I enjoy WRONG TURN (2003). The acting is decent. The storyline is interesting. Though some of the characters are irritating, most of the protagonists are sympathetic. Even the horror and gore are well-done and far superior to other productions around the same time.
That said, certain things about it irritate me. The blatant theft from films like JUST BEFORE DAWN (1981) and THREE ON A MEATHOOK (1972) rub me the wrong way. Some say the scenes swiped are more of an homage than outright robbery. I don’t adopt that mindset. Though I understand nearly all art is inspired by other art, the way in which WRONG TURN handles the similarities are suspect to say the least.
Still, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the film. Given a choice, Alexandre Aja’s 2006 remake of THE HILLS HAVE EYES is worlds better and I’d choose it over WRONG TURN, ten times out of ten. Nonetheless, WRONG TURN is more than watchable.
The premise follows Chris (Desmond Harrington) who while taking an alternative route to an appointment hits a trap set by some weird-ass hillbilly mutants. He crashes into a car of five campers leaving both vehicles in need of repair and all 6 peeps unknowingly stranded in cannibal territory. There they are hunted as prey.
Thankfully, the most irritating bitch dies first. Usually, I love redhead dames. Imma red head dame, but this bitch sucks. Francine (Lindy Booth) hangs back at the cars with her boyfriend Evan (Kevin Zegers). Evan’s not too shabby other than dating a sociopathic wench.
Francine rummages thru all of Chris’s belongings. She doesn’t even know the dude, but expects because he’s a med student that he’ll script her some pills. She then lies to Evan about finding food and gobbles it all for herself. That’s a fucking bitch move. If your partner scarfs down grub when you’re stranded and doesn’t even share, feed her to the damn mutants. She deserves it. Fuck Francine.
Carly (Emmanuelle Chriqui) is the only other one out of the group I can’t stand. She’s just too much of an attention whore. She has her boyfriend Scott (Jeremy Sisto) carry her on his back and nearly gives him a heart attack with a stupid ass prank. I hate pranks. They are meanspirited and they irritate the fuck out of me. I just don’t get the draw in unnecessarily fucking with people. Take a lesson from WRONG TURN. If you’re an asshole who pulls pranks, maybe a hillbilly mutant clan of mountain men will decapitate you, and no one will care because you’re a shitty person. I think that’s the moral of this film. That’s what I walked away with.
Now, the third fem and the leading lady is sensational. Jessie (Eliza Dushku) is tough, no-nonsense, smart and very sexy. She was the first one to figure out that a trap was set and the collision was no accident. Her chemistry with the lead Chris is smoking. She has killer survival skills, and is a full fem goddess delight in every way that makes women marvellous.
Eliza Dushku is such a fabulous actress. It irritates me to no end that her career was hurt because Michael Weatherly sexually harassed her on the set of the tv show BULL. I’m glad she got a 9.5 mil payout but Weatherly is scum. He is a gross motherfucker with a slimy smile. I’d like to see that dipshit dropped off in mutant cannibal country.
Anyways, the dudes in WRONG TURN aren’t bad either. I’ve always liked Jeremy Sisto. He was in this cool little flick POPULATION 436 (2006) that I really love. My buddy Prowler hates it, but I think you should check it out. He also kicked it hardcore in MAY (2002) which is an insane film, but one everyone should see.
Here, his character suffers because of Carly, but thanks to Sisto’s charm, Scott isn’t a total lost cause. He’s got a bit of style and class. He’s a thinker and a gentleman despite being tied to a human hyena.
Evan, though not on much, doesn’t get on my nerves either. He’s the male version of a plane Jane but unoffensive and fine for the role he’s in.
Lastly, Chris is cool shit. I’d hang with him. He’s heroic without falling into the male tropes of being an idiot who takes unnecessary chances. His moves are more calculated and careful. Even when he enters an unknown house, he isn’t merely snooping. He’s questioned by the rest of the gang for breaking-in, but he knows he needs a handle on what’s going on and what he has at his disposal to help their current situation.
They also don’t waste time escaping and when the cannibals arrive back, he thinks on his feet to hide from them. He does what he can to make sure they’re not sitting ducks, even though they are forced to watch some gruesome shit while under a table. The man does what he can! That’s enough for me.
The antagonists work just fine. They’re a bit hokey, but their actions invoke enough fear where the over-the-top aesthetics take away very little.
The conclusion works well and is fittingly intense.
Overall, WRONG TURN is pretty badass. It’s a fun little thriller that has some heart-pounding moments. Most of the sequels are another story, but the original definitely has some flare to it.