Joy Ride

Joy Ride

Director: John Dahl

Cast: John Dahl, Steve Zahn, Paul Walker, Leelee Sobieski

     
 

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After forays into film noir, thrillers, dramas, and even documentaries, director John Dahl tries the teen horror genre on for size. Paul Walker stars as Lewis Thomas, a college freshman embarking on a cross-country road trip during summer break to pick up his girlfriend Venna (Leelee Sobieski). Along for the ride is Lewis' brother Fuller (Steve Zahn), a practical… See more details below

Overview

After forays into film noir, thrillers, dramas, and even documentaries, director John Dahl tries the teen horror genre on for size. Paul Walker stars as Lewis Thomas, a college freshman embarking on a cross-country road trip during summer break to pick up his girlfriend Venna (Leelee Sobieski). Along for the ride is Lewis' brother Fuller (Steve Zahn), a practical joker who uses the car's CB radio to play a cruel prank on a lonely trucker known only by the handle Rusty Nail. The victim of Fuller's gag turns out to be a psychotic murderer and soon the brothers are being pursued by the relentless stalker, who gets his revenge in gruesome fashion. Joy Ride, which co-stars Matthew Kimbrough, was produced under the working title "Squelch."

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Stuart Gazzo
A B-movie thriller executed with zest and precision, Joy Ride is like an MTV Road Rules episode gone horribly awry. The story follows two brothers -- dutiful Lewis (Paul Walker) and former jailbird Fuller (Steve Zahn) -- who make the mistake of taking an innocent prank too far while on a freewheeling cross-country drive. This lands them in the crosshairs of a mysterious truck driver (an uncredited Ted Levine), known only to the brothers as a throaty, disembodied voice on their CB radio (his handle: "Rusty Nail"). The inexplicably brutal trucker makes the siblings, and Lewis's friend Venna (Leelee Sobieski), pawns in a deadly chess game. In a movie that's light on character development and heavy on tension, Zahn's characterization drives the movie with a surfeit of mischief and charm. Comparisons to Steven Spielberg's paranoia road-rage classic Duel are inevitable, but director John Dahl (Rounders) gives this fine-tuned muscle car of a movie a fresh look of its own. He knows well that the nail-biting cat-and-mouse games of Clay Tarver and J. J. Abrams's script keep the story in overdrive, making for a taut genre trip sure to remind you that danger is often closer than it appears to be. The DVD edition features the director and writers, as well as Zahn and Sobieski, plus alternate endings and a deleted scene.
All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
With Joy Ride, director John Dahl abandons the sophisticated plotting of his earlier films, Red Rock West and The Last Seduction, in favor of more visceral thrills, and it pays off with a suspenseful and darkly comic kick. The script, by Clay Tarver and Felicity co-creator J.J. Abrams, cribs from the TV movie that put Steven Spielberg on the map, Duel. It has a surfeit of wit and strong, believable characters, which is good, because in less assured hands it could have been a routine teen horror flick. Dahl gets the most out of his talented young cast, especially Steve Zahn as Fuller, the dangerously reckless, but oddly charming and surprisingly resourceful older brother. In past films, Zahn has overplayed his goofball charm, but here he finds just the right balance between imprudent jerk and lovable scoundrel. Fuller, Lewis (Paul Walker), and Venna (Leelee Sobieski) come across as real people. It's easy to see how their supposed anonymity leads the brothers to feel that they'll get away with their cruel CB radio prank, and their reactions to the horrible situation they find themselves in are unassailably rational. This draws the audience in to the scary story. Dahl knows how to build suspense. His dark palette is filled with eerie taillight reds, and the occasional roar of a passing tractor-trailer jarringly disrupts the quiet of his middle-of-nowhere highway locations. The mysterious trucker, known only by his CB handle Rusty Nail, is a frightening villain -- righteously angry, powerful, and relentless. The scene in which Fuller and Lewis listen helplessly through the motel wall as he maims his first victim is a restrained masterpiece of horror, and perfectly sets up all the tension to come.
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers
1/2
If you're looking to have your nerves fried and your pulse pounded, this is your ticket to ride.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/10/2013
UPC:
0024543873150
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:37:00
Sales rank:
24,914

Special Features

Commentaries by director John Dahl, writers J.J. Abrams and Clay Tarver, and actors Steve Zahn and Leelee Sobieski; Deleted scene; Alternate endings; And more!

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steve Zahn Fuller Thomas
Paul Walker Lewis Thomas
Leelee Sobieski Venna
Jessica Bowman Charlotte
Stuart Stone Danny
Basil Wallace Car Salesman
Brian Leckner Officer Kenney
Ted Levine Rusty Nail

Technical Credits
John Dahl Director
J.J. Abrams Producer,Screenwriter
Eric L. Beason Editor
Marco Beltrami Score Composer
Scott Chestnut Editor
Bridget Johnson Executive Producer
Jeffrey Jur Cinematographer
Patrick Markey Executive Producer
Arnon Milchan Executive Producer
Todd E. Miller Editor
Chris Moore Producer
Robert Pearson Production Designer
Glen Scantlebury Editor
Clay Tarver Screenwriter

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