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WRONG TURN

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chiriqui, Jeremy Sisto
Director: Rob Schmidt
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Video: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Format & 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Features: See Review
Length: 84 Minutes
Release Date: October 14, 2003

“Holy inbreeding, Batman!”

Film ***

Wrong Turn, … at one time or another in this life, everyone will make one.  There you'll be cruising down life's winding road, watching with a lazy eye as the scenery passes by.  The whistle of an errant blue bird fills the air then, “WHAM!”  You smash your vintage Mustang into the back of a Range Rover, and soon find yourself in the middle of backwoods Virginia hell, fighting for your life.

This movie was great; I enjoyed every single minute of it.  It's a “B” movie, you say?  Well yes, I noticed that…and still loved every minute of it. 

Wrong Turn scared me at just the right moments, kept me wondering who was next, and how they were going to bite the dust. 

Desmond Harrington's character is on his way to a job interview when an accident forces him to take a detour through the backwoods of Virginia.  He finds out really quickly that  his job interview isn't the only thing he's about to lose, and I'm not talking about the fries he ate for lunch, either!

Eliza Dushku, whom some of you might know as the five by five Slayer Faith from TV's Buffy The Vampire Slayer, stakes her claim as this movies leading lady right off the bat.   She's smart, quick with the wit, and strong in the fight to stay alive.  Which is more than I can say for the friends she brought into the mountains with her.

Dushku's group is in the hills for a little fun and excitement, when they run over some wire and get a flat.  Harrington speeds around a bend in the dirt road and in true slasher flick style, wipes out the group's only means of transportation.

The cute and sexy kids are always the first to die, and die they do as one girl finds out that flossing with homemade barbed wire is not the way to prevent gingivitis!

Now let's be honest with ourselves here folks, this kind of movie isn't everyone's cup of tea.  Those people who choose to watch a slasher flick know what they are going to get when they pop in that DVD and push play.  A lot of blood, (hopefully) guts, (the really messy on the floor kind), and hot bodies (at least they are hot, until they are turned into cold dead stiffs!)

There is always a semi-contrived plot to keep you interested as the people run from one destination to another, over and over again.  In the 70's they used a lot of really drunk/drugged up sex to fill in the plot holes, but this one does at least stay somewhat believable in terms of the situations that people sometimes find themselves in. 

Dushku and Harrington both put forth a lot of effort making this movie.  Eliza's character is stronger, than a lot of females in slasher movies tend to be.  She's afraid and you see that, but at the same time she uses her fight or flight to determine when to deal a blow and when to go!

Now switching gears slightly, when I hear the name Stan Winston associated with a movie, my adrenaline surges, I sit back and try to contain the giddiness that threatens to burst forth.  Winston is one of the great special effects masters out there.   His early work I believe was his best, but in the past few years, he has surprised me with his creative and innovative approach to movie horror. 

His mountain men are gruesome and grotesque, which helps you get wrapped up in the terror each of the characters endure while being chased.   The scenes which feature characters being killed were mentally and visually horrifying.  Believe me, one girl gets a splitting headache that a whole bottle of Aleve won't touch!

The direction could have been better with this film and that might have helped it excel beyond a “B+” movie in my eyes.  The mountain men were sluggish and at times left a lot to be desired in terms of the fear they supposedly evoked. 

Go ahead and take this disk for a spin, but be sure you get off before making a wrong turnm or the next sound you hear might be “Dueling Banjos”…be afraid, be very afraid!

Video **

This DVD is dark, and it's not just because a lot of scenes were filmed at night.  Shifting shadows and minimal lighting effects help shroud this movie in varying shades of gray.  This helped with the over all feel, but there were times when I wanted to be able to see more of what was going on around the characters.  A lot of detail goes into these movies, and if you don't get to see it what's the point?

This DVD offers a 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer, and if you flip the disk you'll be treated to a 1.33:1 Standard Transfer for the fullscreen lover in us all.

There was little difference between the widescreen and fullscreen versions.  The quality was roughly the same throughout, without the usual high compression rate flaws.

The visuals were good, with a very minimal amount of dirt and grain visible. There was no visible artifacting or blurring around the edges, which makes this DVD a pretty decent viewing experience.

Audio ***

The sound effects were absolutely fabulous on this DVD.  I really enjoyed my surround sound with this disk because that breathing sound coming from behind you really seemed like it was coming from behind you! 

The dialogue and music bed were mixed and balanced with the sound effects to create a great audio package. 

No audible, dips or drop outs were detected, which means there really isn't a whole lot more to say about this DVD's audio other than, Yee Haw Ya'll that was some good listenin'!

Features ***

Extra features are available on both sides of this disk, so pop it in and check them out, and then flip it over and reward yourself yet again!

Director commentary tracks by Rob Schmidt and stars Desmond Harrington and Eliza Dushku are included for your listening pleasure.  Learn a little more about the stars behind the characters, as well as what made the director so passionate about this film.

Deleted scenes and a poster concept gallery are few but fun to watch.

The “Making Of Wrong Turn,” featurette takes you behind the scenes and into the action, while “Eliza Dushku: Babe In The Woods,” gives you an up close and personal meet and greet with one of the movies stars (Guess which one!).

The “Stan Winston” featurette is a sit down chat with the man himself, and a chance to look through the eyes of this master creator, so you can experience what motivates and propels his ideas into reality.

“Fresh Meat: The Wounds Of Wrong Turn,” is really cool to watch.  So much effort goes into the special effects of every movie done, yet there's always some new trick to the trade you can learn when the director yells “ACTION!”

This DVD offers language options in English, Spanish, and French, with subtitles available in English, and Spanish only. 

Summary:

It's a “B+,” movie without much of a plot and a lot of blood and carnage!  So what are you waiting for?  Pick it up as soon as it's available in your area.  It's great fun…trust me, would I steer you wrong?!