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3.8 out of 5 stars
Wrong Turn
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 8, 2006
This movie is similar in tone to the recent remake of The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Although not nearly as gory as "Hills", the theme of mutation runs through both. During the opening credits, we see images and newspaper clippings reporting the mutations. This time, however, the mutations are due to good ol' fashioned inbreeding in the mountains of West Virginia, rather than from nuclear fallout.

The movie starts out with a decent scene. After the initial havoc is wreaked, you hear the haunting, maniacal laughter that will follow through the rest of the ride. Our main character, Chris, is running late for an appointment. He takes a "shortcut" and "runs" into a car containing two clueless guys, a redhead and two pieces of fine, stranded @ss. They go looking for a phone and stumble upon a shack that is reminiscent of the house in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: creepy, filthy, full of trash and hidden stashes of gore.. nasty.

This is where we get our first look at the maniac who is responsible for what we have been seeing in the woods. He is deformed and seemingly handicapped, mentally. We soon see, though, that he has two siblings (or friends) that join in on the fun. These three hideous grotesqueries spot the four remaining characters and the hunt is on!

These mutants are twisted. Their actions are as repulsive as they are unexplained. Stan Winston does a wonderful job of creating mutants that are not so freakish as to be ridiculous, but that are unsettling enough to make you cringe. You will very quickly despise these mutant characters for their lack of reason and unquenchable thirst for innocent blood.

The movie achieves a good level of suspense, with some good scares and a few nasty scenes. I will say that it turned out to be better than I was expecting it to be and for anyone who enjoyed "The Hills Have Eyes" or "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (not that this movie actually compares to TCM), you should at least check this movie out. The ending was not as strong or freaky as it probably should have been, but the movie is worth seeing.

The DVD includes a few very short featurettes.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 6, 2008
Jesse (Eliza Dushku) and her four friends (two other hot women - Filet and Ribeye, and two guys - Sirloin and Porterhouse), are on a trip in the wilderness of West Virginia when they run over some barbed-wire, destroying their car's tires. Soon thereafter, a young doctor named Chris rams their car. The six are stranded on a seemingly abandoned dirt road; however, they just happen to be trespassing.

The six interlopers are on the ol' Johnson land. Brothers Bubba (nicknamed Three Finger, he's the young one who likes to climb trees and laugh), Cletus (nicknamed Saw-Tooth, he's the middle one who's fond of archery), and big brother Bobby Ray (nicknamed One-Eye, he's the brain of the family who likes canning and preserving) soon see the six outsiders, and become rightfully enraged. Forced to fend for themselves from a young age - their parents dying young as a result of "bad genetics" - the three brothers were left with no other kin to help with cookin', cleanin', and learnin'. As a result of this harsh upbringing, and the fact that not one is smarter than the average chimp, they manage however they can, following in their family's traditions of inbreeding and cannibalism. Knowing only what they have picked up through trial and error, the brothers decide to not only defend their land, but also pick up lunch in the process.

The rest is predictable of most slasher flicks. The women drop clothes, get wet, and scream a lot. The men do heroically stupid things. Blood flies, and all the right people die miserable deaths. Incredible tension and struggle takes place, especially a great battle in the forest ceiling, as the three brothers defend their home valiantly, but ultimately unsuccessfully. In the end it's a heart-warming story of three misunderstood brothers who just happen to enjoy dismemberment and the taste of human flesh.

With great production value, believable gore, beautiful people like Eliza Dushku throughout, a hilarious cackle from Bubba, and a few great surprises, even those who don't appreciate the horror genre should like this one.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon December 8, 2003
I rented this film after viewing a trailer for it, because it had reminded me of two horror favorites: the film "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and an episode on the X Files about a backwoods inbred family. I was not disappointed, as it certainly seemed to be a cross between these two favorites.
While there were no real surprises, other than a very effective opening scene, the production values were first rate. The inbred family was certainly creepy and their house certainly was appropriately macabre and revolting, as befits such a family that enjoys dismembering and eating their victims. It is these hospitable folks that Eliza Dushku and her friends meet up with in the backwoods of West Virginia with predictable results.
The film simply offers a few thrills, some average acting, and, as I said, some first rate production values, thanks to film production veteran Stan Winston. It offers nothing more and nothing less, which is too bad, since it had those great production values going for it. The problem with the film is that it copied too much from other films without offering something of its own to give it that certain edge and make it memorable in its own right. Tobe Hooper did this better in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", as did the X Files television show. Still, notwithstanding its predictability, fans of the horror film genre should find this film enjoyable. It is, at the very least, worth a rental.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2007
"Wrong Turn" is familiar but potent horror material, as a shortcut down a little-used back road strands two cars - one carrying a group, the other a lone passenger - deep in the woods and away from phone lines or normal human habitation, and, unknown to the travellers, in the territory of a long-isolated band of inbred mountain cannibals. This kind of thing has been done a lot, and "Wrong Turn" doesn't re-invent the wheel, it just works that wheel better - much better compared to some of its peers - than 90% of the similar horror movies before or since. If you love the likes of the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" films (especially the early ones) or "The Hills Have Eyes" (original or remake, although the remake's my personal pick) you're going to enjoy "Wrong Turn"

