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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rob Schmidt|
|Written by||Alan B. McElroy|
|Music by||Elia Cmiral|
|Cinematography||John S. Bartley|
|Edited by||Michael Ross|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$28.7 million|
Wrong Turn is a 2003 American horror film directed by Rob Schmidt and written by Alan B. McElroy. The film stars Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and Jeremy Sisto. It is the first installment in the Wrong Turn film series, which includes five films, and the only entry in the series to be released theatrically.
College students Rich Stoker and Halley Smith were rock climbing deep in a remote forest of West Virginia. When Rich reaches the top, he prepares to help Halley up, but is suddenly murdered. Someone then begins to yank Halley up the cliff so she cuts the rope and falls to the ground before attempting to escape but before she rushes to the car, she trips over a piece of barbed wire and then gets pulled back into the woods, screaming.
Medical student Chris Flynn (Desmond Harrington) drives through the mountains of West Virginia on his way to a business meeting, but a chemical spill in the road ahead forces him to take a different route. After being distracted for a moment, he collides with another car that is stopped in the middle of the road since its tires have been punctured by a piece of barbed wire. The car belongs to a group of college students on a camping trip: Jessie (Eliza Dushku), Carly (Emmanuelle Chriqui), Scott (Jeremy Sisto), Evan (Kevin Zegers) and Francine (Lindy Booth).
Evan and Francine stay to watch the cars as the others go to find help. Soon after, both of them are murdered by unknown attackers when they investigate the woods. Meanwhile, the others find an isolated cabin and go inside to use the phone. After looking around for a moment, they are horrified to find human body parts. They quickly attempt to escape but are instead forced to hide inside when they see the family returning home. Three disfigured cannibalistic mountain men "Three Finger" (Julian Richings), "Saw Tooth" (Garry Robbins) and "One Eye" (Ted Clark) enter the cabin, bringing Francine's dead body. The four silently watch in horror as her body is messily dismembered and then eaten.
Hours later after the cannibals fall asleep, they quietly attempt to escape. However, Saw Tooth awakens, alerts the other cannibals, and begins to chase them through the forest. The group climb up to a nearby clearing where they find hundreds of cars that belonged to the family's previous victims. When the cannibals arrive, Chris distracts their attention so the others can run for help, but he is shot in the leg by Saw Tooth, leaving Scott to distract them instead, and he gets away. The girls help Chris into their truck and quickly drive down a nearby path to pick up Scott. They find him, but as he runs to the car, Saw Tooth kills him with arrows and takes his body back to their cabin.
Chris, Jessie and Carly reach a dead end and have to continue on foot. They stumble upon an old watchtower and find a radio inside, which they use to call for help, but do not get a response. Later, they see the cannibals armed with torches searching at the foot of the watchtower. The radio starts responding to their call, alerting the cannibals. Unable to get inside, the cannibals set the tower on fire to try and burn the group alive, but they escape by jumping out of the window into a nearby tree. As they hide, Three Finger catches Carly and decapitates her. Chris and Jessie successfully set up a trap to throw Three Finger off the tree and escape.
After escaping, Chris and Jessie hide in a cave near a waterfall until the next morning. Just as they find a road out of the woods, the mountain men find them, pushing Chris down the hill and taking Jessie back to their cabin. Chris survives the fall and meets a police officer, but before Chris is able to convince the police officer of what is happening, the man is shot in the eye with an arrow. Chris attempts to drive away in the police truck, but cannot find the key, so he instead hitches a ride underneath the truck as it is driven back to the cabin by Saw Tooth, where Jessie is tied to a bed and gagged. As she is about to be killed, Chris drives through the building and runs into One Eye. Three Finger, who survived the fall off the tree, then arrives to help his brothers. Chris unties Jessie and they fight the cannibals together. They escape and Chris manages to kill the cannibals by blowing up their cabin with a shotgun. Chris and Jessie drive out of the forest with the cannibals' pickup truck.
The credits are interrupted by a scene showing a deputy sheriff investigating and picking over the remains of the destroyed cabin. Three Finger, who survived the fall, rises to attack the deputy. His insane laughter is heard, as the credits continue to roll.
- Desmond Harrington as Chris Flynn
- Eliza Dushku as Jessie Burlingame
- Emmanuelle Chriqui as Carly
- Jeremy Sisto as Scott
- Kevin Zegers as Evan
- Lindy Booth as Francine
- Julian Richings as Three Finger
- Garry Robbins as Saw Tooth
- Ted Clark as One Eye
- Yvonne Gaudry as Halley Smith
- Joel Harris as Richard "Rich" Stoker
- David Huband as Trooper
- Wayne Robson as Old Man
- James Downing as Trucker
Commercial Releases cover
|Film score by Elia Cmiral|
|Released||June 3, 2003 (Score)
July 1, 2003 (Commercial)
20th Century Fox
- "In Stancee" - Eris
- "Bloody Fingers" - Jet Black Summer
- "Every Famous Last Word" - Miracle of 86
- "Never Said Anything" - The Belles
- "Why Would I Want to Die?" - Grandaddy
- "Haunted" - King Black Acid
- "Three Murders" - Deadman
- "Ex" - Tara King Theory
- "Birthday" - Simple
- "Even the Scars Forget the Wound" - Gruvis Malt
- "He's a Killer" - DJ Swamp
- "Bring the Pain"/"Multiple Incisions" - Candiria
- "If Only" - Queens of The Stone Age
- "Wish I May" - Breaking Benjamin
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Wrong Turn received mostly mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 41% of 78 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 4.3/10. The consensus is: "An unremarkable slasher flick that fails to distinguish itself from others of its ilk".
Films and series continuity
The film is followed a sequel Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007). It premiered at the London FrightFest Film Festival on August 25, 2007. The sequel was successful on DVD and received positive reviews from film critics.
The first three films set during the 2000s (the first taking place in 2003) while the fourth and fifth films take place before the events of the first film. The sixth film however takes place in 2013, and completely ignores the continuity of the previous films.
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