Wrong Turn (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner23/06/2003

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 85 mins

Excellent horror flick with good characters, impressively nasty death scenes and some genuinely scary ‘monsters’. You’ll never go into the woods again.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the woods (after Blair Witch), along comes Wrong Turn, an enjoyable, well-made, ‘back to basics’ horror flick, produced by special effects guru Stan Winston.

Ill-Judged Detour Through The Forest

Desmond Harrington (Ghost Ship, The Hole) plays Chris, a young man on his way to an important job interview. Foolishly, he takes a detour off the highway and through the woods of West Virginia to avoid a traffic jam.

There he runs smack into a group of five campers, including Jessie (Eliza ‘Faith from Buffy’ Dushku) and Scott (Jeremy ‘Billy from Six Feet Under’ Sisto). However, when they split up to look for help and two of their number wind up dead, they suddenly realise there is Something Nasty in the woods with them.

The ‘monsters’ are genuinely frightening and are –literally- straight out of an episode of the X-Files (‘Home’ – the one with the in-bred mountain men). It’s impressively atmospheric, too - there are frequent overhead shots of the vast expanse of forest that illustrate how much trouble they’re in, yet we also know that if they’re in West Virginia, they’re also tantalisingly close to civilisation (if Washington DC counts as civilisation).

Horrendous Axe Shenanigans

The film is extremely well-made and has some nicely inventive touches, particularly during the Horribly Violent Death scenes, one of which involves an axe and is a sure contender for Best Horror Scene Of The Year.

It also makes good use of the old Hitchcockian 'things happen just after you expect them to and just before you expect them to again' device, plus it has one jaw-droppingly brilliant moment that makes the entire film.

The leads are very good and the film is refreshingly free of Scream-like smartarsery. The soundtrack is put to good effect too, with lots of nasty thwacks and thunks to accompany the gruesome visuals. There’s also a tiny subversive element in that one of the characters (Emmanuelle Chriqui) is so whiny that you wind up actually wanting her to get killed off…

In short, Wrong Turn is a terrifically enjoyable Friday night horror flick that should be seen with as big an audience as possible. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Wrong Turn (18)
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Content updated: 20/04/2019 11:27

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