It's not as extreme as most of the entries in the above-mentioned series, but it's not watered-down either; it's direct and violent at times, more focused on suspense at others, hitting a really good balance overall. One of the reasons it's better than much of its kin is that the larger budget (small by today's theatrical release standards; huge compared to many of the more obscure direct-to-video entries in its vein) is that it's able to attempt - and fully pull off - things that many of its peers probably couldn't even try: the cannibal assault on the wooden lookout tower high above the forest, for example. Well acted, great effects, great location for this kind of a movie in the vast, seemingly endless and seemingly so benign green forests; very taut and engaging. No horror fan should miss this.
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41 of 56 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 12, 2003
Chris Finn is late for an appointment and stops at a gas station to use the phone (doesn't work) and checks out a map that shows a dirt road that leads around the large traffic jam blocking the only highway to his destination. Taking this backwoods shortcut, a short way up the road he literally runs into another vehicle in the middle of the road. Two couples and the requisite single female are stranded there when their car ran over a strand of barbed wire seemingly placed in the road on purpose. Finn, the single woman, and one of the couples leave the scene of the accident to try and find assistance, leaving the other couple behind at their vehicle.
Now we have the formula of city folks looking for excitement in the country both stranded and divided, in the backwoods of West Virginia. Why would anyone look for a phone where there are no power lines whatsoever? Simple, to create this kind of suspense in a slasher/thriller movie in which the blood will soon fly and the city folks soon die.
Spectacular mutants, a squealing stupid girl, stupidly brave and clueless men, and some nice knife and axe work blend together to give us this bloodily entertaining movie with just the right allotments of gore, cheese, and stupidity. Definitely entertaining splatter for those who appreciate the genre.
Mmmmmmm. Long Pork. Don't check the fridge for any snacks!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2004
When I had seen a copy of 'Wrong Turn' in my local video store, I first had the thought that it might well be another dumb teens in trouble type of movie (this thought being a reflection of recent horror movies and not teens). Well, I rented the movie and must say that I was quite pleasantly surprised. 'Wrong Turn' to quite the contrary of expectations has characters that are intelligently written and smartly played by a distinguished cast. This movie sets up its premise with the introduction of one character which leads to an attempted shortcut to bypass a traffic jam and introduces the wrong turn and the other characters who also made the wrong turn. Using this as a starting point rather than introduce all of the characters at once allows for a natural character development which is not strained. Each of the players in this movie give a distinction to their characters making them quite likeable and not one-dimensional which gives believability and tension to their circumstances. The pace this movie sets moves at a steady rate that does not let you down or try to move too fast. This is the story of a group of young people (not teens) driving through West Virginia and end up making a wrong turn to avoid a traffic jam but rather end up running into a family of inbreeds who have no concept of right or wrong, animal or human. The only complaint I have with the film is the make-up job of the inbreeds, they look more like trolls; but that is a trivial complaint. 'Wrong Turn' makes the right moves and like its inspiration, 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', it could in its own right become a classic.-Bob
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2004
Wrong Turn is a solid horror flick, keeping you in suspense pretty much throughout the entire movie.
When 4 friends decide to blow off work and take their friend Jessie(Eliza Dushku) camping to get her mind off her recent break up with her boyfriend they find themselves in trouble when they run over some barbed wire and are stranded on the side of a backwoods road. At the same time Chris Flynn(Desmond Harrington) finds himself late to a big interview. Taking the same backroad he runs straight into the off roaded vehicle. As they look for help they come upon a house of back woods cannibals. Desperate and fearing for their lives, the horror surges as they find themselves relentlessly pursued by a force of evil beyond their imagination!
The acting is decent, for a horror film, the suspense is great, the feeling is eerie and there are some pretty nice killing scenes. While watching this movie I couldn't help but realize this movie somewhat resembled "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" which is one of my favorites and maybe that's why I enjoyed this particular film. Regardless if you are a fan of the horror genre make sure you see this movie, I don't think you'll be disappointed!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2003
After seeing this movie, I can't help but say "what [on Earth]was Fox thinking?" Don't take that the wrong way though, I'm wondering why they didn't have any faith in this movie and just decided to dump it into theaters without much promotion. Before the movie was released, the advanced buzz was bad, yet now I can't see why at all. The reviews actually aren't as terrible now that it's out. Audiences seem to be really enjoying it, and most horror/suspense fans either like/love it. I thought it looked like a good movie, but I wasn't expecting anything great. Then some early good reviews came out, and got me more excited for it. But even with that I never thought it would be as flat out excellent as it was. I'm really shocked, and very very pleased. The suspense is pretty much non-stop for the most part, and you should remain on the edge of your seat until the credits roll. You honestly never have the chance to be bored, and I found myself loving every minute of it. I kept wanting more and more, and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. I had a smile on my face throughout the movie, and I left with one too.
