Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (Blu-Ray / DVD)

Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead on DVD and Blu-ray (click for larger image)Reviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Tom Frederic, Janet Montgomery, Gil Kolirin, Christian Contreras, Jake Curran, Tom McKay, Borislav Petrov

Directed by Declan O’Brien

Distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Four twenty-somethings on a white water rafting trip. One lights up a joint. A woman with a nice rack pops her top. Attempted nookie ends in carnage. A rousing start that plays like your typical slasher flick condensed down into a compact five-minute mini-movie. Then the opening credits roll, and Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead makes nothing but wrong turns for the next 85 minutes.

What are you more interested in when watching a Wrong Turn movie: (a) characters getting stalked by an inbred cannibal and having to fight to stay alive or (b) escaped cons incessantly arguing over bags of money, who is going to carry those bags of money, how they are going to get away with the bags of money, and who is going to double-cross the others and try to make off with the bags of money?

This sequel expects you to care more about the latter because the inbred cannibal killing them is treated more as a side nuisance hindering their escape with the money than the primary threat. When you fail to treat a life or death scenario as a life or death scenario, you completely undercut any chance of tension unless you really are on the edge of your seat anticipating when the big skinhead arsonist will finally backstab the others over the money bags.

Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (click for larger image)The cackling “Three Finger” from the previous installments (the only killer inbred this time out – although a second does appear for about a minute) runs a prison bus off the road, unleashing such a stereotypical lot of convict types I found myself longing for the stereotypical horny teens from a few minutes earlier. The prisoners take the guards hostage and look for a way out of the forest. Three Finger kills a guard and starts lobbing arrows their way. One moment everybody is ducking behind rocks to avoid being shot, and the next they’re back standing out in the open showing little concern about the unknown individual in the woods trying to kill them.

They find the lone female survivor from the opening sequence and decide not to rape and kill her because she can lead them to some rafts they can use to get down the river. Less credence is given to her screams about a mutant killer cannibal in the woods than to the rafts she can lead them to.

Once they find a crashed armored car in the middle of the woods, more emphasis is put on the cons infighting over the bags of money found inside it than there ever is about the inbred cannibal.

The criminals even do something that you think would make this a personal vendetta for Three Finger; yet, the script misses an opportunity to change up the dynamics by following up on this incident. Just a bad script loaded with dialogue that sounds like it was written by a 13-year old who confuses profanity with attitude (or Rob Zombie).

Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (click for larger image)The cast is predominantly British, explaining why they frequently let their Brit accents slip through. Trying to sound American might also explain why their acting is more wooden than the trees they are surrounded by.

Taking the directorial reins for this third outing is Declan O’Brien, helmer of such Syfy original movies as Cyclops, Monster Ark, and Rock Monster. If not for the overabundance of f-bombs, I would swear Wrong Turn 3 was intended to be a Syfy original. They even filmed it in Bulgaria like so many Syfy films. Though I would argue the computer effects in O’Brien’s past Syfy endeavors were superior. I’ll take the Rock Monster over the CGI slicing and dicing here.

Nearly every kill is marred by unconvincing digital splatter or practical special effects that are shockingly low rent for a motion picture produced by a major studio, even for a direct-to-DVD threequel. The Three Finger make-up job originated by Stan Winston this time looks depressingly like a latex skin mask pulled over the actor’s face; he looks positively rubberfaced. The embarrassing green screen backdrop seen during a critical climactic scene left me convinced that Wrong Turn 3 was a cheap, shoddy rush job 20th Century Fox produced as an afterthought just to make a cheap buck on DVD around Halloween.

As is usually the case, the Blu-ray looks better than the DVD in terms of picture quality, but that’s pretty much where the differences lie. Both the Blu and the standard def DVD contain a few deleted scenes and three featurettes. An average package at best. No commentary or anything else to merit much beyond a rental for the completists in the group who must see every installment in a franchise.

You only need one finger to give Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead a thumb’s down.

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • Action, Gore & Chaos! featurette
  • Brothers in Blood featurette
  • Three Finger’s Fight Night featurette
  • Film:

    1 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    2 1/2 out of 5

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    • AriesofPitt

      This was pretty weak. I guess the positive note here for me is I watched it online for free. And the end? DUMB! I like a good WTF ending or a cool twist but it was just uncalled for and downright dumb!

      • Jonathan79

        yeah this movie was pretty dumb the gore was made from fisher price material it was just a letdown from beginning to end

    • Shambling_in_Bandages

      Terrible piece of shit.

      Those boobies in the first five minutes were rather lovely though.

    • Uncle Creepy

      Wrong Turn 3. Wow. What a mess. A strictly by the numbers crapfest, that’s even more dull & lifeless than its numerous horrid CGI gore f/x. I knew it would be bad …. but not THIS bad.

    • Rottenjesus

      Oh well, at least we’ll always have WRONG TURN 2.

    • pan

      A Wrong turn in part 3. Wrong Turn 3 is the least interesting of the three films and the only one that I can’t recommend. While there were moments I liked, the film makers ultimately took a wrong turn (couldn’t help it) by leaving out elements that made the first two movies interesting; instead, they developed the story as a fusion of drama, action, and horror: Think, The Fugitive meets Deliverance, except they want to eat them not F— them. The result is a very uneven film with moments of fun and gore, but ultimately not living up to the previous two films, and not good enough to recommend.

      The story this time around begins with a late-night prison transfer by bus through the back roads of rural America. Through this event, we are introduced to the various prisoners and guards, each with his or her own story, who before long, all find themselves on foot in the middle of nowhere being hunted for food by another mutant hillbilly family. It’s this central plot and its characters which seemed out of place and unnecessary, and ultimately force the film down a road it should not have gone. By focusing so much on the drama surrounding this group of characters, the mutant family and their story is reduced to a mere plot device. They are now nothing more than a bunch of killers running around the forest, popping up every so often to kill someone. We have enough of those, and want something more from these films. And while the first two films did thoroughly explore these people and their life style, that is what made the films different and more interesting to me. I still find their story much more interesting than the fools’ on whom they feed, and would have liked to know more about these mutant hill people, beyond the few glimpses we get of their home and the one scene revealing that they are a family unit. Even their very appearance and actions seemed to be too much, reflecting how the film reduced them to inhuman, animal-like killers, forgetting that there are real people under all that makeup.

      The one bright side to all three of these films is the blood and gore, which won’t disappoint; and it’s these moments which keep the film from being a total waste of time. Right at the beginning we get the franchise’s staple unexpected-arrow-through-the-_____ shot, along with an eyeball munching scene. This, along with many of the death scenes, lives up to what most will want and expect from these films. However, in between these scenes, the drama unfolding between the various characters was not enough to keep the film moving.

      While I like that the film makers are trying for something new and don’t want to simply retell the same story, and I do hope there will be a fourth film, I also hope that this third installment was simply a wrong turn and this franchise will get back on the right road which made the first two films an interesting, unique horror film experience.