Not all vacations end with a friendship bonded suicide, most end with some fighting, threats of divorce or getting stalked by evil. With these four women on the road movies that aren’t “Thelma and Louise,” the women are strong, the monsters are monstrous, and their fates are pretty brutal.
There’s no acceptance of their fate as in “Thelma and Louise” for the women in “Wolf Creek” as they fight for their lives against a killer. Liz, Kristy, and Ben go on a nice vacation across Australia only to end up as the new playthings of a sadist. Once you see how Liz ends up paralyzed as she tries to escape from Mick, you’ll see there’s no bittersweet ending of friendship and love for the women who took to the road in this flick.
Road movies either end with “Ha ha that was great” or “So much blood, can’t get clean, soooo much blood” and “Joy Ride” doesn’t veer from the latter unless you’re a really angry trucker who always wanted to get even with those darnn kids. What starts as normal college fare for attempted romance, moves into pranking a trucker who ends up having a road doctorate in murder with a minor in kidnapping. A strong lesson in learning to not prank strangers, unless it’s the best prank you’ve ever come up with then you should totally risk it, watch Venna being used as bait in the old “shotgun + door = doom” trap that rears its head every few years.
Even if “Thelma and Louise” ended in a combined suicide, it’s still a far happier ending than anything that happened to the women in “Wrong Turn.” Nothing ever seems to go right anytime a bunch of friends run into cannibals, which is probably why human munchers don’t get less invitations to parties than your average cult compound member, and it really hits the fan for the women in this film. Sure Jessie manages to escape but both Carly and Francine get made into aperitifs and that means a lot of therapy and rocking herself to sleep for Jessie. You’d think that having to escape the monstrous murderers multiple times and then having to jump from a fire overwatch tower into a tree would earn Carly some respite but instead she gets to lose her head in a scene taut with tension.
“Wendy and Lucy”
Seeking not just a change in scenery but also in herself, Wendy sets off for Alaska with her furry buddy Lucy in tow. Though no killer or monster stalks Wendy, the bleakness and despair that she fights through daily are even greater obstacles. The heartbreak as Lucy discovers Wendy is lost and how much this dog was a salve to Lucy’s problems is a poignant scene that bleeds its overcast mood everywhere.