There’s only one thing you need to know about Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead to understand why it is a failed movie, not only for this series, but as a movie in general: nowhere in the entire run time, most conspicuously at the top, does anyone make a wrong turn. That’s a failure for the series for a very obvious reason – the whole story revolves around the idea of people getting lost and ending up somewhere they don’t want to be. It also marks it as a general movie failure because the beginning of the movie involves at least two opportunities for two separate groups of people to make wrong turns or at least acknowledge that they made wrong turns off camera and fail to do so.
A minor point? No, more of an omen, a signpost that says the makers were not firing on all cylinders when they made this one. And sure enough, the deeper the viewer gets into the movie, the more this becomes apparent. This is the kind of movie that gives direct-to-video movies the sorry reputation they have. Even the back of the box art seems lackadaisical, as if no one could muster up the enthusiasm to make another one of these movies. Which is a shame seeing as how the first sequel came off like gangbusters.
Speaking of gangbusters, here’s the story of part 3 – A group of rafters spouting difficult-to-decipher lingo – “I’m gonna blow a stick.” “Well don’t hog that kush.” Eh? – are attacked by ol’ Three-Finger (the only survivor, along with his infant mutant son, from the last movie) and quickly dispatched. Then, jump to the nearby Grafton Penitentiary, where tensions are rising between the skinheads and the generic latino gang… for some reason. Anyway, it seems there’s going to be a surprise prisoner transfer that very night and Nate (Tom Frederic), a prison guard, is going to help out. They’re going to be moving Chavez (Tamer Hassan) of the generic Latino gang and Floyd (Gil Kolirin) of the skinheads along with an undercover Federal Marshall, the unfunny comic relief inmate, and the innocent man inmate.
Off they go on the bus trip that is definitely doomed (a bus trip that includes one of the absolute worst green-screen-out-the-windshield shots of any movie anywhere). They stop at a Sheriff’s station about halfway where we learn that Nate is from around these parts. We also meet the portly Sheriff (Bill Moody) and his ridiculously beautiful deputy (Emma Clifford). Then it’s off again into the night, where our villain Three Finger finally shows up, forces the bus off the road and chases the chained prisoners and guards into the woods.
What follows barely qualifies as a horror movie. The chained prisoners get the upper hand and Chavez forces Nate to lead them out of these woods. As they go they find an abandoned armored car full of money (somehow the banks are the only people in the Wrong Turn universe who know better than to come out to this neck of the woods, no matter how much money they lose). They take the money and continue on their journey. Each scene is basically comprised of the same elements. Someone refuses to do something Chavez wants them to do, he threatens to totally kill them if they don’t, and then they do it. This makes less and less sense as time goes on, especially considering how quickly he killed that one guard that didn’t matter to the plot at the beginning. Alex (Janet Montgomery), the only surviving rafter, appears and becomes the token female in this group. And when nothing else is going on, Three Finger appears and shoots things at them, usually killing one of them in a way that’s already been done in the other movies.
It’s a bad movie from stem to stern. The FX are cheap and flimsy. The casting is poor with the exception of Hassan and Montgomery. The production is solid, though lit flatly for television. The story logic is all over the map – a favorite being that the Sheriff and Deputy both fall prey to Three Finger despite the fact they obviously patrol this area? After scores of people have ended up dead in these hills? And even an armored car full of money was lost in their woods? Still – no red flags?
But worst of all, the whole point of the series – that a group of people are menaced by hillbilly mutants – seems to have fallen into a marginal subplot. It’s a chore to sit through and will prove most likely to be a waste of your time should you choose to do so.
The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and is television broadcast worthy if not nuanced. The transfer is very clean as is expected of Blu-ray. The audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital with subtitles in Spanish, Portugese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Korean. It is similary clear and well done, if not as atmospheric as one might expect from a horror movie set in the woods.
Action, Gore and Chaos! Featurette – Director Delcan O’Brien talks about wanting to bring action to the Wrong Turn series. (9:10)
Brothers in Blood Featurette – The actors of Wrong Turn 3 talk about the production process. (5:23)
Three Finger’s Fight Night Featurette – A short detailing the fight scene between Chavez and Three Finger. (3:34)
Deleted Scenes – Two deleted scenes that add nothing to the movie. (1.24)
Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead is a poor movie in just about every respect.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead. Directed by: Declan O’Brien. Starring: Tom Frederic, Janet Montgomery, Tamer Hassan. Written by: Connor James Delaney. Running time: 92min. Rating: Unrated. Released on DVD: October 20, 2009. Available at Amazon.com
Tags: horror, Reviews