We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Success! You're on the list.

Wrong Turn is the Deliverance of Generation Y—a fact that will not please the West Virginia Division of Tourism. The slasher film’s setup boasts locals who are short on teeth and long on spite, the sort who mutter “you’re the one gon’ need take care” to a lost young traveler with his fancy hair rather than pointing him away from the road that leads farther into the woods. Lodging deep in the timber doesn’t seem much to brag about, either, what with the only nearby house being a pack rat’s dream of junked cars in the yard and filthy accumulations inside, whether it’s old food or yellowed dentures or glass jars filled with a vaguely reddish substance. Yes, the inbreds are back, and this time with a cannibalistic bent, preying on a group of dewy-eyed campers and the serious young man who, forced off the highway by a traffic jam, plowed into their truck on a dirt road. Wrong Turn wastes no time with incidentals such as character development before the killin’ starts—if the first two victims even had names, I didn’t catch them. The rest of the group—newly engaged Carly (Emmanuelle Chriqui) and Scott (Jeremy Sisto), and smart-and-sexy leaders Chris (Desmond Harrington) and Jessie (Eliza Dushku)—are properly imperiled in order of actorly importance (so we can expect to see the better-than-this Dushku in Wrong Turn 2: Mapquest Reloaded), but that’s about all the movie gets right. Though the backwoods freaks are suitably scary-looking, when not grunting or yodeling with homicidal glee they’re actually very quiet trappers, and the film’s way of letting the fresh meat silently disappear while another character babbles cluelessly doesn’t build a whole lot of suspense. If Wrong Turn generally passes up the more obvious scares, that doesn’t mean it relies on cleverer ways to make the audience jump. By the time it stumbles toward its slightly more exciting end, the only thing the audience has really learned is that the ol’ killer-at-the-window bit just isn’t replaceable with “Hey, the mountain men are setting us on fire.” —Tricia Olszewski