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Beware of Three-Finger!
Wrong Turn (DVD)
Member Name: angelboouk
Wrong Turn (DVD)
Advantages: enjoyable, good acting, cool killings
Disadvantages: isn't worthy of an 18 rating
Released : 2003
Running Time : 84 minutes
Director : Rob Schmidt
Rating : 18
Availability : currently priced from 1p (used) to £4.54 (new) on Amazon. A five DVD boxset is also available priced at £17.00.
Wrong Turn is the first installment of five films. It starts of with a couple rock climbing and meeting an untimely death. Fast forward a bit and Chris Flynn is on his way to an interview. He has to take a detour through the mountains of West Virginia as there is a blockage on the highway. He accidently crashes into a car and hooks up with a group of five friends. With two damaged cars, the group splits up to find help. The group are completely unaware of the cannibalistic, inbred men who live in the forrest. Who will survive?
Chris Flynn - Desmond Harrington
Jessie - Eliza Dushku
Carly - Emmanuelle Chriqui
Scott - Jeremy Sisto
Evan - Kevin Zegers
Francine - Lindy Booth
Three Finger - Julian Richings
Saw-Tooth - Garry Robbins
One-Eye - Ted Clark
My Wrong Turn DVD came as part of a box set of DVDs including two starring Desmond Harrington. I am quite fond of him as an actor and like The Hole and Ghost Ship (films where he plays a main role). There have now been five Wrong Turn films released and I would say that the first one was probably one of the best. The films have gradually become a bit more bizarre each time.
As far as hillbilly/mountain men films go, this one is just as good as The Hills Have Eyes. Aside from Desmond Harrington, the other cast members are unknown to me. I would say Chris Flynn (Harrington) has the main role anyway and is well used throughout the film. The plot is good but not unheard of or unique. It is based around a group of youngsters becoming lost in the forest and being hunted. The forest/mountain setting gives an instant indication that this is going to be a creepy film with plenty of gore and it really doesn't disappoint in this respect.
The film starts well with the rock climbing murder giving a good idea of what is to come in the film. Chris takes the lead role in his stride and takes charge of the group of youngsters. I can't say that many of the other character performances stand out as being spectacular. Carly is newly engaged to Scott and is rather irritating. She doesn't get the concept that you need to stay quiet to avoid being captured and is one of those typical, whining characters that everyone hates. Jessie gives a better performance and there is a good connection between her and Chris through the film. The other characters have relatively small roles and do not add much to the film in my opinion. I find that the surroundings and use of lighting and suspense music to be the main contributing factor to this film rather than the amazing acting.
The film develops well. It takes a short while for the film to pick up pace at the start but soon the group start to make some gruelling discoveries in a cabin within the woods. As time goes on, they become aware of the cannibals and are evidently scared and traumatised by what they witness. To be fair, I was quite sickened by some of the actions of the cannibals but not to the same extent as with similar films. I found this to be quite a freaky though not overly scary film. A particular uncomfortable scene was 'jaw dropping' and had me going 'ewwwww'.
Wrong Turn does have some suspense aspects. It is never quite known when the cannibals will sneak up on you. The cannibals or hillbillies themselves are quite funny. They are badly deformed through years of inbreeding and are exceptionally scrawny and ugly. Their laughs are highly irritating and echo through the forest at regular intervals. I know this was probably to alert the group that they were nearby and to be very scared indeed. With this being the first Wrong Turn film, I feel it would have been better to add a bit of background history of how these mountain men came to be who they are.
This film relies heavily on violence, slashings and general nastiness. The cannibals rely on axes, bows and arrows and other awful contraptions to lure and kill their prey. I feel that the murders were quite varied rather than predictable and samey like with other films. This definitely makes the film more appealing and it doesn't becoming boring. There is a lot of blood and gore in the film and whilst it isn't as awful and visual as with other slasher films, it isn't for the faint hearted.
As far as hillbilly films go, Wrong Turn does have a sense of realism. The group do exactly what most would do when faced with being chased by a bunch of inbreds with no where to go except further into the forest. The fear factor is there and executed well in my opinion. The film comes to a fine and satisfying conclusion. The follow up films, whilst based around the cannibals, do not feature any of the original cast except for Three Finger (who is played by a different actor) and are quite different in terms of plot.
I have watched this film on several occasions and really never tire of it. I find it entertaining yet mildly scary. The first time I watched it was as part of a DVD night with several others and we enjoyed it but I am fine watching it myself. I find it to be well directed and acted but not entirely original.
The 18 rating is a little too high in my opinion. Aside from the blood and gore, there is a mild reference to sex, some swearing and drug taking but nothing particularly offensive to someone of a slightly younger age.
I would recommend Wrong Turn but don't expect anything outstanding or new.
Thanks for reading :)
Summary: taking a wrong turn can be deadly..