Oh, the horror. The Masked Reviewer
hasn't seen a straight-up horror flick in quite a while. The trend
in Hollywood these days is to combine young, sexy, attractive people
with a few laughs and a lot of cat scares to produce frightening movies
(usually, frighteningly dull). You know what a cat scare is,
right? That's when everything is quiet, then something jumps
out suddenly making lots of noise, thereby scaring you. Sometimes, this is a
cat. This is less effective with elephants.
Wrong Turn is better than the
typical cat scare monster movie, if you like horror films.
It doesn't waste time with a fancy plot or character development.
And (not to give anything away that isn't given away in the opening
credits), the bad guys aren't inhuman demons, or metal-clawed scar faced
burn victims, or giant machete wielding hockey mask-wearing bruisers.
This time, the horror comes from something we all can related to: inbred
rednecks from West Virginia.
There is no pretense about this film: it's just about hacking,
slashing, screaming, and running. The film is missing the now
standard comedic relief...there isn't a laugh to be had, and the Masked
Reviewer assumes that was the tone the filmmaker was going for.
The acting is fine for what it is. No one is too corny or
especially unbelievable. Scott, played by Jeremy Sisto, has a
voice that sounds more like an actor than that of a terrified young
person running around in the West Virginia woods, being stalked by a
fearsome foe. Maybe his voice is less like an actor than a voice
of a guy who does used car ads on the radio.
Desmond Harrington plays another hapless person stuck in the woods.
He's fun to watch. He's serious. He has a great intensity,
especially for such a silly film. He plays a doctor. You
don't see enough doctors in horror films. The Masked Reviewer
wonders what happened to the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take to "do
no harm"? I guess that all goes out the window when a scary inbred
hick comes at you with a rusty axe. Then again, HMOs have changed
the medical community forever.
Fans of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV show will recognize Eliza
Dushku. She was also in Bring It On and played Arnold
Schwarzenegger's daughter in True Lies. She plays a tough
chick stuck in the woods. She's good and she's cute, and she
doesn't scream too much. What more could you want? The
Masked Reviewer knows the answer to that question, and no,
there's no nudity in this film. A tragic oversight.
Remember, this is a horror movie. It wants to scare you.
The Masked Reviewer finds many horror films to be difficult to sit
through, because they have become so formulaic. Suspense has been
replaced by cheap scares by cranking up the volume and having someone
jump out at very predictable moments. Well, Wrong Turn had
a couple of genuine startling moments that caught the audience off
guard. That's more of a payoff than many horror movies have these
The gore is pretty good...medium on the Masked Reviewer Raunchiness
Scale. It's not so much about blood and guts as it is about the
tension between the hunter
and the hunted. The completely unbelievable stuff is kept to a
minimum (oh, there's still plenty that would never happen, but much less
than other films in the genre). And, the "why did they do that?"
moments of the poor people stuck in the woods are virtually
non-existent. For the most part, their actions make sense...for
people being hunted by inbred monster rednecks.
At one point, a character suffers an injury (yes, there is violence...people
who abhor violence might want to stick with something else).
Another character pours iodine on the wound. To show that it
hurts, there's a sizzling sound. It's not bacon cooking, it's
iodine! Maybe they heated the iodine to 212 degrees before pouring
it on? Well, okay, maybe the Masked Reviewer is nit-picking.
The bad guys have a cool mumbly language that you can't understand.
One must assume it's "inbredese."
The sound effects are top notch in this film. In fact, the
sound does a lot more for the gore than the visuals. Every chop,
cut, break, squish, and rip are very vivid to your ears. It seemed
to get a stronger reaction from people than the visual effects.
If you like standard slasher movies, Wrong Turn is worth a
look. While it lacks the humor that can be a welcome break from
constant running, screaming, and dying, the film does the horror well.
It's not groundbreaking in terms of fun new ways to kill or be killed,
but it does build some nice suspense and has a few genuinely scary and
surprising moments. Fans of Final Destination and I Know
What You Did Last Summer will enjoy Wrong Turn, which is the
scariest movie about inbred hillbillies since Fried Green Tomatoes.
If you don't like horror films, pass on it. That's all it is,
but it's better than the umpteenth sequel with Freddy or Jason.
Wrong Turn will make you squeal like a pig! In the
Expectation from the Title: A story about a man. A
man with a pickle jar. He wants a pickle, but can't remember the
old saying, "Lefty loosie, righty tighty". Find out what happens
when the lid only gets tighter.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
The West Virginia forests that they show are very beautiful. It seems
like a nice place to go hiking, aside from the psychopathic killers.
The Pros: Scary in parts, serious, solid acting, nice premise
for a horror flick. Two excellent shocking moments will be worth
the price for some.
The Cons: Just a goofy horror flick. Not too bloody, no
nudity, nothing groundbreaking.