Movie Review: Hayride (2012) – Formulaic but a Solid Attempt at Indie Horror

I read somewhere that Indie books have, on average, higher ratings than books published  by the big six.

That sample was taken on books with a set minimum number of overall reviews also, and while I am sure it was written from a slightly ‘pro-indie’ perspective, it made interesting reading. The same cannot be said, it would seem, for Indie movies, which are viewed with a much more critical eye. Is it that indie filmmakers do not have the same skill as the big timers, or that the gulf in class between the two sets in the movie world (no pun intended) is larger than that  in the literary one? Or maybe we, as a movie going audience, have become too attached to effects and CGI, forgetting the true art of film making is not to be judged on budget alone?

That rather unconventional beginning to a review out of the way, let’s take a look at Indie horror movie ‘Hayride;’ (2012) Small town Alabama boy, Steven comes home from college specially for his Uncle’s (locally) famous Halloween hayride. Bringing his girlfriend Amanda with him. The opening scene sees the pair sitting in a BBQ joint and Steven tells her all about the creations his Uncle ‘Captain’ Morgan (and family) had come up with over the years, including the legend of Pitchfork, which was, for Steven, the one story to haunt his youth.

Richard Tyson - Aforementioned Uncle 'Captain' Morgan
Richard Tyson – Aforementioned Uncle ‘Captain’ Morgan

At the same time, a local murder escapes his prison and begins roaming the countryside being pursued by Detective (wait for the blisteringly original name)…. Loomis.

You can probably guess what happens… yes pitchfork comes to life and starts to pick off the people running and visiting the hayride.


The Mask of a Killer
The Mask of a Killer

The movie is, as I have mentioned, an indie production, and therefore the movie is low-budget, but if you look beyond that, the story is solid. The plot may have been formulaic, and apart from the final scene there are no real twists or turns, yet I enjoyed it. It would be rare for a film to really try and push any boundaries.

A killer strikes!!
A killer strikes!!

There was nothing tremendously original in it, and the kills were easily telegraphed and simply put together, but there was some nice editing and the score was fitting to the tone of the movie. The basic ‘driving force’ of the plot was guessable about half way through, but you had to oversee a small but potentially explainable plot hole.

The film won’t be setting the indie scene ablaze, but I have seen a lot worse made on a much higher budget. There was also a sequel made, cunningly titled Hayride 2, which I am just crazy enough to watch, but maybe not right away!



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