1 September 2007 | IAmNo4
Fantastic 70s Style Splatter Flick
Wrong Turn tells the story of Chris Flynn (Desmond Harrington), a doctor who gets stranded in the middle of nowhere after being late for an important meeting. In hopes of getting to his final destination in time, Chris takes a back road through the woods of West Virginia to avoid the traffic jam and accidentally crashes into a car which belongs to a group of friends led by the somewhat bitchy heroine, Jessie Burlingame (Eliza Dushku). Having two wrecked cars, the group decides to wander through the woods in hopes of getting help, unaware that they are about to get stalked and killed off one-by-one by a group of hideously deformed inbred family who has been living and feeding with human flesh in that area for more than 30 years.
Having seen the film countless times before, I was always strangely fascinated by it, but I never truly understood why. I did always love it, but there was always something about it I just really dug. Having seen the film again now, I've finally realized what, and the reason is very simple - the film is just a very well-done homage to all those bad-ass 70s Horror films, and just combines the highlights of those flicks in one simple and highly-enjoyable Slasher film.
Another reason why I probably like this movie so much is because of its fantastic and unique eerie atmosphere. Throughout the whole movie you repeatedly get that uncomfortable feeling of being watched by someone, and the scares which constantly appear through the movie just add to the atmosphere. The tension and the special effects are very well done too thanks to Stan Winston who creates a really disgusting and menacing inbred family, but he does it so good you don't even look at them in that way; sure they are scary as hell and look horribly deformed, but beneath that all you still do realize they are all just a bunch of humans, well at least sort of.
The cast is really good too. The two leads, Desmond Harrington and the lovely and talented Eliza Dushku, do an amazing job here and since they both play likable, strong characters, you really root for them and want to see them live. The other cast members, Jeremy Sisto, Lindy Booth and Kevin Zegers, are all great actors, but they don't have really much to work with here since their characters are basically wasted, though Emanuelle Chriqui really stands out and plays the supporting female lead role very good and convincing. Even though you already know from the start who is going to survive, there's still plenty of tension and scares present throughout the whole movie, so if you think this is just another typical, gory Slasher flick - think again.
One thing I'm very impressed with here is the directing. Schmidt does a terrific job, and you can say he's a horror geek by just watching several clips from the movie. We get some "Deliverance" references now and then, a little bit of "Last House on the Left", "The Hills Have Eyes", "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre", and loads more. The kills are very effective and absolutely gory too, so if you are a fan of brutal death scenes, you will almost definitely dig the deaths.
The film does have some weak points though. Some of the dialog is a bit cheesy in parts, and the ending is really predictable, clichéd, and a bit rushed if you ask me, but the film still really impressed me and is definitely one of my favorite movies now.
So in short - Wrong Turn is a movie you either love or hate. I definitely belong to the first group for a couple of reasons, and even though I do realize Wrong Turn is not the best film ever, I love every second of it for one simple reason - it's a simple, highly enjoyable and scary no-brain throwback to 70s Horror movies, so if you're just looking for a fun and gory Horror film, Wrong Turn is then definitely a right turn, and an amazing film you should definitely not miss! Highly recommended.