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Technology brings us closer. Or perhaps it brings strangers, a little too close. But how much can you really trust someone? With a new ride share service, you never know who will be getting in a car with. Or if you’ll ever get out.
Ryde is a very different kettle of fish. It is bold, ballsy and stylized. It’s something of a B-grade blend between Dexter and Taxi Driver, though with a much darker kind of anti-hero. It was actually a lot more complex than your run-of-the-mill slasher flick, which is what I was expecting. Even the film’s opening credits have a very retro feel; heavy synth music and 80’s styled cinematography and editing.
Paul (David Wachs), our mass-murdering madman, discovers an Uber-like app called “Ryde” that his first victim of the night was using. Realizing how easy it would be to have his victims simply hop into his backseat, he decides to off his driver, Carl, and take his identity. Whilst following Paul’s bloody escapades, a second story is building, one of a couple in a very unhealthy relationship. While out on the town, they eventually need a “Ryde.”
There is little to no character development with most of the portrayals being very one-dimensional, but this was seemingly done for a reason I’ll touch on a bit later. The cast is extremely attractive though (for the same reason?). Ronnie Alvarez did a pretty outstanding job portraying Marcus as I hated every second he was on screen. His character was the abusive boyfriend and mega-douche that you want to punch every time he opened his mouth. Hopefully, those were his acting chops shining through and he wasn’t just being himself. The attractive cast, stylized camera work, editing and the sometimes overacted lines gave the film the feel of a murderous soap opera.
There’s very much a permeating hatred towards women by the protagonist. With most of the characters in the film being incredibly good looking, our killer takes very extreme steps to utterly destroy any sense of beauty. He doesn’t seem to take much pleasure in his killings, which seem more like acts of pure hatred. Also, there are some hints early on that he has a specific loathing (or love) for L.A. and perhaps he’s after the folks that embody all of the negative stereotypes L.A. is known for i.e. The beautiful, one dimensional, vapid, organic-eating folk that live there (This is not an opinion I hold – I know no one from L.A.). Maybe he listens to too much Tool, or maybe I’m reading far too much into this…
The film also has a legitimately fantastic soundtrack and the editing was excellent. Ryde wasn’t very heavy on special effects, but the makeup and such were well done when necessary. The runtime was just right and the pace, whilst slower at times, made sense in the context of the film. The cinematography was also very well done, with some really memorable scenes that intelligently made use of the city and its silhouette. The cast and crew really managed to pull off a lot with the limited budget.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. While not my personal favourite subgenre, Ryde checked the boxes and made for an interesting story. If you enjoy stories where the protagonist is evil, a mass-murderer or a complete psychopath, then this one is for you. Ryde releases August 21st on the following platforms: iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Microsoft, Vubiquity, TalkTalk, Sony, and Wuaki. Catch the trailer below and let us know what you think in the comments.
iTunes Pre-order Link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.