horror, movie, movie review

June 5th, 2018 Movie – Wrong Turn

wrong turn

Oh good, another cookie cutter horror movie that everyone wonders why it was made. I will be honest, when I first saw the trailers for this movie, it honestly didn’t have any real originality to it in my opinion. The only thing about it that even remotely piqued my interest was Eliza Dushku being in it, but that honestly wasn’t enough to get me into the theater to see it. I did eventually rent it when it came out on DVD and yes, this ended up being another Blockbuster purchase. Now let’s see if it was worth the purchase as I watch today’s movie, Wrong Turn.

The plot: College students Rich Stoker and Halley Smith are rock climbing in a remote West Virginia forest. Rich reaches the top first and calls out for Halley to hurry up but when she asks Rich to help pull her up, she hears a commotion and Rich’s body appears at the edge of the ledge, with blood dripping down onto Halley. Suddenly, Rich’s body disappears from view before it is tossed off the cliff and somebody starts pulling Halley up the cliff. Halley disconnects her safety line and and attempts to grabs Rich’s line but she ends up falling off the cliff and lands next to Rich’s body. Hearing maniacal laughter as someone makes his way through the brush down the cliff, Halley gets up and starts to head back to their car when she trips on some barbed wire and is dragged back into the forest. A week later, medical student Chris Flynn is driving through the West Virginia mountains on his way to Raleigh for a meeting when he gets stuck in traffic due to a tractor trailer jack-knifing and spilling chemicals onto the highway. Turning around, he attempts to call the company he is meeting to say he will be late when he realizes that he has no signal in the mountains. Making a turn to stop at a gas station, Chris asks the owner to use his phone but finds the pay phone doesn’t work. Seeing a map on the side of of the store, Chris notices an unpaved road called Bear Mountain Road that appears to meet up with the highway after a couple of miles and he decides to take it. As Chris heads down the road, he gets distracted by the sight of a dead deer and ends up crashing into a car that is stopped in the middle of the road. As Chris gets out of his car in a daze, 4 college kids (Carly, Scott, Evan, and Francine) show up, with Francine upset that he wrecked her mom’s car. Chris asks why they were stopped in the middle of the road and Evan tells him they blew out their tires on some barbed wire that was left in the road. A 5th teenager, Jessie, appears and says it wasn’t an accident as she found the barbed wire tied to a tree off the side of the road. Jessie wants to head to the gas station to use their phone but Chris tells them he was just there and it was out of order so she decides to continue on the road till they find some help, telling Chris that he can carry her bag since he hit their car. Scott and Carly decide to go with them but Evan and Francine stay by the cars in case someone drives by. As they make their way down the road, the see a fire off the side of the road and call out to see if anyone is there but when they get no response, they keep moving. Back at the cars, Francine is going through Chris’s car while Evan is looking for some food in their car when he hears something in the woods and goes to check it out. When Francine notices his is missing, she goes looking for him and finds his shoe and a few feet away, his ear and as she backs away in horror, she is killed when someone wraps some barbed wire around her face and neck and chokes her to death with it. Back on the road, the group eventually come to a cabin and call out to see if anyone is there. Getting no response, Chris decides to head inside to see if they have a phone and the others reluctantly follow him. As they look around the cabin, they find evidence that the inhabitants are cannibals and they go to leave only to see a tow truck pulling up, with their cars in tow and they are forced to hide in the cabin. The disfigured cannibals (Three Finger, Saw Tooth, and One Eye) enter the cabin, dragging Francine’s body with them, and proceed to dismember and eat part of her, while the horrified teens watch. When the cannibals go to sleep, Chris and the others attempt to sneak out of the cabin, with Chris holding the spring for the screen door so it doesn’t make any noise but as they leave, Saw Tooth wakes up and spots Chris and he quickly yells for them to run. They head up the cliff and reach a clearing that is full of the cars from the cannibal’s victims and quickly hide when they see the cannibals coming in their truck. As the cannibals get out to start looking for them, Chris comes up with the plan to steal their truck, then runs out to distract the cannibals but One Eye shoots him in the leg. Scott then runs off in the other direction, leading the cannibals away. Jessie and Carly go help Scott and they get in the truck, finding Evan’s body stored inside, and drive off, with Three Finger