Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Film Review: Wrong Turn (2003)

Wrong Turn (Review)
United States/2003
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review

"If you're looking for a gory slasher, this film is for you."
In West Virginia, six people find themselves stranded in the woods and stalked by a band of cannibalistic mountain men...

There really isn't much else to say about the plot. Medical student Chris Flynn (Desmond Harrington) is traveling to a business meeting, but a chemical spill forces him to take a detour. While taking said detour, he crashes into another car parked in the middle of the road – a car that belongs to a group of five campers that drove over barbed wire. Anyway, four head into the woods for help and two stay behind. Then, they are picked off. The luckier survivors are forced to run, which sort of creates a game of hide-and-seek in the woods. That's about it, though. This simple plot leads to an equally simple ending. I didn't hate the ending, but it really didn't pack a punch – kind of underwhelming compared to the rest of the film.

I liked the simplicity of the film, though. Sure, it could have been better with deeper, more original characters, but it's not bad. Although it only dates back to 2003, it feels like an old-school slasher. It's simple, it's brutal, and it's effective. There are some very brutal death scenes in this film. Many of these deaths are over-the-top, but they certainly leave an impression. Is it dread? No. I wouldn't say I was frightened. It has some moderate suspense here and there, but it's not Halloween (1979) or Jaws. However, it was very exciting and entertaining. I suppose the current flood of supernatural horror films has made me appreciate slashers a bit more, too. We just don't get films like this anymore.

The acting was fine, too. Every character fills a generic role, so every actor hits the same note over and over. Desmond Harrington performs well as the perpetually serious leading man. Eliza Dushku performs well as the perpetually bitter leading woman – and so forth. The film looks decent throughout most of the movie. Some of the blatant green screen is off-putting, but it's limited. The film was written by Alan B. McElroy and directed by Rob Schmidt. The writing is very simple – which can be positive and negative. I wish the characters were more original, but they are decent enough. Rob Schmidt isn't a master of suspense, but he knows how to craft an effective and entertaining slasher. He doesn't bloat the runtime, either.

Overall, Wrong Turn is a very good horror movie. If you're looking for a gory slasher, this film is for you. It's not the most suspenseful slasher, but it is very entertaining. I'd say it's a great time-killer for fans of the genre.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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