“Hey, Brainiac! Sshhh!”
And that’s what I was trying to tell myself throughout this cheesy freakin’ movie. Unfortunately the filmmakers made it really hard. Chris (Desmond Harrington–don’t worry. I don’t know him, either.) is on his way to an important job interview. I think. When the road is blocked for several hours he decides to take a shortcut.
The so-called, Wrong Turn.
There he runs into (literally) a group of young campers whose tire was blown out by some rouge barbed wire.
Now who could have put that there? Could it be the folks who killed the mountain climbers in the opening scene? I bet it was!
The campers consist of Jessie the tough girl (Eliza Dushku from Bring It On and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”), Scott the sensitive engaged guy (Jeremy Sisto from “Six Feet Under” and Clueless), Carly the dumb engaged girl (Emmanuelle Chriqui from 100 Girls and, unfortunately, The N’Sync Movie, erm, On The Line) and a couple of other kids who I didn’t recognize, but they get axed in the first half hour so they’re not important. Of course, none of the characters really are, so I don’t know why I bothered.
Then a family of West Virginian mutants comes along and starts picking them off one by one.
The question for these kinds of movies isn’t usually “Do we care?” It’s “Do we want to see these kids die in horribly nasty ways?” The answer here is for the most part, “Not really. Couldn’t care less one way or another.”
Now, I may be totally crazy (may be, hell. I AM crazy.), but I liked House Of 1000 Corpses better than this. This was just kind of boring. Yeah, the kids are dumber than the day is long. Yeah, they get killed. Yeah, some of them get killed in very cool ways. (Ok, one of them does. The rest are kind of mundane.) But their deaths don’t affect me at all. They didn’t make me cringe. They didn’t make me sad for them. They actually kind of made me glad because every death meant that the end was nearer.
At least House had some style.
Now, Film Threat, who I usually respect on movies like this because they’re just as freaky as I am, liked this movie. They said that, while it didn’t fully succeed, it tried to hearken back to the days when movies about freaky, backwoods families were truly scary and there were thousands of movies made about them (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, I Spit On Your Grave (to some extent), Deliverance, Southern Comfort), but they forgot one thing about those movies: a lot of them were kinda boring. Only two of the aforementioned films were actually any good (Texas Chainsaw and Deliverance) and two of the others have cults attached to them because of who directed them (Hills) or because…um…I don’t know why (Spit). Other than that, this isn’t a genre that I really want to bring back.
But Rob Zombie and Rob Schmidt (Crime And Punishment In Suburbia–another bad teensploitation movie) are giving it the ol’ college try and not really succeeding at it.
Are the performances any good? Well, they have an able cast, but I don’t think they cared too much. Jeremy seems to be channeling Woody Allen, Carly was almost too dumb to breath and it’s very strange to see Eliza be even a little bit weak after playing Faith so well on Buffy. I kept expecting her to look up after being hit and start kicking ass like a Slayer should.
Not that I watched the show that much. Really. Stop hitting me!
Overall, not a very good movie. Rent it if you really want to see a bunch of dumb kids get their heads chopped on half (I do at times) or if you’re an Eliza fan (I am at times) or if you want to see Emmanuelle in a nice little tank top (I did). But if you’re looking for actual scares or a good movie keep looking.
I have two questions for Hollywood, though. First off, are all Ozark mutants super strong? They all seem to be able to lift people up with one hand and chop through their entire bodies with one hack of an ax. And second, when are you guys going to stop trying to keep me out of the woods?! I happen to love camping! When are you going to do a movie about a bunch of kids who break into an office park and start getting hacked up? Hell, I’m already scared to go into one of those places.