Back of Box:
Nearly a decade after two young girls were brutally murdered, the monstrous killer, Jonah, escapes from a mental institution
and returns to his familiar killing ground, the theme park attraction "Dark Ride." His unfortunate victims this time
are a group of college kids on a road trip that inevitably leads them to the Dark Ride where their night of youthful fun becomes
a nightmare. The killer who is mimicking the sets within the attraction, makes sure this is a "ride" audiences will
Plot: In a world full of
bland, straight-to-video, slasher films, this film delivers a breath of fresh air. Nothing overly new, mind you, but
a throwback that was much needed, and appreciated. It has its share of faults, but works on a level that overshadows
these minor details. Very nice.
Acting: I must say I thoroughly
enjoyed the entire cast's performance. I found the characters to be a little stereo-typical in the beginning, but they
ended up being rather defined. I actually cared about every one of them. It was nice to see Patrick
Renna on screen again, loved it. Alex Solowitz plays Jim, a mighty fine stoner, and gives a pretty emotional performance
when it came right down to it. My favorite character though is definitely Jen (Andrea Bogart). The monologue she
delivers when the gang first picks her up goes down as one of my favorite slasher moments of all time. I find myself
quoting it all the time, and the emotion put into it was phenomenal.
Gore: Body Count (9)
Oh my God, yes! Limbs and organs everywhere. A fist through the stomach, decapitation during fellatio, and the, soon-to-be-infamous,
full head split (It's one of the sickest, craziest things I've seen in a horror film, let alone a slasher film).
A definite "A+" in this section.
Suspense: Okay, so
the setting of this film already tells you there is going to be a lot of things popping out at you. Oh yes, the
jump scare gets used, but gets extremely tired after a while. However, the setting redeems itself by housing some excellent
chase scenes. I like that the film used the whole setting. Everything from the basement to the
rafters, no place was safe. The film played with suspense a lot, but made us wait for it. A lot of it works,
luckily, and the film actually ends up being a pretty tense ride. My favorite scene would have to be when Liz reaches
for an axe in one of the sets and Jonah makes an unannounced entrance.
Directing: I liked the
overall style. It fit well with the flow of the film and added a nice suspenseful touch. On top of that there's
a great use of imagery and a certain harmony with the lighting. A very lurking, haunting feel. Excellent
P.O.V. and disorienting angles. Craig Singer is obviously a fan of the genre. Very worthy.
Tech: The lighting
team does this film proud. Not for a second does the lighting make waste of the film's excellent setting.
Blues, reds, and enough strobe light action to make the healthiest of people lapse into a seizure. The music works,
but then again, eerie carnival music always works for me. The sound? Sure, not a bad effort.
Other: I think the
mask was great. A face ripped off a papier-mâché
statue. Simple yet effective. Jonah is one of the most unsettling slasher villains to come around in a
while. However, the name does not do it for me. I have a few problems with the script. First off, Jonah's
M.O. Mimicking the sets is a great idea, but I feel the idea was sort of lost along the way. Another discrepancy
I have, is that one of the characters just disappears and we don't get to find out what happens to them until the end of the
film. Lastly, the ending. I felt very unresolved, but I think the fact that the mystic of the killer was kept
intact made it worth it.
Final Word: Without a doubt one of the best new
age slasher films I've seen in a great while. Gore, plot, acting, everything needed for a great slasher film is there.
It's put together well and never fails to entertain. I highly recommend this film to any slasher fan, newbies and veterans
alike. A real classic-to-be.