Director: Rob Schmidt
Written by: Alan McElroy
Threat: Mutant Hillbillies
Weapon of Choice: Axe
Based upon: none
Other movies in this series:
The tyranist's thoughts
I remember seeing the trailer for this one and thinking it might be pretty good. I dragged my feet, though, and missed it in the theatre. At least, when I did finally see it, Rish was around to enjoy it with me.
A young man in a hurry chooses to head down a dirt track when he finds the highway blocked by an accident. Shortly after that, he's in an accident of his own, rear-ending an SUV that has a blown tire. He teams up with the people from the SUV to wander around the backwoods looking for help. Death follows.
I like Eliza Dushku as much as the next man and she's really pretty good in this one. The rest of the cast ain't all that bad either. Combine their talents with a pretty good script, great monster make-up from our hero Stan Winston and this ended up being a really good movie.
This sits firmly in the genre of Texas Chainsaw and The Hills Have Eyes, but its slick production values, smart dialogue and good acting make it much more palatable somehow. In some ways this one takes the best of that '70s backwoods horror, combines it with the modern teen horror and makes something that transcends the base elements of its sub-genres.
Definitely worth checking this one out. I was pleasantly surprised by it and there are some effects that make it worth seeing even if you aren't really a fan of this particular type of movie.
"I'll take Imbred Backwoods Serial Killers for $800, Alex."
When tyranist and I would spend time around other people, they'd often be amazed (or annoyed, depending on the person) by how similar we were in our tastes and interests, or way of talking and philosophies, our senses of humour and the food we liked to eat. Since I often focus on the ways in which we are different, it shocked me recently when we watched a bunch of films and had the exact same reaction to them.
Everything tyranist just said about Wrong Turn I agree with. We watched it and House of 1000 Corpses on the same night, two modern throwbacks to gritty 1970's Horror. And I know I speak for my friend when I say that we liked Wrong Turn more than all the gritty 1970's flicks it was imitating. It wasn't the best film ever (or probably even of the year), but it was much better than it had any right to be.
Part of that was due to the fact that the characters were just so likeable. They were well-acted and thoughtful, and not only were they attractive, but they were nice people (something sorely lacking in 90% of the slashers I've paid to see). The audience doesn't want bad things to happen to people they like, and that makes the scares more effective.
The script was first-rate, its death makeup effects were astounding and its villains truly menacing. It had a sequence with our heroes trapped in the bad guys' lair that was about as tense as you can get.
The only negatives I can think of are that the villains--the mutant hillbillies, as we called them--were disgusting and personality-less, rather than cooly-designed and interesting. But that actually served to make us like them less and want the heroes to survive and/or kill them, so what can I say? And, folks, the film DID have a totally wasted opportunity for nudity. And that doesn't help anybody, does it?
Total Skulls: 22
|Rips off earlier film|
|Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie|
|Future celebrity appears|
|Former celebrity appears|
|Girl unnecessarily gets naked|
|Death associated with sex|
|Unfulfilled promise of nudity|
|Characters forget about threat|
|Power is cut|
|Phone lines are cut|
|Someone investigates a strange noise|
|Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door|
|Camera is the killer|
|Victims cower in front of a window/door|
|Victim locks self in with killer|
|Victim running from killer inexplicably falls|
|Toilet stall scene|
|Car stalls or won't start|
|Cat jumps out|
|Stupid discovery of corpse|
|No one believes only witness|
|Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth|
|Warning goes unheeded|
|Music detracts from scene|
|Death in first five minutes|
|x years before/later|
|Dark and stormy night|
|Killer doesn't stay dead|
|Killer wears a mask|
|Killer is in closet|
|Killer is in car with victim|
|Villain is more sympathetic than heroes|
|Blood spatters - camera, wall, etc.|
|Poor death effect|
|No one dies at all|
|Little kid lamely survives|
|Dog/Pet miraculously survives|
|"It was all a dream" ending|
|Unbelievably happy ending|
|Unbelievably crappy ending|
|What the hell?|