joy-ride
Image via 20th Century Fox

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

A 20 year-old horror thriller that's enjoyed a long life as a cult classic has exploded out of the wilderness to find streaming success.

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.

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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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