Saturday, February 7, 2015

Film Review: Dark Ride (2006)

Dark Ride (Review)
United States/2006
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"If you like gory kills with light suspense, this might be a ride worth taking."

Twin girls enter an ominous Dark Ride only to be brutally slaughtered. A decade later, a group of college students visit the attraction during Spring Break...

Dark Ride is a cliché horror film. The story follows a group of generic douchebags characters as they depart for Spring Break. After they stop for gasoline, they're convinced to visit a Dark Ride attraction that is set to re-open in three days – the Dark Ride attraction from the introduction. So, they break into the attraction, tinker with the setting, smoke weed, take shrooms, and so on – what you'd expect from this cast of characters. Eventually, they become the target of a masked killer with brutal methods of execution. It leads to a very predictable ending.

I didn't absolutely hate Dark Ride, like it may seem. I was definitely disappointed, but I didn't hate it. What did I like? Well, the film works decently as a slasher. There is some decent suspense here and there, and the death scenes are vicious. Although the special effects aren't perfect, I thought the gore was surprisingly effective and exciting. There's nothing like watching someone's head being cut opened vertically. The effects being practical was the cherry on top. The setting was also great, although it's not as emphasized as one would expect.

So, what did I dislike? Well, as you probably sense from my tone in my review of the film's plot, I didn't like the story. It's difficult to say it had anything unique or unexpected. It has a twist at the end, but any horror fanatic can see it from a mile away. I usually don't even mention twists in my review if there are any because that would obviously ruin the idea of a twist, but this was weak to the point of being a flaw. Aside from the clichés, the film is also contrived, relying heavily on convenience. These characters are both annoying and stupid.

The acting was okay. It wasn't anything terrible, but it wasn't all that great, either. Alex Solowitz, playing one of the more obnoxious characters, was surprisingly the better actor of the bunch. However, I think most of the flaws in the acting come from the stilted dialogue – it's unnatural and strange to the ear. The cinematography is competent, as is the camerawork. Like I previously stated, the effects were great – a highlight for the film. Writer and director Craig Singer has an interesting concept and setting, but lacks execution. The film's hindered by bad dialogue, clichés, and plot contrivances. The little suspense and gore the film offers is not enough to fully redeem the film's glaring shortcomings.

Overall, Dark Ride is mediocre. On a good day, I'd say it's a passable slasher. If you like gory kills with light suspense, this might be a ride worth taking. However, if you're tired of the same ol' slasher, the cliché stories, and the obnoxious cast of horror characters, I'd say to put this one off until you're hungry for this genre. As a side note, this film reminds me a bit off another slasher I recently watched, Wreckage, but this one is fortunately a little better.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, some nudity and sexuality.

No comments:

Post a Comment