Deception is a somewhat reprehensible crime when attempting to sell a film, especially when the movie uses the tagline "A new breed of chainsaw massacre", and there simply isn't much massacreing to be found in a said quantity.
"Hayride" tells the story of "Pitchfork", who is believed to be a made up serial killer in order to scare the local kids around Halloween, but Pitchfork's story is indeed true. You see he lost his mind while attempting to bring his wayward daughter back home after she ran off with her boyfriend. This caused Pitchfork to subsequently murder his wife, and then a Sheriff while being delivered to another jail while on a routine prisoner transfer.
We then blaze ahead (sarcasm alert - the movie slinks along at a snail's pace for the first 50 minutes) to get introduced to our other main characters, Steven & his girlfriend Amanda, whom are traveling into Alabama to visit Steven's Uncle Morgan (played by veteran actor Richard Tyson), while he prepares to set up his annual Halloween hayride that has become quite the local success in the past few years.
It's not too long after before Pitchfork makes his way to the farm area where the ride is held, and the gory-slaying can get underway...well, sort of..you see, there isn't a whole lot of on-screen kills to speak of here, and that's where the movie is sorely lacking - and the acting doesn't help much either. Tyson plays his character with a sleazy, creepy, almost-pedophiliac like-tendency that will make you think twice before leaving your kids with him for the day.
The odd thing is, is that Uncle Morgan isn't a creepy guy afterall, it's only how Tyson is portraying him (odd, huh ?) Our second acting display from hell comes from the lovebirds themselves, Steven & Amanda - they deliver lines as if they are reading them for the first time as the camera is rolling - and there isn't a shred of fear conveyed by either one, unless it's delivered in doses of inane screaming.
Finally, the biggest crime here is the lack of gore - now whether it was due to budget constraints, or heavy leaning by the ratings board, it is we the horror fans that are left to suffer - it's easy to rip & rage about a movie that peaks your interest, and then fails to deliver in every aspect. The sad point here is that this could have been so much more, but was marketed as a "throwback to 80's slasher films", when in actuality, all you would want to do is throw it back.....WAY BACK.
Another depressing side note is that there very well could be a sequel on the horizon - let's just hope that between now and whenever "Hayride II" goes into production, someone in the creative ranks receives a copy of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Slasher Films", and puts it to good use as a reference tool.