Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (US - BD RA)
Gabe takes yet another unfortunate trip through the forest. Will he ever learn?
After quickly dispatching her friends, a savage mutant cannibal chases college student Alex (Janet Montgomery) through the forest. Meanwhile, a group of prisoners are transferred through the area via prison bus. Among the hardened criminals is a guard named Nate (Tom Frederic), who is on the verge of becoming a defence lawyer. The cannibal takes time from chasing Alex to topple the bus. The prisoners and Nate then meet up with Alex and through shaky truces the group treks through the forest as the cannibal hunts them. Along the way the group finds a van full of money, and things get even more complicated.
The original Wrong Turn was a surprise. It wasn’t a grand revitalization of the well worn cannibalistic hillbilly sub-genre, but it was better, more inventive, and more fun than the Texas Chain Saw Massacre remake that came out in the same year. The sequel was apparently a blast of over-the-top gore and nudity (I never saw it). Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead continues the uninspired, yet entertaining run. The third film revels, nay, rolls orgasmically in its predictability. The characters have names, but they’re more easily classified as largely unspecified types, like the survivor girl, the pretty cop, the old cop, the black guy, the guy on the verge of a better life, and convicts one through whatever. As the character types are introduced the knowing audience is left to make educated guesses on the order of their gruesome fates. This is the fun of such a film, and only those expecting he unexpected should find themselves disappointed. Fun is the word to describe the best of the whole film, which is gross and gory, but the gruesome bits are there to illicit groans, and the horror is tonally pretty light hearted. Things like rape are threatened, but never delivered upon, and the deaths are largely of the instant variety.
Besides the obvious comparisons drawn to the likes Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, Deliverance and Southern Comfort, Sci-fi Channel original director Declan O'Brien and writer Connor James Delaney find inspiration in Con Air, Alien 3, and Predator. Overall the team finds a reasonably satisfying balance of elements, and they know what makes the best of their inspirations tick. Notably the hillbilly cannibal is not the proper antagonist of the piece, which sets it apart a bit from all those chainsaw massacres and watchful hills, even if most successful monster movies follow a similar path. In all Wrong Turn 3 is no more a ‘horror’ film than No Country for Old Men, it’s a fugitive movie, on paper at least. Eventually the fun clichés grow tiring, as the characters don’t learn any lessons, the action becomes repetitive, and it becomes clear that O’Brien and Delaney don’t have any surprises up their sleeves. Demoting the cannibal family to one member makes the questions a little harder to answer (clearly he’s somehow supernaturally endowed), and the more bored we grow as an audience the more our suspension of disbelief is strained.
Wrong Turn 3 doesn’t feature the most impressive production values, but shooting in the woods makes for a decent hi-def experience nonetheless. For the most part the transfer doesn’t feature any surprises. Details are sharp, colours are rich, blacks are deep, and whites are pure. The opening scenes are the most impressive, featuring gorgeous, fluttering forest greens, and blue and white running water. Details are relatively consistent regardless of camera placement (the helicopter shots are on par with those of major theatrical releases), the colours are vibrant when needed, and the separation of elements is sharp. Some of the more intense warm hues feature fuzzy noise, but there’s little to no edge enhancement, or DNR artefacts in the varied visual elements. Night shots, which make up the latter two thirds of the film, are grainy, but the grain is fine, and details do not noticeably suffer (even if the yellow prison uniforms feature more noise in this environment). The night scenes are less impressive from a vibrancy standpoint (excepting some sharp and bright blood reds), but the sharpness and clarity of the highlights ensure these scenes aren’t muddied in darkness, which is a clear advantage over SD resolution.
The disc’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track adds a bit more to the lacking production values, and is an all around successful mix. Directional effects are used best during the redneck attack scenes. Arrows zip from the rears to screen central, and booby traps swing from right to left. Besides the direction work, the stereo and surround channels are also active with incidental forest noise, and everything seems to come from the correct off-screen area, except the German Sheppard which was clearly added in ADR, and is occasionally heard from the wrong channel. The central effects are clear as well. Fist and weapon impacts are mushy, and gunshots are poppy, all with a strong bass punch. The dialogue isn’t entirely natural, but is regularly well centred and clear, and features varying volume levels depending on the other aural elements. Composer Claude Foisy’s score runs hot and cold, but gets the job done, and occasionally breaks into John Carpenter-like cues on a few select occasions. The music blends reasonably well into the mix, and features an effective LFE support.
Wilhelm Alert: When the cannibal is thrown from the truck towards the end of the film he lets loose a Wilhelm.
The extras consist of a three-part featurette, deleted scenes (01:30, SD) and some Fox Blu-ray trailers. First up is ‘ Wrong Turn 3[i] in Three Finger… I Mean Parts’ (18:00, SD), and its first part ‘Action, Gore and Chaos’, which covers the basics of filming on a low budget in a prison, in the forest and on a river rapid, creating a bus crash, various gore and make-up effects, and stunts. ‘Brothers in Blood’ is concerned with the ensemble cast experience. Not surprisingly it turns out that a bunch of them are foreigners. ‘Three Finger’s Fright Night’ finishes the section off with a look at the film’s various fisticuffs.
[i]Wrong Turn 3’s inventive and amusing gore makes for an entertaining, and rent-worthy experience. Fans of the past films in the series should be satisfied enough to purchase the disc, but the rest of us will probably be happier giving it a test run first. It’s certainly not a good film, but it’s well made enough to stand above most STV horror. The Blu-ray disc looks and sounds better than most of us would have assumed based on the (reported) one million dollar production budget. The extras aren’t to hot, but where it counts fans could do a lot worse, I suppose.
*Note: The images on this page are not representative of the Blu-ray.
Review by Gabriel Powers
This product has not been rated
Release Date: 20th October 2009
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish, Dolby Digital 5.1 French
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese
Extras: Action, Gore and Chaos!, Brothers in Blood, Three Finger's Fight Night, Deleted Scenes, Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Declan O'Brien
Cast: Chucky Venice, Tamer Hassan, Janet Montgomery
Length: 92 minutes
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