Rob Schmidt's WRONG TURN is a high quality slasher film. If you can accept
an oxymoron-free interpretation of the previous sentence, you're in the
movie's target audience. The well cast picture concerns a group of young
adults who reluctantly take on a group of hillbilly cannibals in the deep
backwoods of West Virginia.
It appears that a century of inbreeding has turned the woods' few residents
into a disfigured group of would-be Sasquatches. (The smallest and ugliest
of the lot looks like Gollum's grandfather.) The yuppies from the city are
no match for these mountain men. No sooner will one of the well dressed
kids proclaim that he'll be okay than his body will be chopped up for stew
The film's spectacular images and dramatic sounds tell you that this is a
horror picture that wants to be taken as serious cinema. But there's plenty
of natural humor along the way so that the movie is never in danger of
taking itself too seriously.
Chris (Desmond Harrington) is a new doctor on his way to a job interview
when he finds himself in need of a shortcut. Not knowing that dotted lines
on a map mean danger, he blasts down the wrong back road with his stereo
blaring. Circumstances conspire to have him and a group of strangers,
Jessie (Eliza Dushku), Carly (Emmanuelle Chriqui), Scott (Jeremy Sisto) and
others, end up walking the road in order to find assistance. If you think
about the actors' salary structure, you can probably guess the order in
which Chris's newfound friends will perish.
You're probably already thinking, "DELIVERANCE," but, just in case you
missed the similarity, Scott points it out to Carly, his fianc‚e. "I need
to remind you," he says, when she thinks finding a proper bathroom in the
middle of nowhere is her most important task, "of a little movie called
Yes, it is pretty predictable, but it's so well done that it's a lot of fun
-- if you like to grimace, jump and squirm in the theater.
Well there ever be a WRONG TURN 2? The filmmakers leave no doubt that, if
the financial backers come forward, they're eager to do another.
WRONG TURN runs a fast 1:21. It is rated R for "strong violence and gore,
some language and drug use" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes