In one respect, Wrong Turn does everything right and yet it leaves the viewer wishing there was just a little more to it. For a horror film, it hits nearly every button – it being suspenseful, exciting, horrific and frightening. Yet there are some things that the movie could have done to punch it up a little, hallmarks of the genre that were simply overlooked like a little nudity or even basic plot. What plot there is, finds a group of young-ish people out in the woods – three girls and three guys, not knowing exactly what they have landed in the middle of after making a wrong turn, as the title implies. What follows is a culling of the film’s stars by some inbred hillbillies, looking to put a little food on the table as they are of course, cannibals.
Though there might have been little to the story, at least during the final couple of acts, there was a surprisingly good amount of characterization given to those who starred in the picture. Little is ultimately known about them or what they do, but they turn out to be likeable people and it lets the audience latch onto something in a movie that features little otherwise. The villains are nameless and disgusting, remorseless killers who are obviously cannibals and do not hunt only for food, but for fun. What is a little strange is the fact that said hillbillies live in the wilderness, surrounded by game and wildlife and yet they choose to wait until random members of humanity wander through their territory. Still, they too give the audience something to cling to, though in a wholly opposite way by wanting them to perish so that the protagonists might live.
There is quite a bit of blood and gore present, enough to satisfy any horror fanatic and some truly tense moments throughout which will guarantee one’s attention. Best of all was the amount of time and energy that went into making the mountain folk as hideous as they were, monsters if there ever were any. Eliza Dushku and Desmond Harrington were great as the leads, though Emmanuelle Chriqui and Jeremy Sisto followed by Lindy Booth and Kevin Zegers were also quite good as the supporting cast. Watching this film so many years after it was first released might seem a little strange for those new to it or simply revisiting it as many of the people in the movie have essentially grown up and gone on to other things, but it still remains a fun time to be had and does not disappoint.
Ultimately, Wrong Turn is one of those films that a person watches when they simply want to while away some time without using any part of their brain. That does not make it a bad thing either as sometimes a good old-fashioned horror movie heavy on suspense and action can fulfill not only that particular need, but entertain at the same time. Though familiar it may be at times, it nevertheless delivers and holds up on repeated viewings which is more than many horror films can claim to be.
4 out of 5