OCTOBER 8, 2007
Tonight I am going to see a rare theatrical screening of Wrong Turn 2, which I consider one of the year’s best horror movies (and one that I pointed out would play best to a big crowd, so I’m pretty excited). So I decided to make the original Wrong Turn my “October Extra” for the day.
When the film came out in May 2003, most horror movies were PG-13, or direct to video, So I remember being surprised that the film was going into theaters at all. And I was particularly amazed at how mean spirited it was. The axe through the head death remains one of the best shock kills in a survival horror movie ever (though WT2 tops it at least twice), and there’s a particularly high amount of gore. Even the smaller stuff, like when Desmond Harrington (that guy is fucking cool, how come he’s not in more movies?) grabs the spring on the door, cutting the shit out of his hand, is pretty uncommon in the landscape of pre-Saw/Hostel modern horror.
Plus the movie’s just a lot of fun. Jeremy Sisto is a hoot, though sadly killed too early. And the incredibly annoying Lindy Booth is killed gruesomely, which made me very happy. There’s very little slowdown to the pace, but the characters are still pretty likeable, and are given enough characterization to count for something. And while it suffers from the same problem lots of survival films do (the idea that some random folks who don’t seem very special would be the only ones to turn the tables on a group that has been doing this for years), nothing about it seemed too ridiculous.
The movie also has one of my favorite lines ever from a movie redneck. Usually they are just the butt of some jokes, and don’t get to ever make a comeback, but not here. Harrington approaches a truck driver and asks him if he knows another route to take, and the guy responds “Here’s what you do... go back to your car, fix your hair about three hundred more times....” Hahahahaha, awesome. Also, the movie has a great twist to the standard “Guy fucks with his car stereo and gets into an accident” scene. So yeah, while the plot may be pretty generic, there’s more than enough little moments like that to make the film stick out.
On the extras, Rob Schmidt goes on and on about Texas Chain Saw and Hills Have Eyes being major influences, and while that is clear, his film is devoid of any sort of social commentary, which is a big part of why those other films have endured. But it’s not a blight on the film – it’s nice to see a movie just have mutants killing folks for no goddamn reason every now and then. I’d much rather that than deal with something like the Hills remake’s totally idiotic “YOU ARE THE TERRORISTS!” scene in the middle of a Wrong Turn movie.
I’d like to point out that the chapter stops in the movie are totally at random, often coming in the middle of a scene. Come on FOX! What are you, channeling Mill Creek?
What say you?