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Rob Schmidt
Eliza Dushku, Desmond Harrington, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Sisto, Lindy Booth, Kevin Zegers
Writing Credits:
Alan B. McElroy

It's the last one you'll ever make.

An indescribable nightmare begins when a group of young friends are stranded on an isolated road deep in the Appalachian hills of West Virginia, with no hope of rescue. Desperate and fearing for their lives, the horror surges as they find themselves relentlessly pursued by a force of evil beyond their imagination! Featuring a hip ensemble of up-and-coming young stars, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Eliza Dushku, this blood curdling epic is a shock-a-minute horror rush that will leave you screaming for more!

Box Office:
$10 million.
Opening Weekend
$5.161 million on 1615 screens.
Domestic Gross
$15.417 million.

Rated R

Widescreen 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Surround 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 84 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 9/15/2009

• Audio Commentary with Director Rob Schmidt and Actors Desmond Harrington and Eliza Dushku
• Deleted Scenes
• “Making of Wrong Turn” Featurette
• “Eliza Dushku: Babe in the Woods” Featurette
• Stan Winston Featurette
• “Fresh Meat: The Wounds of Wrong Turn” Featurette
• Poster Concepts
• Trailer


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Wrong Turn [Blu-Ray] (2003)

Reviewed by David Williams / Updated by Colin Jacobson (October 23, 2009)

Scream was popular for a reason: it offered a self-aware roadmap that the vast majority of horror films follow. Even though most moviegoers knew “the rules”, it was cool seeing someone in a horror film actually admit it. Well, it looks like the crew behind Wrong Turn saw Scream and Joy Ride at a double-feature, jotted down a few notes, and decided “we can do that!” Then that group caught an episode of The X-Files entitled “Home” and said, “Now we have our villains! Crazed, deformed, and murderous hillbillies!”

However, all of that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as Wrong Turn manages minor entertainment, much in the same way I was entertained by its contemporary Cabin Fever: I threw back a couple of drinks, knew what to expect going in, and enjoyed it for the mindless fun that it was meant to be. Wrong Turn lasts a scant 84-minutes and being in the horror genre, you can imagine that the plot only exists to put people into cool and unique situations to die.

Six young city slickers end up stranded on a backwoods road after a small accident. While running late on his way to a job interview, Chris Finn (Desmond Harrington) gets stuck in traffic. On an alternate – and more off the beaten path – route, he ends up slamming into the rear end of the SUV. There he meets the other characters who will flesh out the story. After further investigation, it seems that the road was booby-trapped with some barbed wire that caused the SUV’s tire to blow - and as expected, this leaves all six more than a little nervous.

Surrounded by thick forests and mountains, the sextet decides to split up to look for help. Sexually charged potheads Francine (Lindy Booth) and Evan (Kevin Zegers) stay behind for a little tryst. This doesn’t go well for them or the others, as the aforementioned hillbillies have fun with violence.

The film telegraphs its every move and Wrong Turn follows all of “the rules”. The big group splits up, it’s never hard to figure out who’s going to die next, the methodically slow hillbillies somehow manage to track down young, nubile teens, and the remainder of the group that’s alive always manages to stand around way too long. It should be rather obvious at this stage in my review that Wrong Turn brings nothing new to the table, but it doesn’t do a bad job of paying homage to those that went before it.

Rob Schmidt smartly directed the film and he keeps things interesting at a very concise 84 minutes. There’s not too much dead air, the action and its setups are agreeably staged, the cast members take themselves and their material seriously enough, and the film mercifully knows when it’s time to leave.

Stan Winston’s involvement in the film doesn’t pay off as much as I’d hoped it would, as Wrong Turn doesn’t allow Winston’s company to show off too much. The effects themselves are appropriately gory, but at least one of the inbred hillbillies seriously looks like a third-rate rip-off of one of the creatures seen in the X-Files episode I mentioned earlier. Winston and company definitely stick to the basics here and make sure that the blood, guts, and dismembered body parts are as vomit-inducing as possible.

Wrong Turn is a throwback to backwoods horror flicks of the 70’s like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes. Reminiscent of recent flicks like Cabin Fever, Wrong Turn doesn’t take itself too seriously and much like House of 1000 Corpses, it revels in mindless gore. It’s not the greatest horror/suspense film you’ll ever see, but it’s fun enough because it never tries to be anything more than what it is: mindless, cannibalistic, hillbilly fun.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Wrong Turn appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie came with a disappointing transfer.

