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Wrong Turn DVD Review

Reviewed by Peter West

DVD released by Fox Home Entertainment

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Directed by Rob Schmidt
Written by Alan B. McElroy

Starring:
Desmond Harrington as Chris Finn
Eliza Dushku as Jessie Burlingame
Emmanuelle Chriqui as Carly
Jeremy Sisto as Scott
Lindy Booth as Francine
Julian Richings as Three Finger
Kevin Zegers as Evan
Garry Robbins as Saw-Tooth
Ted Clark as One Eye

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The Story:

Deep in the West Virginia mountains a couple of climbers are scaling a small sized rockface when they meet a sudden and untimely death. Newspaper headlines then roll across the screen talking about genetic mutations caused by inbreeding, along with stories of scores of missing people!

Chris Finn (Desmond Harrington) is stuck in traffic on a rural interstate. A talk with a trucker reveals an accident up ahead that will take hours to clear up. Chris decides to head back to take a side road around the big mess. He has a appointment later that evening for a job interview in Raleigh, and his cell phone has no signal. Stopping at a decrepit gas station, the pay phone is broken, the station owner is uncooperative, Chris checks out a map on the wall to find the alternate route. After telling the owner to take care, the owner whispers "You're that one that's gonna need to take care."! A few minutes later, Chris comes to a fork in the road. Which way should he go, left or right? Chris takes the left!

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Fiddling around with his CD player, adjusting his rear view mirror, Chris literally runs into a Land Rover. The five young people in the SUV were stuck in the middle of the road after barb wire tore their tires apart! After a talk about the accident, Chris, Jessie (Eliza Dushku), Scott (Jeremy Sisto) and Carly (Emmanuelle Chriqui) decide to look for help leaving Evan (Kevin Zegers) and Francine (Lindy Booth) with the Land Rover. Evan and Francine commit two mortal sins of a horror movie, they smoke pot and fool around. They are punished accordingly!

The rest of the group reach a dead end on the road, while heading back they find a broken down house in a clearing with wrecked cars in the yard. Further inspection of the house finds nobody at home and there's no phone either. The contents of the house would make a pack rat proud. Barb wire and body parts are found, but before they can leave the residents come home! Hiding under a bad and in a side room, they watch Francine get carved up for dinner. When the mutant cannibals take a nap, they exit the house, unfortunately waking the killers! A flight into the woods ensues, will they make it to safety or will they be next weeks vittles?

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Picture Quality:

Presented in both a anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen and a 1.33:1 pan and scan on the opposite side, Wrong Turn is sure to please both sides of the aspect ratio debate. As with most new movies, the transfer is amazing! If we only knew 30-40 years ago that we would be purchasing movies for home viewing... Special effects provided by Stan Winston's production company look fantastic! This is as good as it gets on a moderate budget! My rating 5/5

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Audio Quality:

A Dolby 5.1 surround soundtrack for English and Dolby 2.0 surround for French and Spanish language tracks really bring the theater experience home for this movie! I found the soundtrack nicely enhanced the the thrills, even if they were just cheap ones! There's also a entertaining commentary with director Rob Schmidt and actors Eliza Dushku and Desmond Harrington. My rating 5/5

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Extras:

  • Widescreen Presentation Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions and Full Screen P&S Presentation
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • "Eliza Dushku, Babe in the Woods." Featurette
  • Audio Commentary with Director Rob Schmidt and Actors Eliza Dushku and Desmond Harrington
  • Poster Concept Gallery
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Behind The Scenes "The Wounds of Wrong Turn" Featurette
  • Stan Winston Featurette & "Making of Wrong Turn" Featurette

As you can see from what I have listed above, Fox has really given this DVD the full treatment extras wise. The commentary is entertaining, the featurettes informative, the one on the special effects is the best one in my opinion. Stan Winston's special effects can always be counted on to enhance a film, this one is no different! My rating 5/5

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Summary:

"Wrong Turn makes you not ever want to go camping again!" Stan Winston says during one of the featurettes. If his doesn't accomplish that, he will have made you at least think twice! This film purposely has the feel of The Hills Have Eyes, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance. This movie is a straight to the point thriller, very much like those of the 70's. Wrong Turn is nicely timed at 82 minutes, it assaults you with action from the very beginning and continues non stop. There's not any wasted time with needless character development! Eliza Dushku stays with her strong female character that she played on "Buffy", a little reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley in Aliens. Desmond Harrington maintains his cool throughout the movie, considering he broke his ankle during filming, that was a tough accomplishment!

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Jeremy Sisto has a line in the movie that goes something like this, "Economic deprivation is the breeding ground for apocalyptic influences.". Is he faulting the federal government for the creation of the mutant cannibals? Italian Director Bruno Mattei in his movie Hell of the Living Dead tried to intimate that if we didn't feed the third world they might eat us! I personally think the mutants are a product of a family that was just too close! Stan Winston's mutants are realistic, very believable! The house they live in takes squalor to a new level, a very creepy atmosphere.Director Schmidt calls the arrow in the State Trooper's eye his favorite special effect, "The first person that tries to help them and he gets killed immediately!".

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2003 is a banner year for horror movies! Wrong Turn continues the trend. I feel it would have done even better box office if it had been released later in the year. Instead of the sophomoric horror comedies we've been subjected to the last few years, Wrong Turn returns to the roots of good old fashioned thrills and screams without fancy gimmicks! Watch this movie and then try to spend some time alone in the deep woods! There is a moral to the story! When in life if you're confronted with deciding to go to the left or the right... never go to the left! I really enjoyed this film! My overall rating 5/5

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