New Line Cinema
High school is a rough time for everybody. There’s piles of homework to get done while having a part time job, dealing with your first relationships and broken hearts, trying to nail down that perfect extracurricular record, wondering if you’re cool enough (or punk enough) and that whole deal where a psychopath killer wants to axe you and everyone you know. Ugh, nobody understands teens. This was covered in The Fault in Our Stars, right?
Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, the writing duo who penned Neighbors, are bringing us a teen horror comedy called Thrill Ride, which Cohen will also direct. In the grandest of traditions, a graduating class of truly atrocious teenagers set off for their Senior Night at an amusement park, which their school has generously rented out for the entire night (mine was at Disneyland, where legend has it some kids dropped acid on the Matterhorn and in a later year an intrepid couple got kicked out for having sex inside the Haunted Mansion).
Because the first rule of Senior Night is there are no rules, mayhem reigns and the kids have some good ol’ fashioned fun taking advantage of the park with no lines and nobody telling them what to do. Let’s preface this with the note that the school is inhabited by terrible, ruthless monsters, as in it’s being described as a “particularly cruel high school where bullying has become the norm.” Suddenly, the merriment is over and the kids start dying in a spectacular fashion that becomes more and more elaborate.
Because there’s nothing better than a slasher with a cause, our killer has a fantastic purpose: he’s actually an advocate for anti-bullying, when you think about it. You see, he seals the exits, makes the rides go haywire and destroys the meanies still recounting how totally rad it was when they threw a nerd into a dumpster yesterday. His murder rampage is a punishment for their misdeeds, and so the students decide that now they’ll all get along (real convenient, guys) to take him down.
Deadline describes the film as a comedy-horror in the company of This Is the End or Scream, which is valid – save for the fact that This Is the End wasn’t exactly meant to be scary – but it seems like there’s also some veins of Final Destination in there. There’s no supernatural force condemning the teens to die because they once cheated death, per say, yet those fantastical, insane ways that the slasher kills them off sounds just a little reminiscent of say, having a premonition that the hydraulics fail on a roller coaster, causing it to derail and kill you and all your friends onboard.
The difference is that Thrill Ride is also a comedy, and that’s going to be interesting to see when the kid who dissed you in homeroom is apparently getting impaled on the tilt-a-whirl. Buckle up.