New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.10: What NOT to Watch This Halloween: Dark Ride

I should’ve known that any movie the Sci-Fi Channel airs that’s not an established classic usually sucks ass. I wish I would’ve watched their presentation of After Dark Films 8 Films to Die For: Dark Ride (2006) before I unwittingly purchased the DVD.
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I admit I was enticed by hearing that there was finally a horror movie about a Dark Ride. Who doesn’t love Dark Rides? If it was up to me, when you walk into my condo you’re automatically invited onto a boat and take a dark ride through the place. The only catch is that the only way to get around the condo is to take the dark ride. I’d wake up in the morning with my pajamas on and my eyes half shut and take the boat over to the bathroom. I’d do my thing, wash my face, and then hop on again over to the kitchen for breakfast as I narrowly escape some robotic monsters trying to kill me. What? It’s time to go to work? This boat is damn slow and we aren’t even passed the walking corpses and the Pinhead animatronic display! I hope I make it to the front door in time! I know, I know…keep my feet and hands in the ride at all times. Forget that, we can do it cartoon style and I wouldn’t even have to take a real shower anymore. I’d hop on the boat and have water jets and soap spray me down after I go through the Dr. Satan exhibit. Shit, I may as well make the upstairs into a fountain of youth ride. Anything’s possible in dark rides, except for making a good movie about them.

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Now that’s acting!


Jamie Lynn Sigler was the real grabber for me in this one. I think her performance would’ve resonated more if she video conferenced all her scenes in from her bedroom at home. Her work on The Sopranos is masterful and glorious compared to the hack job she turned in on this film. What a mess! I’m usually a fan of really bad movies like this one, especially of the horror genre, but so much of this movie let me down. It seems like the casting folks on this film tried to get Sigler because of her eternal connection to her starring role as the daughter of a mob boss from New Jersey.

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Now that’s acting!

Being a lifelong native of New Jersey, I was excited to see that the movie was based in Asbury Park. The dark ride itself was in a haunted house on the boardwalk. One dark and spooky night a bunch of “meddling kids” broke into the attraction to pull a prank on Jamie Lynn Sigler’s cheating boyfriend. But as it turns out, there’s a killer on the loose that lives inside the Dark Ride! How much more dull can we be here? The male stars are actually the better actors in the film and that isn’t saying much.

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Now that’s acting!

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Now that’s acting!

Oh, and if you thought I was too harsh on Sigler’s performance, you have no clue what you’re in for with David Clayton Rogers performance. Here’s another idiot that thinks he’ll get further in his career if he has 2 first names. This kid redefines that old addage “don’t quit your day job.” Before he decided to become an actor I heard he would sneak into public ladies rooms and steal the money out of tampon machines. What a dick! That money benefits autistic children, doesn’t he know that? Despitef his previous career as a complete loser, someone actually let him be an actor. The fact that Hollywood is still letting him practice this craft is completely beyond me. I hope and pray to the Gods of Film that I never have to witness an atrocity such as David Clayton Rogers ever again. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish anything bad to happen to him, I just wish that he would realize he sucks and try his luck at another career. Isn’t there a Jack in the Box or a Carl’s Jr. you can work at?

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OK, I feel like I’m being too harsh. Dark Ride does have some redeemable qualities but what stunk most about this film is that it could’ve been so much more. Being from Jersey, I was blessed with some of the best haunted houses and dark rides ever. Take Castle Dracula in Wildwood or the haunted castle at Six Flags Great Adventure for instance would make great stories. Because of lame producers, filmmakers are constantly dumbing things down. This movie is not one that a fanboy, or an X-E fan would enjoy.

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After feeling guilty that they didn’t film in Jersey,
they flew their film crew to quickly take some footage of Asbury Park and The Stone Pony
Why didn’t the producers hire Weird NJ to hop on as consultants? Let’s talk urban legends, local myths, etc. Any film about the Jersey Devil has sucked and now they’re sucking any coolness out of dark rides from Jersey as well! C’mon…The Jersey Shore used to be famous for it’s haunted houses! It’s interesting to note that the majority of this movie wasn’t even filmed in New Jersey, but in Los Angeles and at the Santa Monica Pier. That’s most likely because it’s so damn expensive to film in Jersey.

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Horror Freak from Oregon on IMDB claims that he didn’t see the twist at the end coming at all. I think he may just be completely out of his mind. This was the most predictable movie, possibly as predictable as a Full House episode. I hate this movie so much, if I keep writing about it, I don’t think I’m ever going to want to blog again. So in an attempt to save my hobby from the clutches of the evil movie Dark Ride, my little boat ride stops here.
  • Easily your best post ever 🙂

    … and buy the way, when I'm a gazillionaire, I'm stealing your idea and building a dark ride in my house.