Thursday, November 10, 2011

One Wrong Turn Gone Deadly: Wrong Turn (2003)

Wrong Turn (2003)
Starring: Eliza Dushku, Jeremy Sisto and Emmanuelle Chriqui

Running late for a job interview at another city after a truck caused some major traffic, a medical student takes a detour off the main road and into an unmarked West Virginian trail. There, he crashes unto a stopped car owned by a group of five campers who are apparently stranded in the woods. Deciding to work together, one group goes deeper into the woods to look for help, while some stay behind to watch over their stuff.

Unfortunately, they will all soon come face to face with a deformed and really hungry inbred family of cannibalistic mountain men who set their eyes on the trapped youngsters for food. As night falls, the group have no choice but to fight back or be eaten.

Personally, though it really isn't a lot in terms of story aside from the classic "kids in the woods" type horror flick, what I find workable about Wrong Turn (2003) is that it still found a way to be intense, well directed and at least imaginative when it comes to its monsters. With a simple plot, the movie basically relies on gore and atmosphere alone, two things that successfully overshadows whatever flaws this movie at a level.

Rob Schmidt did a fair job on characterizing his heroes and make monsters out of his villains. This is one of the few movies that I actually felt rooting for the group to survive as they're not just some meat here, but a group with personality and some realistic ordeals. In turn, the mutants come off as menacing as a horribly deformed wild savages with a teeth can be, scavenging for things to turn into weapons and holding no mercy on their kills. They're colorful monsters with simple goals: kill and eat.

Other than a good set of characters, the film also has its own shock value, mixing trends like Jeepers Creepers (2001) and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) with the survival horrors of Deliverance (1972) and Just Before Dawn (1981). Instead of cowering in corners and screaming on the top of their lungs, most of the victims fight back and even succeeds at times, even if it just to hinder the mutants just for a moment. It's this urge to survive that gave the movie it's right moments of suspense and ordeal, and gave the characters, surviving or dead, the empathy they deserved.

Even if it's predictable, with the usual horror/slasher clichés played around right in front of us, I didn't find it that big of a deal since the rest of the movie's direct approach to survival horror did enough to satisfy my horror cravings. Do we really care how these mountain men survived for that long undetected? Or how after eating all them raw meat, none of them even died off from ingesting cancer-stained corpses? (Or worse, AIDS-tainted corpses!) I don't, and so long as the gory deaths and chase scenes keep he happy, I'm sticking with this no logic, backwoods slasher movie of the new millennia!

1 male killed, thrown off a cliff
1 female killed offscreen
1 female garroted by the mouth with barbwires
1 male found dead
1 male repeatedly shot through the chest with arrows
1 female decapitated by the mouth with axe
1 male shot through the head with arrow
2 males immolated in explosion
1 male hacked with axe
Total: 10

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