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One of the anorexic
campers becomes
terrified, as a  fattening
Twinkie approaches.

Wrong Turn
Review written by: Alex Sandell

Wrong Turn doesn't take its horror lightly.  It's The Hills Have Eyes meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Jeepers Creepers.  If you were raised on videos and drive-in theaters, rather than DVDs and multiplexes, you just may feel a pang of nostalgia when this movie kicks into full-blown horror mode.  What a treat it will be for fans of grisly horror, to find out that this movie is relentless in its pursuit of scares and squirms.  As for the rest of the audience?  Well, they can always wait in the lobby.

An insanely violent family of inbred killers sets a trap for a group of campers, and a flustered medical student.   The misshapen crazies have made a habit of hunting down humans to cut apart, torture and consume (although it does take place in the sparsest areas of West Virginia, the feature isn't a documentary).  So much for allowing cousins to marry each other.  Once we meet the freaks, the film turns very dark, very quickly.

Although it's obvious that the most graphic scenes were edited, or removed entirely, to get the coveted "R" rating, what's left should still turn most people's stomachs.  This is an ugly movie.  It doesn't let up, nor should it. 

The campers eventually find themselves trapped inside the run-down residence of the mutated redneck hicks, who speak a sort of "Gimp-Latin," as they hack bodies apart.  When the inbreeders drop the remains of a fallen camper onto the floor, it lands directly in front of the spot that the surviving (most likely reformed) nature lovers are hiding in, and begins to bleed.  The blood slowly works its way into the hiding spot, forcing the still breathing members of the group to hide in a pool of their dead best friend's blood.  Is this easy viewing?  No.  Is it terror at its most appalling?  Oh yeah!  

Although there's plenty of other sick shit from where that came from, the flick is far from perfect -- they always are.  These movies are best viewed with a group of rowdy friends, a handful of Jiffy Pop Popcorn ("popcorn for the true horror aficionado") and a six-pack of beer.  Beer goggles and Jiffy Pop can quickly turn the horrid into the humorous.  The bad acting into the best jokes.  The most annoying false leads turn into the greatest drinking games.  And of course the majority of the plot holes are happily washed away by your fifth pint of Guinness.   

In the theater, it's not as fun when characters in the film nearly always choose the most likely way to get slaughtered.  The bad acting doesn't make for the best jokes, just really bad acting.  The false leads lose a lot of their magic, once you figure out that Diet Pepsi doesn't make for the best drinking games.  And the plot holes?  Well, when you're sober, you actually notice them. 

But the theater has its benefits.  The movie is loud, it's big, and it's going to make you jump, cringe, and gasp for air.  The intensity level is constantly upped, to the point where it begins to choke you.  The gore goes over-the-top, and then keeps on going.  At home, all of this would just make for another raunchy movie for your twisted friends to get drunk to.  At the theater, it's an alarming 90 minutes that can feel quite traumatic.

Wrong Turn is a worthy tribute to all things that once made horror disturbing.   It didn't turn out to be quite as extreme as the film's creators inevitably thought that it would (the ending is more befitting of the later Friday the 13th films, than it is of The Hills Have Eyes), but it still has a lot of guts ... and not all of them are preserved in jars inside an ugly shack owned by disfigured and sadistic cannibals. 

On a scale of 1-10?

6

The inevitable "Jiffy Pop and Beer" rating?

"It's a fuckin' 10, d00d!!!!!!"

What does this rating mean?  Everyone rates things differently.  Your "5" could be my "7," or vice-versa.  Find out what MY rating means by clicking here.

BUFFY FANS - I know some of you are here to read this Wrong Turn review, just because the film stars the beautiful slayer, Eliza Dushku.  Wanna check out my review of the Buffy:  The Vampire Slayer series finale?  Click here!

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Agree? Disagree? Feeling bored and wanna write a letter that you'll probably never get a response to?  Email me at alex@juicycerebellum.com 

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Text (Copyright) 2003 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].