Main cast: Charlotte Vega (Jen), Adain Bradley (Darius), Bill Sage (Venable), Emma Dumont (Milla), Dylan McTee (Adam), Daisy Head (Edith), Matthew Modine (Scott), Vardaan Arora (Gary), Adrian Favela (Luis), Tim de Zarn (Nate Roades), and Rhyan Elizabeth Hanavan (Ruthie)
Director: Mike P Nelson
I’d be very curious as to whether people had been asking for a reboot of the Wrong Turn franchise. The first two installments are okay, but the rest of the low-budget sequels are pretty dire, although they also have some memorable kills here and there. Still, what’s the point of rebooting something that has been languishing in direct-to-video hell even long before the days of streaming, and for theatrical release to boot.
Also, like many bizarre reboots, this Wrong Turn may use the same title as past movies of the franchise, but it is actually a completely different movie altogether. The previous movies featured deformed, deranged, incestuous cannibals that are somehow impervious to pain, on the prowl and killing everyone in their path, while this reboot features hillbillies that form some kind of a cult-like, xenophobic, isolationist colony, Foundation, led by the charismatic if evil Venable. Why do this and tag the result with a title that is synonymous with murderous cannibals? Do they want fans of the original Wrong Turn movies to feel cheated and skip whatever sequel they may come out with in the future? Perhaps this endeavor is just an excuse to retain the rights to the franchise or something, who knows, but still, those fans really should adjust their expectations before sitting down to watch this thing.
Jen and her boyfriend along with the usual dead people walking all stumble upon the Foundation, having happily trekking into some corners of the Appalachian Trail despite being warned not to by the locals they encountered earlier. Sigh, if these people were sane and listened to the locals for once… but if every group of idiot youthful trekkers do that, the horror genre would shrink by at least three-fourths its original size. What happens next is more like Deliverance (minus butt rape, of course, because current year and all) than anything Wrong Turn-ish.
Still, that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all if this Wrong Turn turned out to be entertaining. This movie is gorgeous to look at, I’d give it that, and the productive values are actually pretty good. Charlotte Vega is alright as the lead character, while Bill Sage makes for a memorable charismatic villain. However, the other characters are one-dimensional horror movie clichés, so much so that it is apparently early on that we will be getting a final girl in this movie, and it is just as easy to guess correctly which one will be that final girl. Things develop in this movie just like practically every other “teens against hillbillies” slasher-horror movies out there, and even the unnecessarily laborious time jumps and “twists” introduced don’t help to lessen this feeling of mine that I have seen many movies like this before.
This movie has me thinking of the last few admittedly horrible Wrong Turn movies. Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines is easily one of the worst horror movies ever made, for example, but I have to admit that the scene involving that snow blower is really memorable in a stupendously awesome, gruesome way. In contrast, this Wrong Turn has pretty good production values, and the lead characters put on a pretty solid performance, but the movie is just generic and forgettable. Therefore. while this movie is from a technical aspect a far better movie than those Wrong Turn sequels that came before it, I think I actually had a better time watching those movies.