Genre - Horror
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 91 minutes
Directed by Louis Morneau (who also directed the sequel to the original Hitcher - The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting)
Written by James Robert Johnston & Bennett Yellin (Bennett also wrote Dumb & Dumber, which made me a little concerned at first...)
Nicki Aycox (who will be playing Nora in the upcoming adaptation of John Skipp & Craig Spector's Animals! She was also in Jeepers Creepers 2)
Laura Jordan (who played Samantha in the adaptation of Ted Dekker's Thr3e)
Kyle Schmid (who played the vampire, Fitzroy, in the TV Show Blood Ties)
Nick Zano (who will be in the upcoming Final Destination 4)
Rating: 4 Skulls
A raucous trip to a Las Vegas concert veers off course for four friends when their car sputters to a stop and they are forced to steal another ride.
They have no way of knowing that they will tick off a vengeful trucker with homicidal tendencies.
The man's ominous-sounding nickname is Rusty Nail - and, as it turns out, he comes by it honestly.
Back in 2001, I was excited when the 1st Joy Ride came out, as it was directed by one of my favorite directors - John Dahl - and it seemed similar to Spielberg's first movie - Duel, which I loved! (the movie was written by J.J. Abrams, who had writing credits on Michael Bay's Armageddon, and it starred Paul Walker and Steve Zahn) so already I liked the movie. :-)
I was not disappointed by that movie, as I felt that it was well written, well directed, and I loved the character of Rusty Nail, (the psychotic truck driver) who in my mind, deserved to be up there with the likes of Leatherface, Jason, or Freddy. So, when I heard that a sequel was being made, I was looking forward to it. . .
The sequel - Dead Ahead - opens with Rusty Nail up to his old bag of tricks.
[Note: it has been a little while since I saw the 1st one - I believe that the voice of Rusty Nail is different, though I am not 100% certain - if it is different, it is for the better! I love Rusty's voice, and he has such a great laugh!]
Anyway, we then jump to three friends traveling to Las Vegas for a concert. Along the way, they pick up a fourth friend, who one of the others "knows" from MySpace. This character is played by Kyle Schmid - whom, if you watched the Lifetime original show Blood Ties, you will recognize as the vampire Fitzroy - Kyle plays a completely different character in this film - he is quite a prick actually - he sort of reminded me of Matthew Lillard's character from Scream.
On the way to Vegas, the car they are driving goes kaput! They get out, open the hood, and immediately decipher that the engine has seized... (can you tell that, just by looking?!?)
Without a second thought, the group of friends just up and walk away from the vehicle, eventually coming across an abandoned home - yep, you guessed it, Rusty Nail's. . . (who after all, is a trucker, and not always at home)
When the friends come across a car, with the keys in it, in the garage, they figure that they will "borrow it" to get to Vegas, and return it on the way back. Dumb idea! Especially when you are dealing with a sadistic fellow like Rusty Nail! (well, at this point, they do not know the car and house belong to him)
I need not have worried about the writing of Bennett Yellin and James Robert Johnston, as they held true to the conceivability and the tension of the first film. I felt that this was a worthy sequel - on par with the first one, and if you enjoyed that one, then you will enjoy this one as well. (I did!)
As with a lot of horror sequels, it is not a necessity that you see the first film first.
(though if you are like me, you will want to watch any film series, in order)
That said, here's the trailer: