Review: Wrong Turn (2003)


Wrong Turn (2003)

Directed by: Rob Schmidt | 84 minutes | horror | Actors: Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Sisto, Kevin Zegers, Lindy Booth, Julian Richings, Garry Robbins, Ted Clark, Yvonne Gaudry, Joel Harris, David Huband, Wayne Robson, James Downing

Due to the deluge of appalling sequels, you’d almost forget that the first ‘Wrong Turn’ was an above-average strong slasher. Even fifteen years later, the original is still rock solid. Apart from the soundtrack and the clothing of the characters, the age of this film is hardly noticeable. Thanks to the late Stan Winston. This special effects guru was at the heart of the design of the monsters in this film. Traditionally, his work enhances the atmosphere and is an excellent example of good make-up work.

‘Wrong Turn’ revolves around the ambitious Chris Flint (Desmond Harrington). This boy is on his way to a job interview, but unfortunately has an accident. During the collision, Chris hits a van with teenagers. Together they try to return home. However, it is not easy, because a gang of cannibals lives in the forest in which they are stranded. A struggle for survival begins.

The story fits on a beer mat and you have already seen it in many variations. Doesn’t matter, because it’s all about the kills and the atmosphere in horror movies. In that respect, this ‘Wrong Turn’ is fine. As soon as the villains come into the picture, nice and gruesome inbred cannibals, the ambiance becomes grim. It even results in some genuinely tense moments.

The massacres are depicted graphically and are quite explicit by Hollywood standards. Besides the creepy villains, the more than decent acting stands out. The cast is convincing and not as obnoxious as you might expect from the genre. Teens in slashers are insufferable caricatures nine times out of ten, but not in this film. Another plus is the speed. With 84 minutes, this film never gets boring and keeps you captivated.

Unfortunately, it stayed with one good part, because after the original, the cheaply made sequels followed at a murder rate. Bad grime, B actors and suspense and bloodless scripts: many wrong turns were taken. The franchise has really come to a dead end.

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