Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009)
By: Julian on July 12, 2011  | 
DVD
20th Century Fox | Region 4, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English Dolby Digital 5.1 | 91 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Declan O'Brien
Starring: Tom Frederic, Janet Montgomery, Tamer Hassan
Screenplay: Connor James Delaney
Country: USA
External Links
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I'm a big fan of the original Wrong Turn, a low-budget, no-name backwoods psycho flick that delivers everything you would want from this sort of sub-genre entry. However, the eagerness of 20th Century Fox to use this fairly little-known horror movie as a springboard to a franchise is a bit odd, particularly given its relative anonymity: at time of writing, a fourth movie is in the works.

In the meantime, though, we've got two DTV sequels. Wrong Turn 2 is a pretty lacklustre effort, so I'm pleased to report that this film, subtitled Left for Dead, is quite good: quite good in that straight-to-video, awful CGI gore and mediocre acting way, but quite good just the same.

The film starts suspiciously like Wrong Turn 2: busty young nubiles, all meeting their fate at the rusty arrowhead of Three Finger and his mob of deranged inbreds. Thankfully, the movie quickly shifts gears: a group of cons are being transferred by bus when Three Finger intercepts them en route. He busts the tyres, watches the bus roll down an embankment, and then spends the next 70 minutes picking the crims and the cops off one by one.

A pro and a con of Wrong Turn 3 is the gore: it is plentiful, but it looks so shoddy one almost gets a chuckle out of it. With that said, director Declan O'Brien and author Connor James Delaney clearly realise that invention is something that cannot be restricted by finances. It is this ingenuity that proves to be Wrong Turn 3's greatest strength, with the death tricks designed to be complete crowd-pleasers, from the Arrowed Eye, through to the Tripartite Man.

Pitting Three Finger, a gleefully deranged villain who brays a chilling laugh every time he unsheathes his rusty butchers hook, against psychotic murderers, is an interesting choice. As far as protagonists go, there's only a pair of cops and one of Three Finger's escaped victims to root for: against the criminals and the mutants, it's a hysterical free-for-all.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this. It is typical DTV fare – average acting, and it certainly looks as if it was made on a pretty thin budget. But O'Brien and Delaney as director and screenwriter respectively make the most of what they're given, and this elevates the movie above and beyond the usual, disposable, made-for-video dreck.
Video
The picture is presented in 1.78:1, with 16:9 enhancement. It looks great. There is nothing remarkable about the visuals, but at least the DP doesn't go to the same school of cinematographers as those who believe disjointed, nauseating MTV aesthetic jazzes up an otherwise-lacklustre picture.
Audio
English and French options are available, both in Dolby 5.1. It is clear and well-balanced. Subtitles are provided.
Extra Features
Wrong Turn 3 in 3 fingers... I Mean, Parts is probably the most aptly titled featurette I've seen. The three segments of the 18-minute featurette are 'Action, Gore and Chaos!', 'Brothers in Blood' and 'Three Finger's Fight Night'. It's a decent feature, but no profound insights here. Deleted scenes, totalling 80 seconds, are also provided.
The Verdict
This has nothing on the original, but it is far better than the second film, and it holds its own as a wildly entertaining and frenetically violent effort. A few jump scares here and there and some decent direction from Sci-Fi Channel maestro O'Brien makes this a perfectly adequate way to while away an hour and a half.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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