Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead kicks off the right way, at least. Before the counter even ticks down to the four minute mark, one girl is puffing on a joint and another lets her overinflated boobs out for air. Before you can say "well, she's obviously not gonna make it", you're looking at an arrow piercing clean through that fleshy bag of silicone, eyeball-munching, a redneck-cannibal spearing one poor bastard as if he were gigging for flounder, and Red Shirt #3 split into thirds by an oversized egg slicer. Yeah, the acting's kinda ridiculous, and the CGI is pretty amateurish, but that first ten minutes and change is the flick I signed up for. It's a drag that the movie decides to waltz in from there.
I don't really feel like doing the whole recap thing, but the short version...? A Mexican druglord-type is scheduled to be transferred from one prison to another, and since the guys in the blue suits are starting to sniff an escape attempt, they drag him and a gaggle of other cons out a week early and shuttle them through the backwaters of West Virginia to keep it all low-key. So, yeah: the roster this time around includes a badass drug kingpin, a skinhead, a onetime-soldier who insists he's innocent, a grating chatterbox of a carjacker, an undercover fed, the really likeable black guy who's gonna die pretty quickly, and the corrections officer
I would say something snarky like "you can fill in the rest from there" 'cause in any other Wrong Turn flick, there'd be a fresh kill every eight minutes or whatever. This time around, though, Three Finger's barely in the damn thing. Yeah, his three-toed kid turns up for a couple of minutes there too, but there's really only one mutant cannibal on the bill in Left for Dead, and he hardly even rates as a supporting character. Wrong Turn 3 is pretty much a bunch of the cariactures from the bus walking, bickering, and beating the shit out of each other for an hour and a half straight. I signed up for an inbred cannibal flick, not cookie-cutter infighting and shocking-exclamation-point betrayals. It's a bunch of completely uninteresting characters strolling through the woods and arguing. Who cares? Wrong Turn 3 never manages to ratchet up the intensity the same way the first flick does. The goopiest kills are in the rear view mirror once you hit the fifteen minute mark, and even those aren't nearly as depraved as what Dead End churned out. The demented, sticky sexual undercurrent from Joe Lynch's flick never really makes it in either, limited to yet another chick being licked on the face. It all just comes across as really forgettable and routine. The acting's really campy and hammy straight across the board, though I gotta give them all credit for hiding their British accents awfully well, none of the characters have much of a hook to 'em, too many of the kills are bland and incompetently CG-enhanced, it never manages to get the adrenaline pumping...hell, the paint-by-numbers script is so lazy that whenever Wrong Turn 3 writes itself into a corner, it trots out a dog-ex-machina to save the day.
Wrong Turn 3 has its moments, sure -- c'mon, who wouldn't be charmed by a skull being carved open and an inbred cannibal digging out brains as finger food? -- but there aren't nearly enough of 'em. The post-climax-climax is doofy as hell, and then the movie one-ups itself with an even worse gag. Ack. It really does feel like someone dusted off some direct-to-video Treat Williams flick about escaped convicts and a couple of corrections officers marching through the forest, and then they tossed a redneck cannibal into a few scenes so they could stamp "Wrong Turn 3" on the cover. Look, I'm a cheap date when it comes to splattery slasher flicks, but this...? Nah. Don't bother.
The cinematography's pretty bland, yeah, but Wrong Turn 3 still probably ranks as the best-looking of the series on Blu-ray. Especially under the light of day, the 1.78:1 image is nicely defined, surprisingly lush and colorful, and decently detailed. You can tell with a quick peek that this is a lower-budget flick, sure, but it's the only one of the three that's clearly high-def at a glance. You can really tell that this was a 16mm shoot once the backdrop shifts to night, though. Blacks wind up looking kinda weak and noisy, and some of the finer details fade away. I'm sure this Blu-ray disc is completely faithful to the original photography, but don't keep your fingers crossed expecting to be dazzled or anything.
Wrong Turn 3 is served up on a BD-25 disc and has been encoded with AVC.
Like pretty much everything outta Fox, Wrong Turn 3 is lugging around a 24-bit, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. There's...yeah, not much to it, though. There's some meat to the low-end, but it tends to be kind of dull and rumbly. The surrounds mostly kick in to slather around a little light atmosphere. They heighten the action a bit -- arrows sounding as if they really are being flung across the room, Three Finger skittering around and cackling, along with a handful of gunshots -- but it's not that far off from a stereo track. Fidelity, distinctness, clarity...all of that's passable but kind of underwhelming. Overall...? Okay, I guess, but nothing all that impressive.
Wrong Turn 3 also belts out Dolby Digital 5.1 dubs in French and Spanish. The long list of subtitles includes streams in English (SDH), Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Korean.
The Final Word
I'd chalk myself up as a fan of the first two Wrong Turn flicks, but this third one...? Nah. It chucks the intensity of the first movie out the driver's side window, and it's not remotely as sticky, depraved, or batshit psychotic as Dead End. It's just kinda...there. Completists might wanna give it a rental anyway, but this one doesn't come recommended so much. Rent It.
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