All of the performances were good. None of them were bad, none of them were great, but all of them were just as they needed to be for this kind of movie, and were all believable. Desmond Harrington (The Hole, My First Mister, Ghost Ship) gives a very solid performance, and after liking him in his previous movies, I can't say I was surprised. Eliza Dushku (Tv's Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Bring It On) was also really good, and I'd put her performance about on par with Harrington's. Both played cool, strong, take charge characters, and I found both believable and enjoyable. I'm not the biggest fan of Jeremy Sisto (HBO's Six Feet Under, May), but he really surprised me here, and played an altogether funny and likable guy. Emmanuelle Chriqui (100 Girls, On The Line) did what she had to do, and did it well. Lindy Booth (American Psycho 2) didn't have all that much to do, but she did deliver some funny lines. I was actually surprised not to see any of the over-the-top annoying characters that we usually see in teen horror films. Pretty much everyone involved here had me rooting for them. I never once thought "oh just kill them off already." Most of the time in horror movies like this, there's usually always at least one or two annoying characters that you wouldn't mind seeing bite the dust, but none of the characters here got under my skin like that.
Director Rob Schmidt did an excellent job, keeping it simple yet doing it in such a way that makes it seem great. I couldn't help but notice some of the very well done editing. Some cuts were just---so perfect. Academy Award winning character effects artist Stan Winston (Aliens, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2) also did a great job. The makeup effects on the "villains" was so realistic it was scary. I also have to give a hand to cinematographer John S. Bartley (The X-Files, Eight Legged Freaks). This film has some great shots and excellent scenery, it really felt like we were in the woods.
I was beginning to think I'd never see another truly great teen horror film again after Scream, that was until I made the "right turn" into this movie. As a horror fan, I couldn't help but fall in love. You just can't ask for much more in a horror film. Wrong Turn managed to get it right. It's just like the horror films of the 70's, although I think it's better than most of them, and it corrects some of the mistakes they made. It really makes me sad to know that a chopped up bore like Darkness Falls was released earlier this year and made more money than something that actually deserves it. Oh well, at least Wrong Turn is sure to be the one that gets remembered, and will easily have the bigger fanbase. While Darkness Falls will be the movie you warn people not to rent. For fans of horror and suspense, Wrong Turn is a MUST SEE. I just can't help but say "WOW, what a rush." On the way out of the theater it made me happy to hear people saying "I'm never going into the woods again." It actually had the opposite effect on me though, and now I really want to go camping. I didn't hear one bad comment, and I didn't notice anyone looking like they didn't like it. Most people seemed really excited, and just like me, had smiles on their faces.
Grade: 9/10 or A- or ****1/2 of *****
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2003
Have you seen WRONG TURN? Here is a pop quiz.. (multiple choice) The psycho's in question are? A. They are inbreed. B. They are insane. C. They store body parts in the fridge. D. They have a junkyard of past victims cars. (or) E. All of the above. If you picked E you're right! The filmmakers in the commentary compare the film to "TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE" & "DELIVERANCE", another movie it reminded me of was the 70's horror classic "THE HILLS HAVE EYES". Which I encorage you to check out if you haven't seen it. Something must also be said about the remarkable FX that are on display here. Make-up FX are top-notch thanks to Stan Winston Studios. Also there are computer FX that I wasn't aware of 'till I watched the featurettes, they are amazing as well. "WRONG TURN" is worth your time ..pick it up as your next purchase. Horror fans will be pleased.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2003
"Wrong turn" might not be cutting any new ground in its genre but it succeeds in what it wants to achieve as a film. Being a film that actually pays tribute to classics such as the "Texas chainsaw massacre", "The hills have eyes" or the 70s cult film "Deliverance" it will be inevitably compared to these and it will stand very well.

With the "familiar" theme of inbred humanoid-monstroid incest products living in the "woods" who hunt down a company of unfortunate teens who happen to be lost in "their" forest with the intent to use them as body parts for their gruesome collection, "Wrong Turn" is both edgy and entertaining with more emphasis on the latter.
It doesnt degenerate in an unwilling parody nor does it become a joke of itself because it's paced very well (the director rarely pulls the foot off the gas pedal) and because the cliches are actually working in favor of the film.
As the inbreds pursue their victims through the forest the characters that "fall" first happen (...) to be the most annoying. But the game is set before that when the lost teens find temporary refuge in the bizzarohouse of the inbreds and while hiding in there they witness mutilations, human parts in the fridge, and the brutal chopping-up of one of their own.
Where "Wrong turn" succeeds most is at the combination of humor with gore. It's not exactly simple to maintain a balance between these two but the film does walk the rope succesfully.
For fans of this genre this is more than a welcome addition.
Edgy, fun, pacey, and not cheesy it's a cool option for those Saturday night horror-video sessions with pizza.
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