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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 18.88%
Average: 13.78%
Pretty Bad: 13.27%
Total Crap: 19.39%

9 reviews, 142 user ratings

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Wrong Turn
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Hapless attempt to rekindle '70s-style terror."
1 stars

The press materials for 'Wrong Turn' boast of "a film steeped in the traditions of classic '70s-style horror movies"; if only that were true.

It was true of Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses, which came and went rather quickly; Zombie's effort, whatever its flaws, had a rotgut intensity indebted to vintage grindhouse horror. Wrong Turn tries valiantly to resurrect the psycho-hillbilly genre, a staple in modern slasher films going back to Herschell Gordon Lewis' 2000 Maniacs in 1964, but it forgets that the best horror movies of this type -- Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes -- had no name stars. Here, you say "Oh, that's Eliza Dushku from Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or "Hey, Desmond Harrington from Ghost Ship" -- the familiarity is comforting, and this type of movie shouldn't be comforting. The ads for Chainsaw intoned, "Who will survive and what will be left of them?" Well, we pretty much figure Eliza Dushku will survive; she's on the poster and everything.

Admirably, the movie wastes little time getting onto the on-ramp. A couple of rock-climbers fall victim to shadowy killers, and the standard-issue freaky opening-credits sequence briefs us on a group of deformed, inbred West Virginia "mountain men." The deformities in question look real and horrifying, but the three actual villains are obvious boogeymen from the Stan Winston make-up studio -- long-haired galoots with scraggly teeth, who speak in their own guttural language while carving up some hapless camper.

Med student Chris (Harrington, in a dead-calm performance to match Robert Patrick in Terminator 2) gets into a car accident with a bunch of teens (including Dushku, who can't quite shake her too-cool-for-school mannerisms left over from Faith on Buffy) on a godforsaken stretch of road. Predictably, the first among them to become hillbilly fodder are the sex-and-weed-obsessed couple; the forbidding morals of these movies haven't changed much in a quarter-century. Harrington and Dushku pair off with the "nicer" couple, who are engaged to be married and therefore earn the right to live longer. They stumble upon a ramshackle cabin crammed with the sort of squalor décor -- rotting food, buzzing flies, odd things kept in jars -- familiar from this movie's ancestors (especially Chainsaw, which showed us fear in a roomful of bones and chicken feathers).

Wrong Turn, impersonally directed by Rob Schmidt from a script by longtime hack Alan McElroy (Spawn, Halloween 4), has nothing in particular going on in it aside from fight and flight. The hillbillies, inarticulate grunters seen mostly in shadow, have no personalities or desires (aside from killing people); they're as unreachable and unintelligible as Orcs. The movie shies away from the paranoid subtext of all films of this stripe: city folk just ain't welcome out there in the boonies, where murder and moonshine are the regional pastimes. These could be any woods, and the killers could be vampires or something, and it would make no difference to the action.

Which, as horror action goes, is somewhat lackluster. It's the usual quick-cut, this-is-all-we-can-show-you R-rated mayhem, with such implements as axes, arrows, and barbed wire looped around the face. A scene in which several of the protagonists cower in terrified hiding while one of their number is sliced up is too brief to build up any suspense, and we don't buy that the hillbillies don't notice they've got company. A sequence up in a watchtower is just an excuse for a highly implausible tree-jumping episode.

'Wrong Turn' isn't insane enough to be scary, and it's too unpleasant to be fun. The problem with the movie is that it's really "steeped in the traditions" of the non-classic horror movies of the '90s.

