First it was a group of innocent nature hikers stumbling onto the isolated cabin of deranged cannibals. Then a small group of TV show contestants were caught playing in the backyard of the cannibals' extended family and forced to survive in reality. So what's the next logical step for a third installment to an unexpected horror franchise? Well, obviously, a transport bus carrying dangerous inmates and driving through the backwoods roads is the clear choice for some hillbilly mayhem. But unlike the previous two movies, the criminals introduced here can be just as vicious and gruesome as the mutants themselves.
Unfortunately, the inherent possibilities of such a gory premise are squandered by an attempt to add more action and a bus full of grown men acting like bickering married couples. Considering they've all spent hard time together for who knows how long, they probably know each other pretty intimately, and their bickering is simply second nature. Whatever the reason, the outcome makes for a terrible time at the movies when one is expecting lots of blood and guts. Actually, 'Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead' can get somewhat brutal and violent. But strictly speaking, the dialogue is more explicit and offensive than the graphic imagery.
After a very promising first act which almost tries to outdo the sequel's opening kill, the plot slowly descends into silliness and becomes an obvious product of straight-to-video misery. For some reason, the filmmakers imagine aspiring lawyers working as prison guards because Nate Wilson (Tom Frederic) is one such sap with depth. Cue character development in 3 . . 2 . . 1. Ordered to oversee a prison transport on his last night before leaving for law school (surprise, surprise), it's not difficult figuring out what happens next or who will be the lucky guy to walk away from the bloody fiasco. Expectedly, the bus is run off the road by Three Finger, the one freak always ready for the hunt.
Things might have been okay up to this point if not for the sudden shift from generic horror to bizarre prison drama with physical fights, gunfire and even an explosion or two. To top it all off, Three Finger appears to be working solo on this new venture for some red meat. Come to think of it: even if all the wildlife is gone, can't he just build a farm with cows, pigs or chickens to raise. Isn't there a local market nearby where he can shop for groceries? I mean seriously, for the amount of work and effort he puts into collecting his meals, the rewards seem so negligible. Guess the recession is hitting everybody pretty hard!
The use of logic, or even proper hygiene as the case may be, is really detrimental to the enjoyment of 'Wrong Turn 3', so this particular "horror" film, I'm guessing, must be enjoyed with your brain turned off, which seems to be a popular notion as of late for excusing bombastic garbage. But I'm afraid that still leaves me with the same conclusion: It stinks! The whole second act carries on with the inmates fighting and arguing about money, an escape plan, what to do with Alex (Janet Montgomery), and should they or shouldn't they kill Nate.
Coming from seasoned SyFy director Declan O'Brien, the direction is hackneyed, the acting is more terrifying than the creatures, the script is poorly conceived, and the entire production is more comical than serious. Pouring the salt on this slithering slug further is some horrible CGI effects used for the gruesome kills. The poster's tagline brazenly claims "What You Don't See Will Kill You". Ironically, the opposite rings more true.
Now, here's a new one. How is it the worst of the three movies comes with the better picture quality? Shouldn't it be the other way around?
No matter, the 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer (1.78:1) isn't that great of a presentation anyhow. Although nothing seriously intrusive, grain noticeably spikes in certain areas. Considering the entire flick takes place at night, contrast and brightness levels are surprisingly well balanced, as the picture maintains some decent visibility and clarity throughout. However, blacks lose some luster in several sequences, and background information can be lost in the dark shadows. The color palette shows some nice variation and accurately saturated, and flesh tones appear natural. Fine object and textural details are generally on the softer side, but the image possesses fairly good definition nonetheless.
Even with a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, 'Wrong Turn 3' will never reach the heights of demo material, yet it's the best part of the package.
The mix has its moments where the rustling of leaves, Three Finger's crackling laughter and the echoes of sirens and bullets suddenly occupy the rears to add some ambiance and even extend the soundfield. Only, there is never really a moment when the viewer feels immersed or surrounded by the discrete effects as they are pretty blatant and easily located. The front soundstage is kept somewhat busy with lots of action, the musical score and a decent low end, despite being used sporadically, but dynamics and acoustics are humdrum and limited. Vocals are audible even during actions sequences, but it's hard to think of it as bonus when the dialogue is so horrible. Again, the lossless track is the highlight but nothing to disturb the neighbors.
Extras are carried over from the day-and-date DVD release, which isn't much. In fact, it's pointless, disposable material that does nothing to change the movie's estimation.
There's probably no point in recapping the movie other than mentioning it's bad. The entire production is poorly conceived, despite the filmmakers wanting to add another element to the series. The Blu-ray debuts with slightly better picture quality than prior installments, but the lossless audio is still about average. The supplemental package mirrors the DVD release, but it's not all that exciting. Fans of the previous chapters in this series will be sorely disappointed outside of the creative kills. Others will want to stay away.