Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead (2008) Review

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The horror genre probably produces the most sequels with some matching the original and some being so unbelievably terrible you wonder why you bothered. However like most horror fans I can’t resist watching, once I’ve seen the first one I need to see the other one, two, three, four or five. After enjoying the first Joy Ride I thought I’ll take a look at the second one.

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Director: Louis Morneau

Budget: $5,000,000 (estimated)
Run Time: 91 minutes
This film starts how a lot of slasher films start with a brutal death scene. The rain is pouring down and a hooker is getting wet so she decides to go offer her services to a truck driver, problem is she picks Rusty Nail. He lets her in the cab and we hear him recite his line from the first film “I like the rain. Keeps everybody inside and washes everything clean”. The hooker’s night does not end well for her at all but you can pretty much guess that as soon as you see her heading to Rusty’s truck.
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Melissa and her fiancé Bobby (Nicki Aycox and Nick Zano) are a young couple on a road trip to go and get married, also tagging along is Melissa’s sister Kayla (Laura Jordan) and just to add some more potential cannon fodder into the film Kayla meets Nik someone she’s been talking to online. It’s clear from his first appearance on screen he’s a total dick and I spent the rest of the film hoping to see him die.
The group stop for some food and a truck drives very close to them and they give it the finger something which will come back to haunt them. They carry on their journey but it’s soon all messed up when their car breaks down after Nik persuaded them avoid the highway and take the back roads. After some walking they finally arrive at a house in the middle of nowhere, Nik being the complete pillock that he is breaks into the house.
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Inside it appears it’s not been lived in for a long long time, they wander round and we see a few things that will come back into play later on. The group explore the home and a garage type building where they find a car that they decide to steal. Melissa leaves a note in case the owner comes back and boy wouldn’t you be pissed if you came home and found your car stolen, front room window smashed and door kicked down.
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After some travelling the group stop for something to eat, Bobby goes to use the toilet but that’s the last they see of him. A phone call from Rusty shows he’s watching them and he’s got Bobby. Here’s where the mind games start, Rusty drags them all over the place playing various games for his sick pleasure. Bring me Kayla’s finger, dress Nik like a girl to go buy crack and a twisted game of dice where each roll ends with punishment for the person they’re playing with.

Everything builds pretty well to a final confrontation aboard the truck with Melissa and Rusty. Ending as most slasher type films end with the apparent down fall of the killer but do they ever really die?

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The Good

  • Apart from the Nik the characters are pretty likable.
  • Rusty loves a pun.
  • The chase scenes are once again done really well.
  • The game of dice which is the build up to the final battle is fun.
  • The final battle itself is a good watch.
The Bad
  • Lacks the tension of the first film as it’s a bit more slashery than the first one was.
  • Nik, awful character. I mean he’s not supposed to be liked I get that but damn is he annoying.
  • Why doesn’t anyone just keep hitting the killer in the head after knocking him out?
Whilst never quite matching the original in atmosphere, it exceeded my expectations. It’s a nice sequel that’s worth a watch, the characters aren’t as well acted or developed as the first films were but all bar Nik are pretty decent people. If you’ve seen the first one then you should really give this one a go.
Overall Score – 6/10
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One thought on “Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead (2008) Review

  1. Pingback: Joy Ride 3: Road Kill (2014) Review | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

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