Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blu Ray Review: Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead

Chavez (Tamer Hassan) plans on soon leaving the pen, and he’s not waiting for the legal system’s go ahead. He’s got the men and the means, the grit and the determination. There are just a few things standing in his way: the feds, conspiring fellow inmates, and a very ruthless pair of cannibals.

In this third installment to the Wrong Turn franchise, word of a possible breakout reaches the warden of a maximum facility prison. Fearing Chavez will go through with his escape plan, the warden decides to have him relocated to another penitentiary. But en route, the transport goes awry and society’s worst soon find themselves struggling to survive the madness of a backwoods mutant family.

Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead features all the gory violence (and then some) that fans have come to demand from their horror films today, in addition to elements that are quite unusual to the genre. The plot is intricate and multi-faceted, Connor James Delaney provides an adequate script, and character motivations are steady and unchanging throughout.  An overall good ensemble performance is given by the cast (particularly Hassan and Gil Kolirin, who plays the white supremacist Floyd Weathers to a tee), and the flesh-eating locals are at once terrifying and eerily humorous (This last element is actually a running theme throughout the franchise and it is always handled well.).

For those unfamiliar with the Wrong Turn franchise, all three films come complete with plenty of gore, myriad mutilation, and an ever-present air of flesh-eating.  The first installment, released in 2003 and starring Eliza Dushku (Bring It On), centers on a group of young people fighting to survive the hunting games of three murderous backwoods mutants.  Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007) offered a similar plot, as the contestants of a reality television show are pitted against a family of cunning cannibals.

As almost all 92 minutes of Wrong Turn 3 take place in the woods and at night, the Blu-ray AC-3 format is ideal for viewing the third installment.  In this widescreen version, featuring an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, not one single gritty detail eludes the viewer, be it beheading or evisceration.  Every grunt and brutal hack of the ax is also splendidly captured by an audio that is presented in Dolby Digital.  DTS surround sound is included, with audio in English, French, and Spanish, as well as subtitles in Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Korean.

Bonus features of the Blu-ray version include both deleted scenes and a sit down with director Declan O’Brien as he talks about the filming of Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead.  O’Brien discusses the stunts in the film, on-set chemistry between cast members, and the series of gruesome traps laid by the film’s cannibalistic star, “Three Fingers.”

Fans of the Wrong Turn franchise will find the third installment to be quite faithful to its origins, while at the same time not being too afraid to venture out and search new ground.  I’d certainly recommend a viewing of this gory chronicle to followers of the franchise, or any horror fan just looking for some bloody good fun.

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