coming back to chase after them. They drive down the road looking for Scott and eventually see him but as they call out for him to get in the truck, Scott is shot repeatedly in the back with Saw Tooth’s arrows and killed. Chris, Jessie, and Carly continue driving down the road but find it blocked by a fallen tree and are forced to continue walking through the woods. They eventually find an old watchtower and climb up it to see if there is anything there they can use. They find some old medical supplies that Jessie and Chris use to tend to his leg, and a radio which they use to try and call for help but get no response. Chris sees the cannibals searching for them with torches and has them duck down and cover up the lights they found. The cannibals start to pass them by but the radio suddenly crackles as some responds to their call for help, alerting the cannibals to where they are. Three Finger starts climbing up the ladder and Chris and Jessie work on barricading the entrance while Carly tries to tell the people on the other end what is going on. Unable to get into the tower, the cannibals set the tower on fire to try and force the kids out. Carly breaks a window, saying she would rather jump than be killed in a fire and Chris says they should jump, saying the branches of the nearby tree can hold them. They all jump and land in the tree and when they see an arrow hit a branch near them, they decide to walk along the branches to get away. Three Finger climbs up the tree and decapitates Carly before she can start walking, much to Jessie’s horror. Chris and Jessie keep moving for a little bit, then Chris decides to set a trap for Three Finger. As Jessie yells out for him and lures him towards her, Chris, on another branch, is holding a third branch back and once Three Finger is in position, he lets go and the branch knocks Three Finger out of the tree. As One Eye and Saw Tooth go to check on their brother, Chris and Jessie manage to escape. Taking shelter in a cave behind a waterfall, Chris tells Jessie he is sorry about her friends and she explains that her boyfriend had just broken up with her and so Carl and the others decided to take her camping to get away from everything, and Chris tries to tell her it is not her fault as she feels guilty for their deaths. The next day, Chris and Jessie see the main road and start to head down the cliff towards it when they are attacked by One Eye and Saw Tooth, knocking Chris down the cliff while grabbing Jessie and taking her away. Seeing a police SUV coming, Chris rushes out onto the road to stop it and try to get him to help save Jessie but Saw Tooth shoots the cop in the eye with an arrow. Chris tries to drive off in the police SUV but find the keys are missing so he is forced to hide. Saw Tooth approaches the car but doesn’t see any sign of Chris so he puts the cop’s body in the SUV and drives off, with Chris quickly hitching a ride underneath. Back at their cabin, Jessie is tied up on one of the beds and One Eye is about to start cutting her when he is distracted by Saw Tooth arriving with the cop. As the cannibals begin hacking up the cop then approach Jessie to kill her, a fire suddenly erupts in the doorway. One Eye goes to investigate and is run over by Chris in the police SUV. Chris then attacks and stabs Saw Tooth, seemingly killing him but when he starts to free Jessie, Saw Tooth rises up and attacks him. As Saw Tooth starts to over power him, Jessie manages to finish freeing herself and shoots him in the back of the head with an arrow. Three Finger, who had survived the fall out of the tree, suddenly appears and starts attacking them but Chris chokes him with barbed wire and Jessie grabs an axe and hits him in the shoulder/chest with it. As they back out of the cabin, they see all three cannibals are still alive and attempting to still get them so Chris shoots the gas cans on the back of the police SUV, causing an explosion that destroys the cabin and kills the cannibals. Chris and Jessie drive off in the cannibals tow truck, stopping at the gas station briefly, where Chris rips the map off the wall, before heading back onto the highway. Sometime later, a deputy arrives at the cabin and begins searching the ruins when Three Finger, who survived the explosion, appears behind him and kills him with an axe.

Wrong Turn met with mixed to negative reviews from the critics, holding a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “An unremarkable slasher flick that fails to distinguished itself from others of its ilk.” Several of the cast and crew ended up getting poison ivy during filming as their chairs were mistakenly placed in what was thought to be some weeds but turned out to be a large patch of the rash inducing plants. Kevin Zegers and Lindy Booth, who played Evan and Francine, would also go on to play another couple in another horror movie, 2004’s Dawn Of The Dead.  The movie was a success at the box office, earning $28.7 million off of a $12.6 million budget and would spawn 5 follow up films, 2 sequels and 3 prequels.

