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Wrong Turn (2003)
| Directed by:
Late for a
meeting and stuck in traffic, medical student and professional brooder
Chris (Harrington) takes a back woods road as a short cut and accidentally
crashes into another car belonging to two couples and a tough chickadee (Dushku).
Our fashionably dressed gang find themselves stranded in the woods and
luckily for us, three deformed, inbred psycho loonies are there to keep
them warm and fuzzy company. Take out the axe and give out some loving!
are never going into the woods again!"--
first words that came out of my mouth when leaving "Wrong Turn"
were: "GOOD SHITE" and "I HAD A BLAST"! I could stop
my review right here, but I’ll expand. This throwback to shameless
70’s style cannibal-family-on-the-rampage horror didn’t reinvent the
torture table or bring much fresh meat to the grind, but it came out a big
winner via a rock solid execution and an emphasis on an element that is
always heart-warming to witness in this type of bloody bon-bon:
the wide ass smile gracing my smug face throughout this watch were mostly
derived from the film’s exploitive sugar which was heavily sprinkled
about. It got all the right reactions out of me. I can’t count how many
times I jumped in my seat, reacted loudly to a kill or wiggled around in
gleeful anticipation as to what was going to go down next. The enthralling
action scenes undeniably pushed all of my right “horror cum” buttons
with the extensive stalk-and-hide “tree” jamboree serving as the
highlight. That bit was definitely one for the bloody books! YEAH! The
ample and “realistic” gore found in this madhouse also hit the spot in
its extreme and refreshingly graphic nature (all about that decapitation).
Tag to all that, a suspense quotient that was jacked up to HIGH volume and
you get one intense buck and half.
a character level, some of the players were “whatever” and it was very
easy to pick out who would live and who would die…even in what order.
Having said that, I had a riot playing the guessing game, being right all
the time and watching the kids consequently checking out in messy ways. We
all get our kicks in different ways compadres! Of the lot, my fav player
was Chris (Harrington) who had my vote for the hippest cat in this gory
litter. The man was a take charge, kool as ice, brave mofo and I was
rooting for him like a cheerleader on speed. I also dug ”peace and
love” Scott (played by the always money Jeremy Sisto) who had all the
funniest lines as well. Eliza Dusku (playing Jesse) surprisingly didn’t
have much to toy with in terms of characterization, as her white tank top
and tight Jeans had more depth than her character. That being said, the
last time I checked...that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I loved her
every moment on-screen and so did the animal in my pants. Lastly we had
the big bad rabid fruitcakes in the yard. Props goes out to Stan Winston
for creating a credible and frightening deformed family and to director
Schmidt for knowing how much to show and not to show in order to retain
the fear they should provoke in the audience. There was nothing complex
about these relentless bums and I appreciated that-- they were stupid,
ugly and enjoyed killing...a lot. My kind of nutballs!
let’s face it, this isn’t “Hamlet” we’re talking about
here...it’s a dirty horror sandwich that goes heavy on the sauce and the
spices as it damn should. So even though the dialogue blew at times (if I
hear “Hello, anybody here?” one more time...I’ll kill Ronald
MacDonald), the characters made stupid moves (the tower…yeah,
guys…great idea) and typical horror conventions were followed to a T
(you give head…you RIP), it didn’t bother me much. Horror clichés and
a cheesy vibe are not always negative for me, they’re part of the genre
that I love and in some sittings...they’re part of the fun. This was one
of those times.
"Wrong Turn" was a balls-to-the-wall horror ride that didn’t
shy away from the goodies. What I got dealt here was a gripping,
unapologetic genre film that occasionally wound up being really fun when
it was bad-- in other words, it was hard for this one to fail in my eyes
since I got so many different levels of enjoyment out of it. Ugly and
scary mountain-men? Check! Lots of potent scares and nasty spills? Check!
Hot teen chicks in minimal clothing? Check!! Intentional and unintentional
laughs? Check!!! What else do you want in a horror whore? I don’t know
about you, but I’m one happy camper. Viva Wrong Turn!
Harrington (Chris) underplayed it and his character’s strength really
appealed to me. Class act. Eliza Dushku (Jesse) could’ve been playing a
sheep and I still would’ve loved her. Her character was thinner than ice,
but her magnetism and her hot looks kept my eyes glued. Emmanuelle Chriqui
(Carly) showed off a solid delivery and one cute belly button. Jeremy
Sisto (Scott) was mucho endearing and funny as hell. He made the bad lines
sound good. I love this dude! Keep doing horror movies buddy! Linda Booth
(Francine) didn’t have much to do here, but look yummy and did an
awesome job at it. Linda, call me….I’m not kidding…call me. No, you
don’t get it honey…CALL ME!