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originally posted: 01/02/07 08:00:11
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell tense & grisly 3 stars
7/21/12 Sean Harrison Putrid attempt at horror. 1 stars
10/18/10 AlecM boooringgggg, watch the films it imitates instead. (TCM, deliverance, hills have eyes) 2 stars
2/06/10 brian Pathetic, insulting, cliched to the max, ignorant, ugly, hateful movie. 1 stars
7/27/08 Shelli Thought is was well done...enjoyed it a lot 4 stars
5/03/08 d satrana not that bad! if you're really bored n want to watch a movie.. this serves the purpose 4 stars
4/28/08 art IT SURE WAS A WRONG TURN 1 stars
7/24/07 taro characers are so unlikable, I wanted them to die. 1 stars
2/17/07 Ruby Saw it in a bar- was a captive audience wish i had that time back. 1 stars
12/06/06 Shamine Wright it a very cool movie 5 stars
12/03/06 David Pollastrini good gore. 5 stars
11/03/06 Hauzy might have been a wrong turn, but everything about this movie was right 5 stars
10/30/06 AJ Muller a solid slasher flick that totally earns its right to exist 3 stars
10/23/06 Seth Gunari ya way better than jeepers creepers 5 stars
10/19/06 katie trotman the best film in the world go to see so goood 5 stars
9/09/06 Sully I'd like to eat Dushku...does that make me an inbred W. Virg. cannibal....? 5 stars
7/31/06 Agent Sands Did what Cabin Fever didn't do right, but still didn't do it that well. 3 stars
7/30/06 Shaun Wallner this was pretty good 4 stars
6/28/06 Evil Wolfie Horrible and a waste of time 1 stars
6/25/06 MP Bartley Tick off the cliches one by one people... 2 stars
6/16/06 Michele fun and a little creepy 4 stars
6/08/06 Lisa Trees and nasty weapons don't mix!!! 5 stars
5/16/06 Amanda It scared the crap out of me. And I'm from Kentucky! ha ha 4 stars
4/12/06 Simon-ann Poombuh Totally vivacious! te critics who belittled this film are absolutely retarded. If you all 4 stars
1/19/06 Rachel Blevins One of the best movies ever !!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/23/05 Booby The sequel is going to be Called Wrong Turn Back 5 stars
10/27/05 chris not bad and not good either 3 stars
9/26/05 Priscilla Postlethwaite I sure hope John Denver went to a different part of Heaven than this almost is! 4 stars
8/25/05 Eden It's watchable but you've seen it a million times before 2 stars
7/29/05 mzukisi dwenene can you tell me about that three men in the forest eat human called cannibals 3 stars
4/26/05 E-FUNK If you enjoy cannibal-mutant-muppets grab-assing WB rejects, grab a spoon! 1 stars
12/06/04 K. Sear Ridiculous, commerical attempt to modernize "The Hills Have Eyes". 1 stars
12/04/04 Jawil Osbam Grrrrr! My luck would be to end up in the part of Heaven that this almost is. 4 stars
10/15/04 Don Eckert Good Effort with a quick pace. Not a classic but not bad either. 4 stars
9/02/04 Josh Standlee It rocks, and even thoug it makes me think of my ex-girlfriend, I still love it! 5 stars
8/24/04 American Slasher Goddess Nice, stylish horror flick with some good gore 4 stars
8/21/04 McGraw Instantly forgotten P.O.S horror schlock. LAME-ASS. 1 stars
7/04/04 True Review i thought this movie would suck like Cabin Fever but its way better, an entertaining horror 4 stars
6/24/04 Grady Davis It made no indication as to if the rednecks were monster, though they don't seem to die. 3 stars
6/03/04 i'm the director of the film what, oh WHAT was I thinking! Someone kill me for making such stupid, repetitive trash. 1 stars
5/24/04 Blakers a great film 5 stars
