A 20 year-old cult classic horror becomes a Top 10 streaming hit out of nowhere

Image via 20th Century Fox

It takes something special for a horror movie to find long-lasting life as a classic of either the genuine or cult variety, with so much content making itself available on an annual basis, much of which is fairly interchangeable and indistinguishable from the rest.

With that in mind, it comes as a shock to discover that 2001’s road trip gone wrong movie Joy Ride is currently the sixth most-watched title on Hulu, as per FlixPatrol. It wasn’t a huge hit at the time by any stretch, earning $36 million at the box office on a $23 million budget, but it’s clearly finding a whole new audience on streaming.

Paul Walker and Steve Zahn play a pair of siblings who find themselves caught up in a practical joke that yields dangerous and potentially deadly consequences, with Leelee Sobieski’s love interest roped up into the deadly game of cat-and-mouse after they incur the wrath of a vengeful trucker who goes by the handle Rusty Nail.

joy ride

Joy Ride proved popular enough to launch a pair of direct-to-video sequels that were happy to rehash the core concept over again, but they couldn’t come close to matching the original’s ratcheting tension and nail-biting thrills, which were deemed worthy of an impressive 74% Rotten Tomatoes score.

It’s an old school B-tier genre film that makes no bones about what it is, or what it aims to be, which is sometimes both the safest and smartest approach.

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Scott Campbell

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