With a title like The Rideshare Killer, you would be expecting an uber exciting thriller that would give your dull evening a lyft, right? I know I was until the film’s opening five minutes delivered two of the weakest kills I’ve seen in a long time. The first victim is even nice enough to stop his car in the middle of the road so it won’t crash while he’s being strangled.
Meanwhile, Julia (Tuesday Knight, The Amityville Moon, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master), Naomi (Victoria De Mare, The 27 Club, The Prototype), and Lorraine (Croix Provence, Nightgaze, Back in the No) along with Julia’s father Reginald (Jeffry Druce, Blue Sunshine, Scream Test) are getting ready to take their rideshare company, Rock n Ride public.
There’s just one problem, that guy we saw strangled at the start was one of their drivers. And now the killer is using his car to claim more victims. Something that is disproving the phrase there’s no such thing as bad publicity. With the police, led by Lieutenant Moyer (Eric Roberts, The Electric Man, The Surprise Visit) no help Julia may have to risk her life to save her company.
There has already been plenty of horror and thriller films centered around rideshares, From Spree to Night Drive and The Toll. Writer/director Ashley Scott Meyers (The Pinch, Snake Outta Compton) said that The Rideshare Killer was “A mystery/thriller feature film that pays homage to the great Italian Giallo films from the ’60s and ’70s but with a modern twist.” and that got me to revisit the subgenre. Unfortunately, it takes more than having the killer wear leather gloves to make a film a Giallo.
While Giallos do have a mystery element to them, they are horror films and are generally considered a forerunner of slashers. The Rideshare Killer isn’t a horror film to any real degree and it’s not much of a mystery either. It’s more of a thriller with a side order of drama about women entrepreneurs and the problems they face from not being taken seriously to sexual harassment. Unfortunately the two elements never really gel and the drama seems shoehorned into the film.
While it is possible to pull off a film like this on the kind of low budget this was made for, you need to have enough suspects to create a mystery. Of the three that The Rideshare Killer offers up, two are obviously the wrong build to be the killer and the other ends up dead by the start of act three. This means the killer ends up being an out-of-left-field choice you have no way of figuring out.
Not that it really matters I suppose, The Rideshare Killer’s characters are so poorly defined they could almost be interchangeable. About as far as the characterization goes is having one of the female leads sideline as a Dominatrix. And that seems to be there only so there can be restraints available during the final act.
The Rideshare Killer also lacks any kind of buildup or suspense to its murders. And, since the killer is a strangler there are no gore effects except a very brief flash of CGI during the film’s final showdown. There’s really not much to do except check out Oliver Robins from the original Poltergeist and its first sequel, Todd Senofonte who was Van Damme’s double in about a dozen films including Pound of Flesh and Sudden Death in small roles.
The Rideshare Killer is a major disappointment, Meyers’ other film as a writer/director, The Pinch was a solid thriller, and the two features I’ve seen where he has a writer’s credit were both fun watches. Unfortunately, he’s totally missed the boat here.
Indie Rights Films has released The Rideshare Killer to Digital platforms including free with ads on Tubi for those who live where it’s available. But you’ll probably be better off heading over to FilmTagger and looking for something else.