movies that came out around this period. It wasn't another typical "teenager slasher" movie or the like that was seemingly extraordinarily popular during this time.

One issue I had was the subplot of Venna's friend and roommate, Charlotte (who was played by Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman alumni Jessica Bowman). The character appears in the movie for a total of maybe three minutes and two scenes and the movie wouldn't have missed much without her as a plotpoint as far as I'm concerned.

Otherwise Joyride is an entertaining movie, especially if you're in a mood just for a simple movie.
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on November 17, 2015
Fantastic film! Lots of suspenseful action, but mostly, for me, it's the surround soundtrack, it really works out your home theater system from front to middle to rear. Makes those explosions, highway vehicle travel really hit home.
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