This was a decent horror movie but honestly it was pretty predictable. The acting was ok, with Eliza Dushku (Jessie), Desmond Harrington (Chris) and Emmanuelle Chriqui (Carly) did pretty decent jobs in their roles. The story was honestly not incredibly original, as the whole disfigured/mutated group of people/cannibals attacking a group of people has been done time and time again. It didn’t matter that both Chris and Jessie survived, as everyone could have died and it wouldn’t have made this feel different from any other slasher movie. The effects were pretty good and I did think that they did a decent job in downplaying some unnecessary gore that they could have thrown in to make it bloodier. It’s a decent movie but not something that is worth going out of your way to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review

April 30th, 2018 Movie – Waiting

waiting

So as I start the letter “W” with today’s blog, we are getting close to the end of the line here folks. For a time line of events, in a little over 2 months, I will be finished up with the letter Z, then I have 3 months of movies to rewatch and review, as I had watched them before I started the blog. After that, I will be reviewing the new movies that have come into my possession since the year began. Now I know what some people might be thinking (which has also been brought up by my friends); “Why don’t you review them as you get them?” The reason I am not doing that right now, as opposed to how I have done it in the past, is because I have a couple of out of town trips this year and I am working on pre-writing those blogs before I leave and when I get a new movie, it throws things off and makes me have to watch even more movies before to pre-write. Now that I have the explanations out of the way, let’s get on to today’s movie, Waiting.

