Director: Mike P Nelson
Starring: Matthew Modine, Adain Bradley, Bill Sage, Emma Dumont, Dylan McTee, Charlotte Vega .USA. 1h 30m
Wrong Turn is a franchise that, in my opinion, kinda did what it needed to do, gross out audiences in a blood soaked adventure that ends when there are no more young people to carve up. After the ultimate mutant hillbilly interaction, it took the inevitable path of destruction with numerous sequels getting cheaper as the madness carried on, but for some reason during the height of lockdown, we needed a reboot! Director Mike P Nelson decided to take his off road story further off the beaten track, and attempts to make a high functioning and credible horror from something that’s often watched purely for the body count, made the entire concept weary more than hardcore.
Obviously things begin pleasantly, when a group of friends head into the Appalachian Trail looking for fun times together as they camp out and enjoy nature. But after roaming off course they are discovered by the “Foundation” a clandestine community of people who live undetected in the mountains for years. The encounters begin with Indiana Jones styled rolling logs and booby traps, but the film refuses to be formulaic and finds different methods to dispatch the characters. All hell really breaks loose when a scittish city-boy fights back at the wrong time causing the Foundation to up the ante, but was there ever a chance that the kids were all going to make it back alive and well?? Naaaa.. but instead of buckets of gore and flashy deaths, this reboot attempts to write a gripping back story and builds up credible characters before slaughtering them.
Eventually the foundation, who first appear in redneck ghillie suits, made of loose forest materials and skulls, finally introduce the city folk to their laws and punishments. Jen(Vega) agrees to start with Veneble (Sage) the wise elder and leader of the foundation (who could also pass as Bruce ‘Campbell’s dad). Does Jen really intend to stay with her savage new family? Will her father (Modine) ever find her? Plowing through the politics of this “group” is cringeworthy, being so basic, they are easily sold out with the promise of fresh pussy. so lame..
“I can smell your juices” –
While Wrong Turn 2021 is credible horror with a decent trail of blood and bodies, however it just doesn’t feel like the other slasherific, mutant hillbilly comedy horrors that came before it. Adulting a franchise does work for a lot of series but this just feels as if this is too much for something so comfortable in the silly chair, maybe this should have been standalone or rival series instead of taking out all the fun bits and trying to make sense of series that was a pleasure for it’s utter nonsense.
Related: Wrong Turn (2003) , Timber Falls (2007), Happy Hunting (2017)
Lists: Backwoods Terrors
Spotlight: Matthew Modine.