How do I love
my plasma...let me count the ways: dismembered bodies, arrows in the back,
an arrow in the head (you bet!), barbed wire choking, a priceless
decapitation and more! This one will give boners to gore hounds.
didn’t get any blatant female nudity but hey man, can you go wrong with
Linda Booth teasing us with her oranges and looking damn fine? Can you
fail with Emmanuelle Chriqui displaying cleavage and that scrumptious
belly button proudly? I didn’t think so. The ladies get Desmond
Harrington’s flawless tan and Jeremy Sisto’s wild hair.
did a bang-on job here, keeping it simple to maximize the impact of the
film, while at times displaying the occasional “stylish” shot. There
was definitely a gritty 70’s feel to the movie and it charmed the pants
out of me. Add to that, a strong handle on delivering nail-biting tension
and you get a well-rounded directing show. Good work Taco...do more
score by Elia Cmiral was effective most of the way, but kind of went tacky
during the softer scenes. We also got a couple of “generic” rock
Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
October 14, 2003
The Widescreen 2.35:1 anamorphic image was enhanced for 16x9 TVs. The
image itself was crisp, the colors vibrant and the blacks solid. Grade A! We also get a Full Screen option.
SOUND: The Dolby
Digital 5.1 sound was clear and even. We also get a French - Dolby Digital
Commentary: Rob Schmidt, Desmond Harrington, Eliza
Dushku: This commentary had its fair share of
dead time. Schmidt was
the more verbal, giving us insight as to the film's style, the actors, the
cinematography and more. Dushku did warm up as the film moved along and
talked about her experience. As for Desmond, he was asleep at the wheel,
randomly mumbling or cracking jokes. Not much info from this lad. We also
get some trivia, some funny comments at the action on-screen, some meat
about the sets and the stunts. This wasn't the most gripping of
but if you give it time, it gets better as it progresses. Dead time phobics
Featurette- Making of Wrong Turn:
This tightly edited feature acts as an extended ad
for the film with clips, on-set footage and cast and crew comments all
A harmless and entertaining feature.
Eliza Dushku- Babe in the Woods:
Amidst some on-set footage, Rob
Schmidt and Stan Winston come in to kiss that
Dushku ass. Yes, they praise the gal to high heaven. Miss Dushku also
steps in to talk about her role, her experience and the stunts that she did.
Stan Winston Featurette: Mr.
Winston comes in to talk about how he got started in the effects business,
his evolution right up to becoming a producer. Stills of a young Winston
and clips from the film are cleverly inter-cut with the man's yapping. Groovy!
To get to the rest of the EXTRAS...flip the
disk over tiger!
Waterfall: This is an extended variation
of the Dushku-to-Desmond speech behind the waterfall. Here, it goes on
longer and ends with a passionate kiss. Kool scene, but I'm happy they
snipped it out. It would've stopped the pacing dead in its tracks.
Francine Kill: This
kill scene looked a lot like the one found in the film. If there was any
gore added to it, it must have been about a micro second. Disappointing.
Francine Kill Dailies: Here we get to
witness various takes of Francine (played by Linda Booth) getting the barb
wire in her mouth. Fun at first, but then becomes redundant.
Fresh Meat- The Wounds of Wrong Turn:
I call this feature "Quickie Wrong Turn 101"
where they cover many aspects of the film in a swift fashion. We get
insight as to the screenplay, how director Rob
Schmidt got the gig, the making of the
mountain men, the nature of the creatures, the making of the death scenes
and more. Speedy, informative and an easy watch.
We also get Poster Concept
(4 different poster variations) and the uncut
Fox wouldn't air on the big screen (pussies).
The "Wrong Turn" DVD is decent and
fans of the film will get a stab out of it. The audio/visual juice is top
notch! As for the extras, while there were many, some were decent, while others,
disappointing. I also would've liked to have heard comments from cast and
crew about the half-cocked treatment Fox gave the film upon its theatrical
release. None of that here. Overall the DVD was okay...could've been better,
but as is, just okay.
horror movies that I like to watch for high IQ and subtlety and there are
movies like "Wrong Turn" that are not necessarily the sharpest
tools in the shed, but that kick serious ass by awakening fear, shock,
tension, cheap laughs and outspoken “fuck yeahs” in yours truly. Sure,
for anybody that’s seen "TCM" and "Deliverance", you
won’t find much that’s original in terms of content here, but this
film took those known conventions and executed them with skill while
slapping in a strong dose of sadism and tasty horror cheese. I’m glad I
took this right turn and wound up seeing this ballsy, bad to the
bone popcorn funboy...it made my horror day!
the screenplay, Francine's corpse gets raped by the inbred clan. Too bad
that bit didn’t make the film.
B. McElroy wrote the screenplay.
Schmidt also directed "Crime
and Punishment in Suburbia".
my interview with director Rob Schmidt here
my interview with Emmanuelle Chriqui here
this movie on The Arrow's HORROR BOARD
back to the Arrow in the Head Homestead...
© 2003 John
Fallon All Rights Reserved JoBlo.com