The plot: After hosting a house party at his place last night, Monty shows up for work at Shenaniganz the next morning and starts flirting with the hostess, Natasha, who reminds him that she will no longer be a minor next week. Monty is then met by Dan, the restaurant manager, who asks him to show Mitch, a new hire, the ropes around the place while it is slow. Once Dan leaves, Monty starts talking with Mitch, talking over him when Mitch tries to talk, and starts explaining that there is a game many of the guys in the restaurant play, where they attempt to get people to look at their crotch and then kick them in the ass while chastising them for looking. Meanwhile, Monty’s roommate and co-worker Dean has lunch with his mom, who comments about one of his high school classmates, Chett, finishing college and getting an electrical engineering degree, and Dean gets upset at her passive aggressive tactic of comparing him to Chet to show her disapproval in his life. Dean shows up at work at the same time as his girlfriend Amy and Monty’s ex Serena, who both work as waitresses with them and they enter the restaurant to change and encounter Monty messing with Mitch. Monty then introduces Mitch to some of the other workers; head dishwasher Bishop, stoner busboys T-Dog and Nick, and head cook Raddimus, who Monty leaves Mitch with so he can go over the finer points of the “game” while he attends a meeting with the other servers that Dan is having. After the meeting, Dan pulls Dean aside and offers to make him assistant manager, saying he will get more perks and a pay increase and asking him to think it over. Naomi, a surly waitress, overhears the conversation and tells the others about it and when Monty asks Dean what Dan wanted, Dean doesn’t say anything. The day starts and the servers head out to the various table but Dean is still distracted by Chett’s success and Monty asks him if he is going to take the assistant manager’s job, surprising Dean that he knows about it, and Dean admits he isn’t sure. When one of the women at Amy’s table is overly rude to her, then criticizes Monty and Amy when Monty brings out the food, which she claims was made wrong, Monty takes the plate back and signals Amy to come to the back with her. Presenting the plate to the cooks, he tells them the customer was a “beeyotch” and Amy agrees that she needs to be burnt, so the cooks proceed to mess with the food by spitting in it, rubbing some of it down their pants, and putting pubic hairs in it. After Monty serves it and the woman starts eating, he explains to Mitch that she had broken the cardinal rule; Don’t fuck with people that handle your food. When Dean receives the payment for his table from a redneck couple, and only receives a $1 and change off of an almost $60 check, he insults the customer by handing the tip back, claiming that he needed it more than he did. The customer gets angry and starts yelling for the manager and Dan works to placate the customer with some coupons for free dinner. Afterwards, Dan pulls Dean into his office to yell at him and Dean ignores him, then complains to Calvin, who is also in line for the position, about how his life seems to suck. Dean and Monty then try to give Calvin some advise on women, then call Amy and Serena over to give him the female perspective of what they want, which ends up turning into an argument between Serena and Monty as to what went wrong in their relationship. As the dinner rush starts up, Monty leaves Mitch to watch the training video, which he finds incredibly boring. During the rush, Dean is giving thought to taking up Dan’s offer of the job. As the dinner rush winds down, Dan flirts with Natasha and when she brings up the party after work, he says that the guys always seem to forget to invite him and she tells him she will get the directions for him. Monty and some of the other servers are comparing tips as they get ready to leave and as Calvin questions how Monty was able to earn so much in tips and Monty says he will tell him how, which ends up with him tricking Calvin and Mitch into looking at Raddimus’ crotch. After kicking both Calvin and Mitch, Monty jokes with Amy, Serena, and Naomi about joining in on the game and Naomi takes him up on it and flashes the guys, resulting in the girls kicking all three of them in the butt. As Monty and the others leave, leaving Dean and Amy to close down the front, one final customer walks in just before closing. Dean goes to wait on them and discovers that the customer is Chett, who taunts Dean with his new success. The cooks, upset with having to work past closing, purposefully drop the food on the ground before serving it then head out for the night, followed shortly by Bishop. Dean hands Chett the check and as he receives the payment, finds that Dean payed with $100. When he goes up to Chett and tells him he paid too much, Chett said that the rest was for him, as he obviously needed it more than he did. Natasha heads into Dan’s office and tells him she is leaving, handing him a slip of paper with the address for the party on it, and after she leaves, Dean walks in and Dan asks if he is taking the job. At the house party, Monty is talking to Mitch when Dean walks in and Monty quickly ignores Mitch and goes to speak with him. Dean says it’s ok about what happened with Chett, as it helped him put things in perspective, and he tells Monty that he quit his job at Shenaniganz and later, Dean works on repairing his relationship with Amy. Meanwhile, Monty and Natasha head into Monty’s room and start making out but when Natasha starts to take off her clothes, Monty stops her and says that they should wait until she turns 18 the following week. As the party continues, Mitch is still unable to say anything, as he is constantly interrupted or talked over, and he finally snaps. Turning off the music, he proceeds to yell at everyone there, calling out Naomi, Dean, Calvin and Monty in the process, then tells them he quits. Mitch starts to leave, the stops and points to Floyd, one of the cooks, and says he is the worst out of all of them. As everyone turns to look at Floyd, who wonders what he could have done to Mitch, they all turn back to Mitch and react in shock as he had pulled down his pants to show off his crotch as “the Goat”, which Raddimus had said would make him a god among men. Mitch leaves but Monty quickly runs out after him and apologizes to him and invites him back to the party and Mitch agrees to come back. As the party continues, Natasha tells Monty about inviting Dan but it’s revealed that she had actually given Dan the address to the redneck couple, who asks Dan for his gift certificates. Back at the party, Monty admits that she got him with the trick and comments on one more week before they can officially get together.

Waiting met with poor results from the critics, holding a 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Waiting… is a gross-out comedy that is more gross than comic.” The Shenaniganz restaurant was actually a converted Bennigan’s, which many people noted the similarities, but has since been converted to a Verizon Wireless store. The movie was a box office success, earning $18.6 movie off of a $3 million budget and would produce a direct to video sequel a few years later.

This is admittedly a pretty a coarse movie but it does have some funny aspects to it. The acting was good for the most part, but it honestly seemed like Ryan Reynolds (Monty) and Justin Long (Dean) just played the same exact character types that they almost always play, which made their characters pretty boring. A lot of the other characters felt more interesting but due to their being so many characters in the movie, they didn’t get a lot of development. The story was interesting and, while definitely extreme in several instances, it did show an interesting side of the restaurant business. The comedy was very adult at times as well as childish, which is definitely not going to appeal to the majority of people. If you do like the style of humor, it will make you laugh, but it could have been a better movie.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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