Wrong Turn (2003)

(On TV, February 2017) It’s kind of amazing that Wrong Turn spawned five sequels (and counting), given how much of a generic hillbilly horror film it is. Featuring college-aged protagonists pitted against murderous cannibal hillbillies, Wrong Turn delights in macabre gags, makes no secret of its affection for its monsters rather than its human victims, and feels like a cynical attempt to churn out just another clichéd horror film. It’s a film that doesn’t have much of a reason for existing, even while we’re watching it for the first time—it’s obviously following conventional genre formula, and it’s not particularly well executed enough to rise above the muck. Eliza Dushku and Emmanuelle Chriqui have featured roles (poor them), but that’s nowhere near enough to justify seeing the film. Wrong Turn’s meanness will be repulsive to anyone who’s not a convinced gore hounds, while not offering anything more than straight-up genre thrills.

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