4/20/04 D77Spoony Intense! Ignore the critics until you've seen it! 5 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt An excellent, intense, ride! One of the best horror films of its kind in awhile! 5 stars
4/16/04 Chawna M Movie was great....really scary...worth the watch!! 5 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart a great horror movie by far the best one this year!!! 5 stars
3/30/04 American Slasher Goddess Very well done,much better then the Chainsaw remake. 4 stars
3/21/04 Kayla nice nice movie.. desmond harrington is pretty hot.. id say!! 5 stars
3/19/04 Nancy Loved the movie; the 3 guys gave me nightmares. I'll drive down a dirt road alone again! 4 stars
3/16/04 Eliza Dushka I loved Making that movie, My Cousin had to dress up as one of the Canniballs. I laughed! 5 stars
3/09/04 Frank Miller Kicks ass and takes names... 5 stars
3/07/04 Zach G. A FUN movie. The cannibals were done by the same guy from Jurassic Park! 5 stars
3/02/04 Michael Stjames There are obviously a lot of stupid people out there that think they are credible critics. 5 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge 1 star less than "sucks". Review above acurate. Enjoy watching screamy girls killed. Joy. 2 stars
2/22/04 LIAM JACKSON the character of 'three-finger' scared the shite out of me.such a loon. 5 stars
2/13/04 Kai Silly me, I actually thought that this movie might be decent. 1 stars
2/05/04 LIAM JACKSON good film. this is one reason why i never visit the south 4 stars
2/03/04 ghost nothing special 3 stars
12/30/03 re A GREAT FILM 5 stars
12/26/03 Sara Really Good!!! 5 stars
12/23/03 jeremiah martin I loved it was so awsome 5 stars
12/13/03 Chris A great horror movie! 4 stars
12/13/03 Karie I loved it!!! 5 stars
12/12/03 The killer Someone convinced me this was a true story, luckily later i found out it wasn't 5 stars
12/12/03 Leather_FAce Kicks ass! 5 stars
12/12/03 Captain Spaulding awesome backwoods splatter flick!! 5 stars
12/12/03 Charlie and the Chocolate FActory Great movie! 5 stars
12/10/03 tim great! 5 stars
12/10/03 re A GREAT FILM 5 stars
12/09/03 Samuel One of the best horror films this Decade!! 5 stars
12/02/03 matt much better than texas chainsaw remake! 3 stars
11/22/03 Sharon i liked it..much better than that shit house of 1000 corpses 5 stars
11/18/03 he a great film 5 stars
11/16/03 Alice Good acting,indeed no original story, but never boring!I liked it. 5 stars
11/01/03 cinkcool your girlfriend is fucking dumb just like you! 1 stars
10/24/03 NBCraftsman Best special effect: Elizas' glaring white un-stained tank top... 2 stars
10/24/03 Boris Mind-numbingly average 3 stars
10/24/03 Kae Wasn't that great, Eliza Dushku was cool though, but the movie was NOT! 2 stars
10/21/03 Albie Better than most cheezy slasher flix...What should anyone expect from one of these? 3 stars
10/17/03 Josh Standlee Loved it, so did my girlfriend! 5 stars
10/15/03 culprit64 who ever thought this movie was awesome needs some serious pyschological help... 2 stars
10/15/03 Redpajammas THIS MOVIE WAS GREAT!!!!! 5 stars
10/13/03 jITJIT sKEPHZUKKS Eliza Dushku finally shows talent, on eve of being stolen off bg scren by damned TV series! 4 stars
10/07/03 Samuel Justus Wrong Turn, House of 1000 Corpses, Cabin Fever, Cant wait for the Texas Chainsaw re-make!! 5 stars
10/07/03 Erik Van Sant Cannibal-mutant-muppets manage to be as scary as a Fraggle Rock episode. Unbelievably bad. 1 stars
9/24/03 Ingo Starts no so bad, but then it get's boring and badly acted. 2 stars
9/03/03 here THE BEST OF THE BEST 5 stars
8/24/03 stephen joyce it was awesome and would definitely watch it again 5 stars
8/18/03 h the best film 5 stars
