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Wrong Turn (2003)

Its the last one youll ever make

Directed by:

Rob Schmidt

Rob Schmidt

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 90 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

Country: United States, United States

Randy Newman once said that rednecks 'don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.' Well, 'Wrong Turn' doesn't provide any evidence of that per se, but it doesn't exactly portray cabin-dwelling mountain folk as nicely-raised, well-mannered and impeccably-hygienic either. Oh well, at least they've got their looks. Don't they?

This mega-formulaic slasher flick follows a troop of easy-on-the-eye twenty-somethings as they run around the West Virginian woods with a trio of inbred munters in hot pursuit. Chris (Desmond Harrington) is the unfortunate doctor who joins forces with five gormless holiday-makers (including Eliza Dushku from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer') after his car crashes into theirs on a remote dirt road. From then on it's run-for-your-life time as the slobbering hicks close-in and, one by one, hack their way gleefully through the cast.

Other than some flashed-up images of newspaper clippings to set the scene as the opening credits appear, no effort is made to explore the origins of said yokels or how they've been getting away with their murderous and presumably-cannibalistic ways for so long. Why bother when you can just dive straight into the grunting and slicing? After all, who's going to question the criminal motives of a group of people so horribly unattractive? They're just plain ugly, and that's all we need to know.

The tale borrows heavily from the likes of 'Deliverance' (which even gets a mention), 'The Hills Have Eyes' and 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', but there's a teeny feel to the whole thing with the apparent intention of bringing it in line with 'Scream' and other contemporary horrors. Director Rob Schmidt does a good job of building the tension, but it would work much better if it wasn't so wholly predictable. Everything you think will happen inevitably does, and you can even take a pretty good guess at the order in which the characters will be picked off.

It's Got: Wheezing hoof-handed mountain-types.

It Needs: To add some real shocks to all that tension.

Alternatives:

Breakdown, Deliverance, Deliverance, Read Gary Pantons review of this movie, Review by Anton Bitel, Southern Comfort, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the Blair Witch Project (all much better), The Hills Have Eyes, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Summary

A predictable but well-made slasher – it would be much better if only it didn't stick so rigidly to a formula we all know off by heart.

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