Hello. This won’t be a usual movie review. This is more of a “media thought” – something that has been running around in my head for a while.
So several years ago my soul sister Alicia and hubby Scott decided to watch a horror movie together. The movie we watched was called Wrong Turn. I think we got it because Eliza Dushku was in it and she played Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel so of course we had to watch it. Although we enjoyed it, we enjoyed it because we spent so much time commentating and/or laughing at it. During watching this movie we coined the phrase “uncle daddy brother”, which BTW, makes me LOL every time I say or hear it.
Now as far as I am concerned, Wrong Turn is a typical slasher movie and for me that means tasteless and usually exploitative and sexist. I have no use for slasher movies in general as I feel they, for the most part, glamorize treating women like objects which means sexualized rape and torture. Yes I know there are exceptions like the grandparent of slasher movies Halloween, but I am speaking of the genre in broad terms. (Read Sex, Death, and Slasher Films to get a full breakdown of this nonsense.)
So what am I writing about? Well this movie was another example of what I call “big city bigotry”. This is a term I coined after living in the East Coast for a few years. There seemed to be a big city attitude that anyone from a rural or slightly less populated area was someone to make fun of due to them being, well, not from a big city. I got a bit tired of it. Yes goodness I do understand how when you don’t know people as a group you can make fun of them. But being as I a Midwesterner through and through, it bugged me.
In Wrong Turn, pretty college students get lost in a rural area and are then terrorized by “cannibalistic mountain men grossly disfigured through generations of in-breeding.” – IMDB site. Ok, just writing that makes me laugh. Why? Well you see, I do live in a rural area in southern Indiana. I have met people who look like the “villains” of the piece. I’ve lived near homes that look like their homes. And I’m here to tell you that they are very nice and helpful. In fact, someone who could have played a relative of the “villains” once helped me find soy milk in the grocery. Oh and all of the cars and rusted metal in the yard and house – that’s what rural poverty looks like. You save everything because you might need it. Also when people are poor, they might not have a way to dispose of “waste”. In my experience when you go to a house that looks like that the people inside will usually give you directions and be helpful. Are all rural people nice? Of course not. No group can boast of being 100% nice. It’s just that all rural people are not “cannibalistic mountain men grossly disfigured through generations of in-breeding.” – IMDB site.
My Point: I feel that when film makers from the East and West Coasts make horror movies they like to cast anyone not from the coasts as villains. And who is a better villain than a rural person who of course will treat strangers like prey. Really? Wow. That’s some bigotry. Granted I think people are inclined to write a horror movie featuring something that scares them, but really? Do you really want to alienate your brother and sister Americans? These same film makers might balk at a movie that portrayed People of Color as the villains – AND RIGHTLY SO – so why make fun of the rural folk? Can’t say I approve this. I really don’t approve of this. I REALLY don’t approve of this. Bigotry bugs me. Wrong Turn also harkens to the same rural fear that can be seen in The Blair Witch Project (see my review). As a Midwesterner, I am tired of seeing my people – yes they are – portrayed as the villains. I mean, they could be the villains, but you could also throw in some Midwestern hero/ines as well.
A few days ago hubby stumbled across Wrong Turn on TV. The TiVo description listed the villains as “inbred cannibalistic hillbillies.” (Ok, I gotta stop cause I need to laugh.) Uh, dear East and West Coast: No we are not all inbred cannibalistic hillbillies. No matter how funny that is (Oh Lord, I feel a musical coming on) it’s getting kind of old.
Wrong Turn isn’t a bad movie, it just is. If slashers and getting lost are your thing, you will enjoy this movie very much.
Oh and the bottom pics just sum up my thoughts on big city bigotry. I laugh – and then I headdesk. Then laugh some more. Plus! If you look at me and say “uncle daddy brother” I will laugh out loud.
IMBD: Wrong Turn (2003)
DVD Collection: Wrong Turn Collection (2003-2012)