8/15/03 The Velcro Warlock Taut thriller. But who the fuck are these Neanderthaloid villains? 4 stars
8/01/03 Dave M Whats wrong with you people ? A true classic. Keep givin good movies shit reviews as u do. 5 stars
7/31/03 aiken drum Obsenly stupid in parts, but its fun to watch them all die. 3 stars
7/31/03 nr GREAT I LOVED IT 5 stars
7/28/03 Collin You Want A Truly Scary Horror Movie Rent Wes Craven's New Nightmare Don't Wast Time On This 1 stars
7/26/03 Gary Fantastic 5 stars
7/18/03 Hottie great 5 stars
7/12/03 Joe GREAT 5 stars
7/11/03 nr GREAT I LOVED IT 5 stars
7/10/03 Gary A superb classic. 5 stars
7/09/03 Phil Of course this film isn't going to be anything we haven't seen before, but it's still great 5 stars
7/08/03 nr great i loved it 5 stars
7/08/03 Young critic Very poor movie. High cheese factor 1 stars
6/28/03 Giddy COOL 5 stars
6/27/03 john allen I respectfully disagree with your review. tense and well paced 5 stars
6/24/03 Chris It's awesome 5 stars
6/24/03 steve scary, suspenseful, but also a little too predictable 4 stars
6/21/03 Don Fast paced and suspenseful. Low budget and attitude make for a decent horror flick. 4 stars
6/21/03 tiffany the movie is awesome espicialy eliza who has the guts to show her real color! 5 stars
6/19/03 Jerry Stop insulting the film!!! 5 stars
6/19/03 Sauce Waste of time. It wasn't even scary. 1 stars
6/18/03 Chris GRREAT 5 stars
6/17/03 he great film scary 5 stars
6/16/03 caramel jenkins nice prrtty scary 5 stars
6/13/03 Jerry Really scary 5 stars
6/12/03 stud great film scary 5 stars
6/12/03 Jeff Tuttle Worth seeing. Semi-scary and humorous. 4 stars
6/11/03 Brannie Herez Brannie, This movie looks sooo bad that i wont even bother to pay for movie tickets. 1 stars
6/11/03 Hottie I thought this was a GREAT movie and the actors did great also! 5 stars
6/11/03 cheebs! Liked it so much the first time that I went again. :) 4 stars
6/10/03 Obi Wan Not too knows what is it and doesn't try too hard 3 stars
6/09/03 Pam Rather a run-of-the-mill slasher film that reminded me of Jason Vorhees meets Deliverance. 3 stars
6/09/03 Kaylyn I saw the film last night and happened to like it very much. I suggest seeing it. 4 stars
6/09/03 Colin This Makes The Friday The 13th Series Look Like Shakesphere 1 stars
6/08/03 heeee great 5 stars
6/07/03 Mini-me ***** 5 stars
6/07/03 MEEE great 5 stars
6/07/03 .Choadushouse. The tree part was good. This is nothing like SCREAM. It's a decent horror movie... 3 stars
6/06/03 Horror films get lame Scream was an ok film, but its spawn is just awful. All these gore films look alike. 1 stars
6/06/03 Amy It was better than I expected. (I always keep my expectations low.) 3 stars
6/05/03 Erik Van Sant Cannibal-Mutant-Muppets aren't scary...Desmond Harrington's acting is. This movie blows. 1 stars
6/05/03 Hanky JESUS CHRIST!! Talk about a good film 5 stars
6/05/03 Nick Schneider If you're so tired of the horror genre, why keep going? 4 stars
6/04/03 Jack Bourbon Hee hee hee hee haw!!! Pretty amusing stuff. Great tree sequence. 4 stars
6/04/03 mee gre 5 stars
6/04/03 nik jesus christ on a vespa, did this blow! 1 stars
6/03/03 amazing scary 5 stars
6/01/03 Steven RIP-OFF of SO many better movies. Laughably bad and not the least bit terrifying. LAME 1 stars
5/31/03 Joseph Barale Better than Jeepers Creepers 5 stars
5/31/03 Worse Than You! WORST...MOVIE...EVER 1 stars
5/31/03 Meyeson It's like a dream come true episode of ROAD RULES, hooray for the cannibals! 4 stars
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  30-May-2003 (R)
  DVD: 14-Oct-2003



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