Sunday, 1 November 2009



It was always going to be tough to live up to the first two Wrong Turn entries. The formula is basically The Texas Chain Saw Massacre all over again (okay, there's no chainsaws and it's not set in Texas, so call it The West Virginia Sharp And Pointy Things Massacre) as a bunch of townies venture out into the rural backwaters where Anything Can Happen, and have a short space of time to regret their decisions before being dispatched in brutal and visually interesting ways, but the first film is actually surprisingly nasty-edged and humourless, and has a couple of Name Stars in it (the main one being Eliza Dushku in a tight vest). The second one was broader, more comedic, with lots of upfront gore and I was thoroughly entertained.

Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead doesn't manage the task beyond being an entirely functional continuation for the DVD rentals market: it does exactly what you'd expect - idiots go into the woods and get messily killed - without being overly interesting or stylish or original but dishing up the (literally) eye-popping gore highlights. It kicks off in typical goretastic fashion, with two whitewater rafting couples who set up camp and indulge in the most thoroughly gratuitous topless scene in ages before the deformed yeehawing hillbilly mutant cannibals show up and teach them the error of their ways. Sadly, most of this episode's victims are hardened badass criminals whose prison transfer bus is run off the round by the mutants - for one thing it's hard to care whether any of these despicable individuals live or die, and for another more of them are killed off by their colleagues than by the mutants.

The mutants aren't as well showcased this time around, characterisation is thin at best (it's nice how in Wrong Turn 2 the annoying female you had pegged as destined to end up in a large pie actually develops and graduates to Final Girl status) and the constant swearing from the criminals is frankly dull. No-one expects them to talk like Jeeves and Wooster but there's no need to rub our noses in it. But the blood and gore is plentiful (if sometimes CGId, which as far as I'm concerned is cheating), and they try to top Wrong Turn 2's opening Big Axe vertical bisection with a cheesewire vertical trisection - it's not as good, though. Overall it's not terrible; it's just exactly what you thought a Wrong Turn 3 was going to be like - functional, does the job, no surprises or revelations. Most of the cast are British - with lots of occasional TV on their CVs such as Hollyoaks, Casualty, The Bill, and Footballers' Wives - pretending to Americans just as Bulgaria is standing in for West Virginia.


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