Review: “Wrong Turn”

Impressive for its streamlined approach, this 76-minute teen horror flick wastes no time on characterisation and little time on setup – within the first few minutes we see a young doctor take a detour, only to bump into a group of good looking youngsters whose car is smashed and of course in their explorations for help they come across a family of inbreeding cannibalistic ‘mountain men’.

The remaining hour has the ever dwindling group running for their lives in the darkened woods from the mutated psychos and of course every place they come across they’re quickly discovered by said freaks. It would be an original concept if it weren’t about three decades late. Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and of course the classic “Deliverance” was able to do a far more convincing job with the same basic idea back in the 70’s, which is why both have been ripped off countless times. Even “The X-Files” tackled the idea of a murderous inbreeding family in one of its most famous episodes and did it with more success than this.

That said, whilst ‘Wrong’ may not bring anything new to the table in regards to modern horror, it can be admired for its lack of filler. Its near zero development of its characters means as they get hacked off we simply don’t care, nor is there any real story to it either – but that makes it a simple thing to get into because its a fast paced chase scene with lots of running, screaming and so forth plus the odd gory bit of work from makeup master Stan Winston.

The cast do standard work for the genre, Eliza Dushku proving as always what presence she has but even she’s let down with a perfunctory character. Desmond Harrington leaves no impression, whilst “Six Feet Under” star Jeremy Sisto comes and goes with a little humour at least.

Both the script and the direction never gives us anything new or unexpected, yet also manages to avoid some of the tedium or overly cliched elements of similar flicks. Some of the action and tension in scenes does work well and its unrelenting seriousness (there’s no real humour to be had, intentional or otherwise) is pretty much locked in.

Production values are limited understandably with nice use of location and solid editing whilst the score is unimaginative. ‘Wrong’ isn’t one to rush out to see, hell its a video release at best but for those who love their horror marathon movie sessions its one of those midway through type ones which are admittedly more engrossing than much of the other direct-to-video schlock of the genre that’s out there.