The Final Ride is a Canadian rideshare horror anthology in 3 parts. It has a strong foundation with strong performances but it’s way too long. Read our full The Final Ride review here!
In 1408, John Cusack’s Mike Enslin says, “Hotels are a naturally creepy place… Just think, how many people have slept in that bed before you? How many of them were sick? How many… died?”
Now, think about rideshare services, like Uber and Lyft: We actively choose to pay strangers to ride in their personal vehicles, without knowing who they are, where they have been, why there are stains on the seat cushions, and who has been in that vehicle…
That irking feeling you might be experiencing right now is what The Final Ride tapped into.
An anthology with either too many parts…
The Final Ride is a 3-part anthology film, interconnected by the rideshare driver, Jean (Keegan Chambers. In Part 1, Jean picks up Peter (Matthew Chisholm) and Monica (Annette Wozniak), who have learned that they have successfully closed on a new home, which has been vacant for years after the death of its former owner, Jimmy (Ry Barrett, who was exceptional in Open Your Eyes). When Peter discovers a series of 80s workout tapes (starring Jimmy), it becomes apparent why the house may have been on the market for so long.
In Part 2, Jean picks up Cody (Brent Baird) and Ray (Geoff Almond). After a few drinks at a bar, Ray convinces Cody to get that tattoo he’s “always wanted” at a mysterious tattoo parlor. The next morning, as Cody notices that his new tattoo is spreading to the rest of his body, he is terrified, especially as that parlor has disappeared.
In Part 3, Jean picks up Richard (Steve Kasan) and comes to suspect that Richard might be the recently discovered local serial killer. To her relief, Jean gets pulled over by the police, hoping that the officer can free her from her perceived danger. But, like rideshare, really anyone could be driving a vehicle that appears to be well-intended.
… or that was 90 minutes too long
Whenever a Canadian horror anthology (like The Final Ride) comes across my screen, I think of Darknet, the exceptional Canadian horror anthology television series that effectively interwove several stories in 25-minute episodes.
But perhaps Darknet set the bar too high, as I was less impressed with Mike McMurran’s 117-minute Final Ride. While the format may have felt unoriginal, The Final Ride would have been considerably more enjoyable as a Darknet-styled 30-minute cut.
The Final Ride has a strong foundation: three relatively interesting storylines, coupled with good performances from Chambers and Kasan.
However, being over twice as long as it should have been, there was little that the actors could do with a drawn-out screenplay, which begged for overacting so as to offset the global prolongation with faux upticks in tempo, unfortunately creating momentary absurdity that sullied the quality of the three storyboarded ideas.
For instance, a tattoo that keeps spreading (and the reason why) is a novel idea (at least based on my viewing history), but such intrigue was adulterated by subpar execution.
Watch The Final Ride on demand starting July 14
The Final Ride has redeeming qualities; it may even elicit thought as to how secure you really feel in an Uber or Lyft. To paraphrase Mike Enslin, “Rideshares are a naturally creepy form of transportation,” not only because of the concept but also the inherent connectedness it has created for humanity.
I’m intrigued by what McMurran will produce in the future, and perhaps this movie is worth viewing as merely a glimpse as to what that could be.
Recommendation: Stream it, but only after you’ve watched everything else in your queue (and without paying for it)
Writer & Director: Mike McMurray
Stars: Keegan Chambers, Annette Wozniak, Matthew Chisholm
An Anthology with three tales including the ghost of an 80’s fitness guru, a Tattoo that won’t stop spreading, and an Uber Driver that picks up her final customer for the night, not knowing that she’s in for the ride of her life.