02nd Sep2017

‘Ryde’ Review

by Nik Holman

Stars: David Wachs, Jessica Serfaty, Ronnie Alvarez | Written by Kat Silva, Bran Visciglia, Dustin Frost | Directed by Brian Visciglia

ryde-poster

Paul (David Wachs) murders a ride-sharing driver and assumes his identity to pick up, and murder, more people. That’s the movie. I’m glad that I’m not being paid by the word.

Ryde is a brutal, stylistic thriller/horror flick by director Brian Visciglia. Visually, this is a very appealing film. From the way light rolls over the hood of Paul’s stolen car to the neon drenched rain-washed back alleys of Los Angeles; I had the feeling Visciglia had seen Blade Runner a time or two.

But beautifully shot lighting isn’t all Ryde has to offer. This film also doesn’t shy away from unapologetic violence. Paul is a kill crazy psychopath slaughtering his way through birthday partygoers, bachelorette partygoers, and just partygoers. Paul will curb stomp anyone having a pleasant evening. For anyone who enjoys death in their horror movies, Ryde will make you very happy. It jumps into the killing early on and doesn’t keep you waiting between scenes. I never found the movie boring as it moves quickly from one point to another, which is literally was the film is about.

While the movie plays up its brutality, it doesn’t revel in the gore. This shows a lot of restraint in Visciglia’s directing. Visciglia takes the more artistic high road and shoots many of the kills from far away, almost as if we are merely pedestrians who accidentally turned a corner and stumbled onto something terrifying.

While Ryde delivers on death, if you’re looking for a story, keep on moving. This film is not for you. The plot is barebones, only serving to drive us from one destination to the next. There is a minor subplot about an unhappy couple and their involvement with Paul. Jasmine (Jessica Serfaty) is the sweet and beautiful girlfriend of Marcus, and Marcus (Ronnie Alvarez) is the incredibly unlikable fellow with zero redeeming qualities and even less than zero chemistry. I never felt this relationship was genuine. It never made sense to me. I know women find themselves in terrible relationships all the time, but Ryde never appears to think this actually is a terrible relationship, more of a troubled one that can be worked through by merely having a baby. Because having a baby fixes everything, right? Even Paul knows these two are horrible for each other because he passes Jasmine his business card and offers her some encouragement. When the serial maniac is trying to get you out of your troubled relationship, you know it’s time to go. Perhaps one can’t fault Ryde for going lean on the plot considering this was the material it had to work with.

I’m also disappointed the script never goes into detail about Paul. He’s young, handsome, and resourceful. Why does he feel the need to slaughter half of California? We spend almost the entire movie at his side and we know nothing about him. He has a clear contempt of women, especially women who find him attractive. Is his anger sexually motivated? There is a clear thread of denied homoeroticism throughout the film. The parallels to masturbation are not very subtle while Paul cleans his bloody knife, and the brief relationship between Paul and the original driver, Karl, are touching and intimate, yet ultimately fatal. But all we can do is guess. We’ll never know Paul’s motivation because the film never bothered to tell us. Pity.

In the end, Ryde is a fun, pretty movie. It lacks any substance and doesn’t ask you to question anything. You will forget about this movie by the end of the night, but while you’re watching it, it will be a good… ride.

Ryde is available on Digital Download now on iTunes.

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One Response to “‘Ryde’ Review”

  • Juni

    I thought the movie was well done.In the midst of sitting at the edge of your sit…There is a bit of comic relief that was terrific…Ryde is fast moving never a dull moment..David Wachs was really went into the mind of a serial killer. The cast as a whole did a great job!!!!