DEATH RIDE (AKA HAUNTED HIGHWAY)
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A man who was having an affair with a beautiful Japanese woman accidentally kills his wife after she finds out about them. He puts the body in the back of his car and goes on a very long ride to dump the body. On the way he encounters very strange incidents with ghosts. Is he going nuts or is this really happening to him?
Is it good movie?
I've got to be honest:this movie came off like a mediocre episode of Tales from the Crypt, only without the occasional funny gags. After accidentally killing his wife, Greg (Rand Gamble) begins to see her ghost from time to time and thus starts questioning his sanity. As such, he begins a long journey down a highway in hopes of dumping the corpse. After every stop, and there are many, he runs into someone who either helps or hinders his simple plan of getting to a lake to toss his wife. Mix in the Japanese mistress whose spirit shows up to taunt Greg and you get a story that doesn't seem to cut it in the end.
The only thing worse than the plot is the acting, especially our leading man, Rand Gamble. No matter what happens, whether he's being attacked by the ghost of his wife or being pulled over by a cop, he doesn't talk much and only uses the same visual expression over and over again. When he does talk, it's more like he's reading cue cards than trying to act. Very irritating, very dumb. Co-star Hinano Yoshikawa is equally as bad as well with her wooden acting. At least she's cute. The only good acting it seems comes from Laura Putney playing Greg's wife, and she's dead.
On the other side of the road, the directing by Junichi Suzuki is well done for the most part. He gets in some good angles and sets up a couple of scares well. Though the scares were lacking, what few were in here did make me jump, thank God for that.
Video / Audio
Haunted Highway needed a much better script and better leads to make it the least bit interesting to watch. There are a few moments where the film could've really taken off but after the quick scares we're back on the road, waiting for the next jump. If you're interested in a ghostly trip, I'd recommend Dead End. It has it's problems as well but it delivers more than this movie.
In the end, there's just not enough to make Haunted Highway worth the ride to the rental store.