Wrong Turn (2003) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Wrong Turn (2003) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on August 01st, 2020 | Movie Review | Survival, Mutant, Wilderness, Cannibalism, Wrong Turn Series

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It's about a group of people who get stranded in the backwoods of West Virginia, home to an inbred family of mutant mountain men.

Wrong Turn was directed by Rob Schmidt (who also directed The Alphabet Killer and Right To Die) and stars Desmond Harrington (from Ghost Ship and The Hole), Eliza Dushku (from Eloise and Open Graves) and Emmanuelle Chriqui (from The Crow: Wicked Prayer and Alien Abduction: Incident In Lake County).

It's the last one you'll ever take.

  Wrong Turn takes place in Greenbrier Backcountry, West Virginia. A place that definitely was not plucked out of nowhere. The rural rugged mountains of West Virginia have long had a reputation for spawning isolated inbred mountain hermits. Back in the 1800's a couple of writers ventured into them there woods to find inspiration for a book and ended up finding more than they wanted. They found the area full of recluses living off the land. A group of missionaries went in around the same time who freaked and ran out after finding the place plagued with aggressive hillbillies who apparently lived stacked up on one another in homemade shacks. Of course, it was unfortunate that fiction writers and religious missionaries reported on them first, because both were later found to have exaggerated things and had tossed in the inbreeding part just for kicks. But, the reputation stuck and West Virginia is what it is, a place known for The Wild & Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (video below) and Wrong Turn.

Wrong Turn is a lot like A Nightmare on Elm Street, a serious horror that kicked off a franchise known for being over the top. It's also like Saw, a movie with next to no gore that started several sequels known for crazy torture porn. "Three Finger", the Freddy Krueger of Wrong Turn, is a very serious hermit who hunts people for food. He and his brothers "Saw Tooth" and "One Eye" do this out of necessity after a toxic chemical spill from a nearby paper mill deformed his whole family and wiped out all the wildlife. Later sequels have Three Finger running around like a cackling clown but in this first Wrong Turn the dude just wants to eat.

So, there's this guy who takes a wrong turn while trying to get somewhere, it doesn't really matter where, what matters is that he finds himself driving up the wrong dirt road in the wrong part of West Virginia. He got the bright idea to take the wrong turn from a creepy guy at an old gas station (just like in the original Hills Have Eyes). He comes across a stranded truck that had barbed wire tangled around its wheels (again, just like Hills Have Eyes) and while walking for help stumbles onto a boneyard full of old abandoned cars (also like in Hills Have Eyes). Wrong Turn is actually a lot like the Hills Have Eyes in many ways. The cool thing about it is they took Wes Craven's general concept of mutant cannibal killers and expanded it into their own creative direction. You can spot the similarities, but it's its own movie through and through. 

I had a fun time watching this one. It takes a simple concept and bashes it in the head. Three Finger and his mutant brothers were wild, the fact that they never speak one word is a cool touch and the acting on the side of the victims is solid. The pacing is steady throughout and there's definitely more than a few horrific moments. The homemade bloody body butcher shop comes to mind.

Worth Watching? 

Yeah I think so, Wrong Turn is hillbilly horror done right

Wrong Turn Review (2003) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

Wild and Wonderful West Virginia!

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