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Dustin Putman

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Capsule Review
Dark Ride  (2006)
2 Stars
Directed by Craig Singer.
Cast: Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Patrick Renna, Alex Solowitz, Jennifer Tisdale, Andrea Bogart, David Rogers, Brittney Coyle, Chelsey Coyle, Dave Warden.
2006 – 94 minutes
Rated: Rated R (for strong grisly violence and gore, language, sexuality, nudity and some drug content).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, October 2008.

It's kinda creepy, huh? God, I live for this shit!

It is a common mistake for those who have seen "Dark Ride" to believe it's a loose remake of 1981's masterful Tobe Hooper thriller "The Funhouse." The difference is in the details. Fifteen years after a psychopath named Jonah (Dave Warden) was arrested for killing over a dozen people within the walls of Asbury Park's Dark Ride, he escapes from a mental hospital just in time for a group of college kids on spring break to trespass on his old stomping ground. Thank goodness for "Dark Ride" eliciting a wave of candy-colored style and boasting creatively gruesome death scenes (one person is decapitated while delivering oral treats). If nothing else, director Craig Singer knows how to do that right, and the film, against all odds, features some efficiently spooky moments. What Singer fails to do is give his characters a brain. Whether they're whining and bawling their way through every moment of the last forty-five minutes or just doing some extraordinarily stupid things, like promptly abandoning their friend after they already know a killer is on the loose, the viewer can't help but be annoyed. The acting leaves something to be desired, too, with Jamie-Lynn Sigler (HBO's "The Sopranos") overacting hysterically as lead heroine Cathy. The less said about the puny head-scratcher of an ending, the better. When "Dark Ride" goes for the throat, it has some fun. The rest of the time it's rather insulting.

© 2008 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman