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Wrong Turn (2003)

Reviewed on 2006 December 19

After a nice pre-credits setup, the movie follows lost businessman Chris Finn (Desmond Harrington), late for an interview and trying desperately to navigate his way through the mountains of West Virginia. After getting directions from a gas station owner that makes the guys from Deliverance look like GQ material, he decides on a shortcut…and runs into five campers. Scott and Carly (Jeremy Sisto and Emmanuelle Chriqui) just got engaged. Evan and Francine (Kevin Zegers and Lindy Booth) are there to party too, and the four brought their friend Jessie (Eliza Dushku) with them because they didn’t want her to miss out on the fun. Good thing for them. Her character was the only one of that lot that had a brain.

Chris and the campers have car trouble, and they’re in a world of hurt — they’re in such a remote area that their cell phones won’t work. They split up (come on, when is this ever a good idea?) and start trekking through the woods for shelter, or at least a working phone. Scott, Carly, Chris and Jessie find an implausibly creepy house and at this point most people without a death wish would go as far as they could in the opposite direction, but no, they go in because Carly has to pee. How would someone like this even go on such a hard-core camping trip? They’re in the middle of nowhere, she can run behind a bush, she can sneak behind one of the fifty zillion rusted cars rotting in the weedy front lawn, but no, she wants to go inside. Why would you assume this place even had plumbing? Though anyone else on the planet would write this off as a Very Bad Idea, they go in…

While the characters do stuff that leaves you open-mouthed, they’re at least nice enough. If the characters are dumb and mean, I want them to get whacked. The party’s over for me, because I’m just going to laugh when they go check out that noise by themselves or give that stranger they picked up by the mental institution a ride. Wrong Turn does have some good scares in it, and that’s what made it so frustrating. The house was actually very scary, but the audience deserved a better reason to see the inside of it. Plausibility aside, the acting was good, and the inbred cannibals are fantastic. Stan Winston’s people convincingly brought what look like a bunch of failed lab experiments to life.

Two chocolate morsels.


morsel morsel

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