Gory delight or Fleshy mess?
By the year 2003 when Wrong Turn came out, Horror had taken an upward turn. Scream has revitalise the genre at the end of the 90s and people were taking a lot more notice of slasher films and gore-fests in general. 1999’s Blair Witch made it cool to go back into the woods and have people running away from nasty things that wanted to kill you in terrible ways.
Then you have Wrong Turn, a film that is about as generic as horrors can be. Following an opening scene which literally has nothing to do with the rest of the film apart from introducing unseen characters who would have been better not even being alluded to until half an hour later, we get to see Desmond Harrington being forced to take his ridiculously chiselled face down an unknown road whilst trying to get somewhere fast. He quickly crashes into a stationary car that has been mysteriously (!) sidelines with some barbed wire in the road and introduces us to 5 more body beautiful 20-somethings with the guys nothing more than stereotypical men hetero guys trying to mention sex with their partners whenever they can, and girls wearing small strappy vests, which we know will likely be ripped over the next 60 minutes.
As two characters are left behind, allowing them to indulge in some off-camera naughtiness, it’s obvious who are going to be our first two victims. Unfortunately, two characters you literally have zero care in the world about, relying only on the reactions of their friends later on when they turn up dead and hacked into little pieces.
Cue some tension-attempting sneaking out scene, a quick maiming and some more pick-offs and we’re down to 3 then 2 characters left to fight off the evil in the woods…deranged humans with no other backstory than the title credits sequence showing newspaper cuttings of inbreeding and deformities.
Eliza Dushku does her best damsel in distress routine whilst also trying to upstage Harrington’s softly spoken protagonist. There was never a point where I believed he was in actual peril, and then we get to a ridiculous scene in a Watchtower where characters leap out from 100ft up in the air and catch branches perfectly as they fall…
It’s basic and generic, I’ve seen it now, I won’t be watching it again….what’s that? There’s five sequels? Right…best line them up then…