Since the mid-20th century, the car has been an extension of the American body. It is a home away from home and a way to both protect ourselves while carefully selecting who we bring into this little mobile compartment. When there’s a breach of that trusted space, a car can quickly become a pressure cooker thanks to the presence of an intruder. Sometimes that intruder is played for laughs and other times it’s played for horror. But in both instances, the car becomes a sacred space of sorts where tranquility is punctured by one of the passengers.
In Quibi’s new series The Stranger, a ride-share driver (Maika Monroe) has her sense of security punctured by a psychotic fare (Dane DeHaan) who has her at his mercy. He’s a menacing, toxic killer with violent intentions, and it all begins with a car ride.
This got us thinking about other unpleasant trips where the malevolent force is coming from inside the car. Sometimes it’s the driver and sometimes it’s a passenger, but no matter the circumstances, these rides become deeply unpleasant thanks to these five characters.