‘Rideshare’ (2018) Movie Review: Killer Confessions Of A Pseudo-Uber Driver

With the rise in popularity of tech companies like Uber, Airbnb, GrubHub and Lyft, we now hold the definition of cheap and convenient at our fingertips. Whether it be ordering takeout delivery, booking a cheap room for vacation or hailing a stranger to act as your chauffeur, fulfillment of our needs and desires are merely a few clicks away. This expediency, however, comes with a morbidly heavy price for some self-absorbed customers in filmmaker Tremain Hayhoe’s feature horror debut, Rideshare.

Starring as a rideshare driver named Jason, Bradley Laborman embraces his inner Fight Club narrator as he motors one toxic, narcissistic passenger after another through the streets of Los Angeles. However, rather than knockout these annoying rideshare users with a one-two punch in an underground fighting ring, this sociopath uses sedative-laced water and food offered to his victims… err, customers. After offing a babbling brunette named Susie (Caitlin O’Connor) and her boyfriend Sam (Rucka Rucka Ali), Jason continues his night of creepy, murderous intent. But it isn’t long before the City of Angels takes notice attracting the attention of local media and authorities.

If you’re looking for a gorefest of blood, piss, vomit and feces, you won’t find it here. I know. This disappointed the grotesque-loving gorehound side of me as well. However, Rideshare still retains a creepy, relevant appeal through potential, real-life horror wrapped in narration and dialogue topped with a mean-spirited mirror to society.

Syd Wilder as Alissa in Rideshare

Expressing disdain for our shallow, self-obsessed way of life, Jason narrates his loathsome perspective of Hollywood, the part of L.A. in which he resides. As Rideshare transitions into an Uber version of HBO’s Taxicap Confessions, this murderous driver’s verbalized points are painfully validated one passenger at a time. A stereotypical frat boy pretends to bond with Jason while openly gloating about his manipulation and mistreatment of women. Susie, the babbling brunette previously mentioned, cannot stop talking about how considerate and kind she is as a person while disregarding her boyfriend’s existence. A superficial, yet edgy musician named Spankie Valentine showcases an inflated ego of superiority while another social media-obsessed passenger named Anna (Madeleine Wade ) obnoxiously wields the power of her virtual platform.

Although toxicity seems to be in abundance in the streets of L.A., not everyone fits this mold. One passenger named Trace (Alex Farnham) unexpectedly challenges Jason’s idea that society is full of oblivious idiots. Bearing a strong resemblance to Brandon Lee’s Eric in The Crow, Trace appears to fit the gothic emo “I’m misunderstood” stereotype. Learning that appearances can be deceiving, Jason finds himself in an intellectual and engaging conversation making Trace the far most likable character in Rideshare.

However, this does not stop the driver from killing other passengers. One such vile narcissist finds herself at the bottom of the ocean while another is mowed down with Jason’s car before she is finished off with a dashboard hula girl shoved down her throat.

Joshua Lee Young as Josh and Max Weisz as Max in Rideshare

As if death by hula girl is not strange enough, events take an even weirder turn when Jason takes a break from his murder spree. Visiting Pam (Elisabeth-Steen Nokleberg), who is presumed to be his gorgeous lover, there seems to be more to Jason than his awkward persona. How can a cynical pessimist who has clearly become unhinged receive the love of a woman like Pam? Perhaps Trace’s look is not the only deceiving appearance in Rideshare.

While Hayhoe’s horror debut is unnervingly close to potential real-life misuse of popular rideshare and service apps, seasoned with social criticism and a touch of humor, it isn’t without flaws. Although an attempt is made at giving Jason an angle, motive for his madness and layers as a character, the true reason behind his actions are never fully explained. Is he fueled by resentment? Has people’s inability to make meaningful connections with others simply caused him to snap? Or is Jason inherently deranged? Other questions that seem to go unanswered include the killer driver’s M.O. as he kills some passengers, while some only seemed to be drugged and others allowed to walk free unwittingly escaping a deadly fate.

Spankie Valentine as Spankie Valentine in Rideshare

Watch Rideshare on Amazon now!

Another element that works very well in Rideshare is Jason’s multiple use of Hitch, the rideshare service app featured in the film. Not only does this allow him to target passengers, but it is used as a pseudo-Uber Eats to go after an unsuspecting customer to whom he delivers food. This could have been taken further by delightfully incorporating a pseudo-Airbnb app service, which could have taken the plot in a multitude of different, thrilling directions. And, just to spice things up, more creativity with death scenes in conjunction with special effects could have done wonders in adding to the thrills, shrills and threats within the overall film.

Bradley Laborman in Rideshare

Shortcomings and what-could-have-beens aside, Rideshare is a commendable low-budget indie horror with an exceptional cast performance, especially for a free, full-feature YouTube release. You read that right. Hayhoe’s deadly debut can be seen in its entirety FREE OF CHARGE by clicking the link below. Give it a whirl. You’ll never look at your rideshare driver the same way again.

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