Ride Baby Ride Poster

Ride Baby Ride (2023) Review

Ride Baby Ride opens with a cut from a shot of a muscle car engine to a pair of nameless guys who might as well be named Creep #1 (Anthony Richard Pagliaro, Amityville Uprising, Who’s Stalking Me?) and Creep #2 (Sam H. Clauder II, Rebirth: The Revenge of Billionaire’s Wife, Night Eyes II), The audience, like the equally unnamed mechanic (Celina Bernstein, The Blue Period, Vol. 1, The Perfect Place to Cry) is subjected to their leering and comments while she makes an offer on the car they’re selling, a 1978 Camaro that’s very definitely seen better days.

But getting away from these two isn’t the end of her problems, the car has a personality just as ugly as theirs. And a lot more lethal.

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Writer/director Sofie Somoroff (Love Is a Fire, Recollection) has created a tight, seven minute variation on Christine, pitting the film’s heroine against a demonic vehicle in what Somoroff refers to as a variation on the rape/revenge genre. The Camaro being out for more than just blood would certainly fit with the personality of its former owners. And is reinforced by the timing of the car’s leaking fluids, which certainly does seem to something other than coincidental. As one commenter on YouTube put it, “This was the first time I’ve seen a car j1zz.”

And just like in I Spit on Your Grave or any of its legion of sequels and imitators, the real fun in Ride Baby Ride comes from watching as the not so helpless victim fights back and turns the tables on her assailant. And the film’s nameless protagonist does just that, displaying a toughness and refusal to become a victim that sets up the film’s tension filled clash of wills.

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As an exercise in horror, Ride Baby Ride is a solid little film. Apart from its script and direction, the film benefits from a strong and almost silent performance by Celina Bernstein as the car’s adversary. It’s capped off with cinematography by Gemma Doll-Grossman (Inferno Rosso: Joe D’Amato on the Road of Excess, Squawk) that emphasizes the garage’s claustrophobic nature, and renders the car’s interior a trap within a trap.

I do wish that Somoroff could have included some backstory for Ride Baby Ride’s automotive antagonist. The film left me with several questions, what was haunting the car? Was it a manifestation of the previous owner’s misogyny? Or, as in Christine, was it the car that did the corrupting? While knowing that isn’t necessary to enjoying the film, it could have heightened the stakes and made the struggle more intense.

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But apart from that, there’s little to complain about here. Ride Baby Ride delivers a tense story with a message about standing up to abuse. A message that, while it comes across clearly, doesn’t overwhelm the story or the scares. It’s too bad that, judging by the comments its receiving on YouTube, so many viewers are missing it.

Ride Baby Ride is available as a free watch on Alter’s YouTube channel.

YouTube video
Our Score

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