Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead
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Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead



There was a time that seems to be long in the past, when horror movies were considered an honorable film genre. Movies such as ‘Frankenstein, ‘Dracula’ and ‘The Wolf-man’ not only scared audiences but went on to become classics in the genre Decades later the genre was still holding on with great examples of this type of movie with films including ‘The Exorcist’. Then there was a point when horror films took a decided turn in focus. Movies like ‘Nightmare on Elm Street ‘and ‘Friday the 13th’ brought gore and nudity previously reserved for ‘grindhouse’ exploitation flicks to the mainstream theaters. This moved the format of horror movies from predominately psychological in nature to increasingly graphic visceral films. From there the trend rapidly accelerated, some mat even say degenerated, into what is commonly referred to as torture horror with the popularity of the ‘Saw’ and ‘Hostel’ franchises. Here most pretense of s plot is all but abandoned as the film maker endeavor to push the limits of good taste beyond any previously imagined point. Most of these films are successful enough to become franchises on their own and it has reached the point where I practically dread watching any horror flick with a number in its name. As long as the producers and writers are able to think up stranger and more elaborate ways to grossly dispatch wayward teens those numbers continue to increase. When considering s flick in this category it is important to keep in mind the primary goal and target audience. No one involved in the making of one of these films as aspirations of dressing ion formal wear and accepting a golden stature. The more realistic goal would be to make a fun romp through the macabre geared toward guys. All manner of films can be said to serve a function; here it happens to be pure gross out entertainment. One of the newer representatives of this ilk of cinema is the ‘Wrong Turn’ franchise; currently it is up to the third installment ‘Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead’. While there is little to set it apart from the rampaging heard of modern horror flicks it does make for a reasonable Saturday night popcorn flick when the guys come over. Just make sure girlfriends and wives are not around; being seen enjoying this movie will nit garner any points with her.

Taking over the mantle as screenwriter from the franchise’s author, Alan B. McElroy is first timer Connor James Delaney. While McElroy had prior experience with horror scripts before embarking on the initial flick in this series, Delaney is using this as the first entry on his resume. Since this movie is basically a ‘SyFy’ channel’s ‘Saturday Night Special’ original movie there is a reasonable chance that he can carve out a nice niche market career for himself in other projects for the network; they do tend to go back to the same writers and directors. There has to be a certain added degree of difficulty inherent in taking over an established series even one where the expectations are limited. To his credit Delaney is well able to embrace the cheesy elements that current define this sort of flick and have a lot of fun running with it. Similar observations hold true for the directorial efforts of Declan O'Brien. A movie like this works best with a very rapid pacing with minimal exposition. By the time you get to the third film in a series like this you pretty much can get into what plot exists with little trouble. This movie relies on what has become a mainstay of this genre; mutant cannibal hillbillies. Judging by flicks like this you would think that the backwoods of this country were infested with such horrific creatures. These creatures make the hill folk of ‘Deliverance’ seem like small town librarians by comparison.

As far as pacing goes this flick wastes absolutely ns no time in giving the audience what they want. Within the first five minutes an arrow goes through her back, breast and his hand before another arrow removes her eye and the guy is split in thin slices by s booby-trap. By the way, also within that short time there are a few shots of dinning cannibals. The girl who survives (Janet Montgomery) runs into a prison guard (Tom Frederic) held hostage by a group of escaped prisoners lead by a viscous gang leader (Tamer Hassan). Just to complicate matters a little the group runs across a deserted truck full of cash. Not that anything here is supposed t o make sense but I couldn’t help but to wonder how illiterate mutants that can’t even speak can design and implement such deadly, elaborate traps that are so complex and perfectly constructed that Rube Goldberg would be green with envy.

Posted 11/01/09

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