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Wrong Turn
2003 - R - 84 Mins.
Director: Rob Schmidt
Producer: Stan Winston, Don Carmody, Sven Ebeling, Erik Feig, Brian J. Gilbert, Robert Kulzer, Hagen Behring
Written By: Alan B. McElroy
Starring: Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Jeremy Sisto, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Lindy Booth
Review by: David Trier
Yes, I made a wrong turn into a bad movie and now I have something to complain about.

Late for an important appointment, good-looking doctor Chris Finn (Desmond Harrington) takes what he hopes will be a shortcut through the backwoods of Waest Virjainyuh (West Virginia). But when he accidentally crashes into the car of five other good-looking people (Jeremy Sisto, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Kevin Zegers and Lindy Booth), they must join forces and look for help. Help arrives shortly after in the form of inbred mountain mutants. A gruesome battle ensues as the handful of extremely ugly people literally chop away at the very, very, really extraordinarily good-looking heroes.

The film is not completely without merit, or at least potential. Stan Winston’s name is boasted for the make-up effects. His work on Pumpkinhead and the Jurassic Park and Terminator films have generally proved entertaining. In addition, the cast boasts the very talented Jeremy Sisto of Six Feet Under. Perky breasts in little shirts are also featured in the film.

Still, at two minutes over the bare minimum to be considered a feature, this 84 minute knockoff of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes (and The X-Files episode “Home”) is far from clever. Although it starts out with a few moments of promise – a well-shot car crash and a few tense claustrophobic minutes in a house of horror – it quickly makes a sharp turn into a silly numbers game. The first victims are dealt with after the typical drug use and sexual contact. Chris, underplayed, but at least not overplayed by Desmond Harrington immediately proves himself to be the pain-withstanding leader. Jeremy Sisto makes for the likeable nerdy guy who’s at least not a wimp. Eliza Dushku does an acceptable job with a blandly written character. But Emmanuelle Chriqui, despite being, uh, physically fit, is absolutely dreadful. Most of the problem is the unlikable character who seems to always be in the way and unable to help under urgent circumstances, but her WB acting style makes for its own kind of justifiable homicide.

When it’s all said and done, the film lacks mystery. A good horror movie, particularly a chase-in-the-wilderness movie needs to have mystery. What is the monster? What does it want and why? What is its greatest weakness and how can we exploit it for our survival? But the perpetrators in this film are just backwoods mutants, who, while unpleasing to the eye, have no other surprises. They kill because they’re freaks and cannibals. Generations of inbreeding seems to have made them prone to asthma (and the giggles) but they otherwise seem to be in pretty good heath, with a stamina that puts me to shame.

Even the tepid Jeepers Creepers had a stronger narrative drive because the heroes had to learn about their attacker, and so did the audience. This is just about ugly people trying o kill pretty people and the true mystery is why it isn’t direct to video.
Movie Guru Rating
A train wreck.  So bad some may find it unintentionally entertaining.
  1 out of 5 stars

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