Wrong Turn (2003) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Horror
Fox || R - 84 minutes - $29.99 || September 15, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-09-18


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Rob Schmidt
Writer(s): Alan McElroy (written by)
Cast: Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Sisto


Theatrical Release Date: May 30, 2003


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 4 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

I’ve decided to reproduce my original reviews as my opinion of the movie over the last 5 years has not changed much. The point of this Blu-ray review is for the picture and audio so please skip to that section if that is what you are interested in.

Original Theatrical Review (published 06/30/2003)
Wrong Turn is a B-movie horror flick about three mutant people living in the vast West Virginian wild lands and getting their nutrition (and kicks) by killing anyone who comes their way. The film opens up with a couple who are rock climbing and both meet their doom by one of these creatures.

After the opening credits that shows us some headlines explaining about these mutants (and they do not have super powers, by the way) we meet Chris Finn (Harrington) who makes the stupid decision of taking the backwoods route to get around a chemical spill that blocks his way to an important meeting. While on this dirt road, he runs slam smack into a Land Rover that sitting in the middle of the road. The occupants of the vehicle: Jessie (Dushku), Carly (Chriqui), Scott (Sisto), Francine and Evan (Zegers) were outside because their tires were shredded due to do a homemade wire razor stretched across the road.

So, like in any good horror movie what do these individuals do (after some introductions, of course)? Two stay behind for the monsters... err, I mean to wait for any possible help while the others go further down the road in hopes for some civilization. After going down the road a bit they discover a trash heap of a cabin and when no one comes to the door, Chris has the brilliant idea of breaking in to look for a phone. Upon exploration of the place, they find miscellaneous items such as sunglasses, dolls, car keys, etc. Of course, our mutant friends come home and our brave souls are trapped! What will they do? I needn't go further but I will say I went to this film for the sole purpose of seeing Eliza Dushku.

Needless to say when you see a plot about three mutant men — One-Eye, Saw-Tooth, and Three-Finger — killing people in the remote West Virginian woods, you don't expect much at all, so I was surprised that I "liked" it as much as I did. The fact is, this is the type of movie that is only directed at a certain niche of the movie-going population, the type that loves the campy creatures who kill just for the sake of killing- no rhyme or reason. I enjoyed the cast for the most part and, of course, there was very little character development, but considering the genre, is there ever really?

Desmond Harrington and Eliza Dushku turn in "good" performances all things considered and this film (shocking as it sounds) could raise them up to deeper and more meaningful roles in the future. Dushku has already become a veteran TV actress from her seasons on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" so I already knew she could act pretty well, but I knew little about Harrington. I was amused by his performance- it was low key and nothing special but he carried it through to its (predictable) conclusion. The other cast members, Sisto and Chriqui do fine jobs but nothing special, but still it's on par with the genre.

The film scared me about two or three times so it's nowhere near on the level with other horror flicks however, it's the good young cast that's the reason I'm giving the film two stars. I enjoyed for what it is and frankly, I could not give it anymore than that.

Original DVD review (published 10/14/2003)
I was surprised about how much I enjoyed it this time. No, it's still not a great horror movie, but I was entertained none-the-less. The acting was normal overall with Harrington and Dushku doing their best as they run from the inbred murderers. So, with that, I've upped my rating from 2.25 to 3.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

My favorite feature was commentary from director Schmidt and stars Desmond Harrington and *sigh* Eliza Dushku. The trio batter around stories from the set or -- in the case of Schmidt -- talking about the influences of the style. Harrington was fairly quiet while Schmidt and Dushku did the majority of talking. My only problem with it was there were quite a few of silent lulls.

Next up are three innocuous deleted scenes (7:00). A couple try to add some character development but it only would’ve slowed down the pace from the mayhem and killing. The third one is just extra takes (variety of close-ups) of Lindy Booth’s death scene. Poor girl.

Lastly are four featurettes which are all just regular EPK fluff:

Fresh Meat: The Wounds of Wrong Turn (9:25) is just a behind-the-scenes look at the make-up, blood and whatnot of the film with comments from the cast and crew (including the late great Stan Winston).

Making of Wrong Turn (4:03) is more of the same except this time it’s something made to advertise the film perhaps on F/X or Fox.

Eliza Dushku: Babe in the Woods (3:42) takes a look at the wonderful and sultry chick we all fell in love with on “Buffy” and currently “Dollhouse” and how she contributed to her character.

Last of them is a Stan Winston Featurette (4:40) which is about the monster legend and has comments from the master himself.

Finally the Blu-ray comes with the film’s theatrical trailer (2:14). Dropped from this release was a poster art gallery.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Well, another catalogue release and another subpar video transfer. Wrong Turn is presented with a 1.85 aspect ratio and on a 25GB Blu-ray disc (VC-1 codec). I immediately noticed a bland video that seemed to have been taken from the original 2003 master. Although colors are OK, the picture isn’t very sharp and softly detailed. I don’t know if DNR was used but the lack of noise or film grain (on a low budget film) is suspicious. Even close-ups on faces, which normally can look fantastic, just did not look right and at times a bit hazy.

I decided to do a quick comparison with my DVD copy and honestly, the biggest difference was this was centered properly (black bars even on top and bottom), other than that, these two are similar except the Blu-ray is slightly smoother... slightly. This is one time I can say you can save your money and keep the DVD as that transfer actually, by DVD standards, wasn’t bad.

Now, the audio offers some promise as the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is nicely dispersed across the channels. Again, while doing my comparison, the Dolby Digital 5.1 track was fine but a bit heavy and focused mainly on the front speakers. The lossless audio made a little more use out of the rear channels while the front speakers weren’t so heavy and gave an overall nice home theater experience.



.::OVERALL::.

If it weren’t for such an average video transfer — since there’s not a whole lot of difference between this and the DVD from what I could tell —, Wrong Turn might have been a moderately acceptable purchase, but with only a nice DTS-HD MA audio mix and the same features, this is one I would skip, unless you don’t already own the DVD and can find it for under $10...