The main negative stemmed from softness. From the very start, the movie often looked less concise than I expected. In fact, it showed so many issues in this domain that I wondered if the softness was a stylistic choice to give the flick more of a 70s vibe. However, nothing else here led me to that conclusion, as the other aspects of the visuals seemed more modern and didn’t exhibit a self-conscious gritty look. This meant the softness was simply puzzling and off-putting. The movie never looked tremendously ill defined, but it usually lacked the precision I expected.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws were minor. I saw a smattering of specks but nothing major, and grain was essentially non-existent. That was actually a bit of a disappointment; at least a grainier image would’ve better explained the blandness of the general definition.

In terms of colors, the movie tended toward a green natural tone that matched the wooded setting. The hues looked decent, but like the rest of the image, they lacked much vivacity. I thought the colors were fine but not exceptional. Blacks seemed a bit bland and inky, and shadows tended to be a bit on the dense side; most low-light shots came across as somewhat flat. This wasn’t an awful presentation, but I didn’t think it deserved better than a “C”.

On the other hand, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Wrong Turn was a real winner. The soundfield really brought the semi-cliché material to life. The creepiness of the woods presented a great sense of place, and the many action elements kicked the story into high gear. Various components cropped up in all five channels and created a strong environmental side to the story. Music showed good stereo imaging, and the various effects added measurably to the presentation.

Audio quality was consistently satisfying. Effects packed a strong punch, as LFE response seemed tight and loud – but not too loud, as the bass matched the rest of the material well. Effects also came across as clean and concise. Music was full and robust, while speech appeared natural and crisp. The soundtrack worked very well and contributed to the movie’s effectiveness despite the mediocre visuals.

With that we head to the extras. We open with an audio commentary from director Rob Schmidt and actors Desmond Harrington and Eliza Dushku. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at influences and tone, cast, characters and performances, makeup and effects, sets and locations, stunts, music and problems that occurred during the shoot.

Expect an up and down commentary. On the negative side, we get a fair amount of dead air, and those moments make the track plod at times. However, when the participants speak, they usually offer good information. We find a nice mix of details here, so despite the frustrations of the many silences, there’s enough useful material on display to make the discussion worth a listen.

Three Deleted Scenes appear. We get “Waterfall” (3:03), “Francine Kill” (0:31), and “Francine Kill Dailies” (3:20). Nothing memorable appears here. “Waterfall” presents a bit more character development between Chris and Jessie; we already get a good feel for the pair, so this becomes unnecessary. “Kill” offers a little extra gore, while “Dailies” just shows outtakes from that scene.

Four featurettes follow. Making of Wrong Turn goes for four minutes, two seconds and includes remarks from Schmidt, Dushku, Harrington, producer Stan Winston, and actors Jeremy Sisto and Emmanuelle Chriqui. They do little more than recount the film’s plot and characters. We see a few fleeting behind the scenes shots, but those aren’t enough to redeem this superficial promotional piece.

Next comes the three-minute and 42-second Eliza Dushku: Babe in the Woods. It features remarks from Schmidt, Winston, and Dushku. Essentially we learn what a great actor – and tough chick - Dushku is. Expect more promotional fluff.

A Stan Winston Featurette goes for four minutes, 40 seconds and includes notes from Winston, Schmidt, Dushku, and Harrington. Winston gives us a very short overview of his career highlights and his work on Wrong Turn. This isn’t a bad piece, but it’s too superficial to become memorable.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we end with another featurette. Fresh Meat: The Wounds of Wrong Turn runs nine minutes, 25 seconds and provides notes from Schmidt, Winston, and editor Michael Ross. “Wounds” looks at the design and execution of the film’s makeup effects and gore. It becomes easily the most informative of the set’s programs.

Wrong Turn gets the job done as a pragmatic and utilitarian slasher flick and was mind-numbingly enjoyable in spots. And while it’s a good way to waste less than 90 minutes of your life, it’s hard to recommend sight unseen to anyone other than hardcore Fangoria subscribers and fans of the genre. The Blu-ray offers excellent audio but comes with a mediocre transfer and a minor array of supplements. This is a good movie, but except for the soundtrack, the Blu-ray disappoints.

To rate this film visit the original review of WRONG TURN

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