Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary by director Robert Schmidt,
Eliza Dushku and Desmond Harrington; Deleted scenes; Poster gallery;
When a group of teens take a wrong turn into the West Virginian
wilderness, they inadvertently find themselves being chased by
a trio of grossly disfigured, in-bred cannibals, prompting the
start of another Hollywood gore-fest aimed purely at appealing
to the blood-lust of hardened horror fans.
Ironic then, that it ends up being more funny than frightening,
despite the random violence which punctuates proceedings throughout.
Rob Schmidts film is the type of horror flick that is based
purely on other, far better, efforts, making its shortcomings
all the more noticeable by comparison.
In a self-referential highpoint, one of the soon-to-be victims
actually warns his colleagues, havent you heard about
a little film called Deliverance, but his words go unheeded,
as most of the entourage quickly find themselves on the menu.
Aside from John Boormans redneck nightmare, Wrong Turn
also takes in The Last House on the Left, as well as The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, without ever coming close to realising
the fear factor of any.
Desmond Harrington stars as the unwitting hero of the piece,
who is forced to face up to the secrets of the backwoods after
crashing into a car full of teens, comprised of Eliza Dushkus
heartbroken loner and her supportive friends.
Their ensuing search for help leads them into a house in the
middle of nowhere, inhabited by the disfigured mutants, who prefer
to despatch their victims with knives and hacksaws, rather than
the chainsaw preferred by Mr Leatherface himself.
Hence, when not watching their friends being carved up and dismembered,
the survivors are running and screaming through the trees, along
the way to the inevitable confrontations.
Taken with a pinch of salt, there is some fun to be had if you
make that wrong turn into the movie theatre, but those seeking
genuine chills are likely to feel cheated.
The best horror films thrive on their ability to make viewers
feel uncomfortable, while forcing that chill to run down your
spine. Hence, the likes of The Blair Witch Project, or even The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, score points with their low-budget feel
and the way in which they play up the psychological terror - allowing
your mind to run riot by not showing too much.
Wrong Turn gets lost in its desire to show everything - coming
across as a horror movie for the MTV generation, with some sharp
cinematography, too many failed references, too few characters
to root for, and its penchant for gore.
Its central freaks - the creatively named Saw-Tooth, One-Eye
and Three Finger - also dont appear frightening, with one,
in particular, appearing like the long lost brother of the
Two Towers Gollum, and generating chuckles as a result.
One can only feel sorry for the West Virginian tourist board,
who must now be tiring of seeing everyone portrayed as either
a redneck degenerate, or, worse, a dopey member of the sherriffs
department who is unable, even, to save the day!