TW: This review discusses subject of rape with a supernatural context.
Imagine just minding your business one day and taking an interest in fixing vintage cars. Imagine one day buying up 1978 Camaro from a couple of cads and later that evening realizing the car has something of a mind of its own. Now imagine just taking a damn seat to get a closer look at the driver-side door only to get taken captive and held akimbo by the seatbelts, and fighting for your life against a creepy hand reaching for your itty bits from within the vehicles bowels, as it sits idly while roaring its engine…
That’s precisely the predicament the main character played by Celina Bernstein faces in Ride Baby Ride, a short story by filmmaker Sofie Somoroff which has been on the road for over two dozen film festivals and counting. Backed by the MovieMaker Magazine production services program, the film is billed as a “spin on the rape-revenge subgenre” with very little dialogue to accomodate the story. The result is something just a little smarter as there isn’t a whole lot to be said when dealing with demon car holding you against your will and knowing you have to kill whatever it is that’s trying to harm you.
I didn’t see the trailer when Somoroff contacted me, so went into Ride Baby Ride pretty blind as to what to expect apart from the film’s description. Horror isn’t my go-to for movie consumption most days, but it is a fun little area to dabble in at times, especially when the story involves underdog heroes battling supernatural entities with gory and gruesome resolve, and with a strong social commentary that resonates so widely with audiences.
You’re welcome to draw your own comparisons in terms of what titles the “possessed car” subgenre underscores for you. I was reminded a bit of Steven Spielberg’s Duel, which certainly enlivens my interest some in seeing an adrenaline pumping action horror some day about a woman forced to battle a haunted car that stalks her until she has no choice but to go head to head within until only one victor remains. With Somoroff just over a dozen years in her field and having worked on a few major shows in recent memory, I wouldn’t put it past her to take a concept like Ride Baby Ride and hit the gas with it in a feature production someday.
For now, we get an intense, proper nailbiter condensed in all of seven minutes, capped off with intense performances to match its brooding energy and chilling imagery. In a time when duty calls for films like Promising Young Woman and Natasha Halevi’s post-Roe anthology Give Me An A to take the stage, Somoroff’s latest is a welcome feat for the masses.
Ride Baby Ride is slated to release exclusively on Alter beginning March 11, and will next screen for the Landshut Short Film Festival on Saturday, March 16. Visit Somoroff’s official website for more info. Special thanks to Sam Fox (Fck’n Nuts) for connecting us!
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.