- Charlotte Vega, Again Bradley, Bill Sage, Matthew Modine
- Written by
- Alan B. McElroy
- Directed by
- Mike P. Nelson
- Run Time
- 1h 49 min
- Release Date
- Febuary 26th, 2021
As for someone who has lived in the city my entire life, I sometimes feel the pull of nature, or as some would call it “hiking”. However I never follow through with it for the fear of being lost or running into a group of cannibals, the latter being the extreme, but maybe I have seen too many movies. In 2003 Alan B. McElroy unleashed his Wrong Turn series and after six movies you would think it would have come to it’s bloody conclusion, but like a good (or bad) horror series, it finds a way to keep going and going. Now back for a new chapter Wrong Turn (2021) proves the more things change, the more they stay the same.
This story starts with a man named Scott (Matthew Modine) who has come to a town near the Appalachian Trail to look for his daughter who he hasn’t heard from in six weeks. He asks around and even goes to the local police, but gets nowhere. If you are a fan of the other Wrong Turn films, you might be thinking that she might have ran into a group of cannibals, but you are about to learn through a flashback, that this turn is not the same as all the wrong ones as before. Scott’s daughter Jen (Charlotte Vega) and her boyfriend Darius (Adain Bradley) are joined by your usual horror movie fodder. This Wrong Turn has a cast that fits more in 2021, but who still make the classic dumb decisions, like go off the main trail when they were told not to. While the cannibals might be gone, the traps in the forest remain the same and things get rolling with a tree trunk as the six friends soon become a group of five. This is where this version is at its best, as Jen and her friends try and find a way back to safety, but only get in much deeper. The cat and mouse game that is played, keeps you on your toes and even though you might root for a for the all-around jerk who left his girlfriend to die to meet his end, you want everyone else to make it out safe. It is when the chase ends that Wrong Turn really just starts to feel, just plain wrong.
The first half of the film had a lot of build up going for it and If they had just stayed the path they were on, this Wrong Turn would have been a welcome new chapter, but instead it just goes on too long. While cannibals can be pretty scary, writer, McElroy, who is back again with this sort of reboot, replaces them with The Founders, a group of people who having lived on the mountain since 1859 and have their own rules. While they are great at building traps and living off the land, they are not great with people, and see them as trespassers and punish them as they see fit. If you are on the edge of your seat for the first half of the film, life with The Founders isn’t very exciting as McElroy luckily doesn’t make us stay too long and fast forwards the story of Scott looking for his daughter again. It all builds up to Vega being the final girl we knew she could be, and while the ending is pretty metal, you can’t help but wish it had come about thirty minutes earlier. There is good and bad news with this particular turn, and I will give you the good news first. This version is better than the last four films, the bad news is, because of things like length and often predictability, Wrong Turn never becomes the movie the first half sets it up to be. McElroy has done a good job of making the story modern, but forgot to make it entertaining horror. Maybe they said all that they needed to almost 20 years ago with the first film. Or maybe The X-Files did it first, and better, 25 years ago in the classic episode Home.