Thoughts on “Wrong Turn”

So, the first “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” style slasher movie I ever watched was “Backwoods”. At the time, I noted that it was an okay movie but seemed to incorporate so many of the tropes common to such movies that it was difficult to see what someone who liked those movies would see in it. And then I ended up turning my attention to the “Wrong Turn” series of movies, which are in the same genre, and was much less mystified. More on that when I finish off the series and, in fact, talk about the movie that is at least the most famous in that genre, the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.

Anyway, the thing that struck me about this movie is that it doesn’t seem like any kind of “Wrong Turn” is involved here at all. The lead character seems to be taking a legitimate detour and it’s never made clear that he had taken a wrong turn and went the wrong way. All that happens is that he is trying to find a back roads way to get to his interview, is going a bit too quickly for that, and slams into a car that was deliberately on that road but that ended up with a deliberately caused flat tire. At the end, he grabs the map from the gas station where he started as if that would have helped, but it probably wouldn’t have.

Anyway, the movie is built around that group of young people thrown together by chance and deliberate sabotage being stalked and attacked by a group of deformed and insane hillbillies, who use them for food. They kill off a couple who were left behind while the others went for help, and then end up killing off the other ones in somewhat messy ways, after they discovered that, well, they were going to be killed for food. At the end, for some reason instead of killing the female lead they kidnap her and tie her up, gagged, to a bed, for what seems like no other reason than to allow the male lead the chance to rescue her. It couldn’t be that they tend to kill the men for meat and keep the women for breeding because they had an easy chance to capture Lindy Booth’s character for that and instead simply slaughtered her, so this makes no sense whatsoever and only serves to provide a mediocre ending action sequence.

Ultimately, that’s a big part of the problem with this movie: there is no attempt to explain anything or have anything makes sense. So this makes it a typical hillbilly slasher movie, but the characters aren’t all that interesting and sympathetic. The female lead — played by Eliza Dushku — is aggressively snarky for most of it, even when it isn’t appropriate and the person she’s snarking at doesn’t deserve it. The male lead wavers between “jerk” and “devoid of personality”. The villains are distinct visually, but don’t really have strong personalities here and so are pretty much just slightly different sorts of killers. So all that’s left are the killings, which aren’t particularly gory or creative. This makes for a fairly mediocre movie.

There’s nothing here that’s really new, creative or well-done. It’s an okay movie, but not one that I — admittedly as someone who doesn’t care for this genre of horror movie — really want to watch again.

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2 Responses to “Thoughts on “Wrong Turn””

  1. Final Thoughts on the “Wrong Turn” Series | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] villains was better explained. There was more of a purpose to their actions. As an example, in the first “Wrong Turn” movie I griped that the killers killed all the female characters off and then all of a sudden captured […]

  2. Thoughts on “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] dinged the first “Wrong Turn” movie for contriving to capture the Final Girl when everyone before that had been killed. This movie does […]

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