Wrong Turn is standard early 2000’s horror movie fare. It’s exactly like all the other movies featuring Abercrombie-wearing twenty-somethings being chased by mentally challenged and deformed individuals. Wrong Turn just happens to star Eliza Dushku and Desmond Harrington as the main Abercrombie twenty-somethings, and they both give serviceable performances.
The villains are clearly inspired by Leatherface of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. They drag their victim’s bodies back to their disgusting dilapidated homes only to chop them up with rusty saws and axes. These scenes are nothing new, and the grunts and snorts the villains employ as communication are almost comical.
There’s not much else to say about the plot of the movie. It ends before it gets overly long, and manages minimal scares. It’s a low level b-movie, but more than anything it reminds of the struggle the horror genre went through after the post-Scream renaissance and subsequent oversaturation. Horror had an extremely difficult time producing anything fresh and an even harder time producing anything good. Very few horror movies from 2000-2004 really stuck (28 Days Later and Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead are standouts. The Blair Witch Project was released in 1999.) Really, it wasn’t until Saw came around and gave the horror genre its torture-porn sub category (for better or worse) that horror became relevant, and “teens-getting-stabbed” hasn’t been relevant since 1998.
I wish Wrong Turn was better. I like the actors, and I think if the villains were handled better, it could have been a truly scary movie. What we end up with is a reminder of all the bad movies like Wrong Turn. I’m also wondering, how in the hell did this movie get four sequels?