Serial Killer Film
They ran the good race...
2001’s Joy Ride was a thriller structured like a slasher. The antagonist’s truck was both his mask and his weapon, a crucial aspect that Part 2 didn’t get right. Part 3 also drops the ball; trading good storytelling and character chemistry for sensational gore and a higher body count. What it can’t bring back it compensates for the best it can. It often resorts to torture porn, sadly.
Joy Ride 3 reminds us of the Saw and Hostel franchises. What used to be a dark road story now revolves around the antagonist; a generic biped, really. He is rather verbal and brutal, here, yet the more we learn about him the less we fear him. At least, we get to see his vulnerable side.
If it’s blood and guts you like, Part 3 will rub you the right way. Those who care about continuity will find comfort in the polished photography and sublime car chases, but will resent the weak script. We’re slowly denaturing a simple product that relied on dialogue, suspense and build-up, and turning it into every other horror movie since the beginning of the millennium...