We all know the story about the people who enter into the woods only to never return again. We all know the story of the inbred mutant family who lives in the forest and preys on animals and humans alike. We all know the story of the 5 sequels that quickly lost their charm and steam after the first real sequel. But what we don't all know is what the future of the franchise was going to look like.
Written by the original writer of the first film, "Wrong Turn" takes place on the Appalachian Trail. A highly diversified group of 5 young adults go for a hike off the beaten path only to encounter a group of pre-civilization folk called 'The Foundation'. However, this isn't your standard Wrong Turn flick. These people aren't mutants as we've come to known, they are much more advanced and, to put it lightly, more civilized. They have an actual base of values, language, and almost a sense of harmony. Our protagonists are kidnapped and brought into the Foundation where some of them are drafted into the society.
This story is more folk horror than it is hillbilly cannibal horror, and that on it's own doesn't sound like a bad thing. To be honest, I was looking forward to some fresh breath being put into this series.
But... It's just not a good movie.
It starts VERY strong - so strong in fact that after the first 30 minutes and a major plot twist, I decided to stop watching it and save it to watch with my girlfriend the next day. What I didn't know though was that after this exact pivotal moment, the movie loses any steam it was building up.
There's some good scenes of gore and violence, and the beginning where our protagonists are encountering a bunch of hunting traps in the woods is SUPER effective. There are some visuals of the enemies emerging from the moss wearing Ghillie suits that is both haunting and beautiful. Our first physical encounter with the Foundation is disorienting and forces you to ask yourself 'what did I expect, and where are we going from here?' But once we actually get to the Foundation, it turns into a boring story of the protagonists quickly joining so they don't die. They abandon values they made a point to establish early on, because some of them prefer the commune over regular American society.
After the halfway point, the film just becomes a slog. The last 20 minutes were extremely unpredictable - to the point of being annoying.
I don't know... It had some potential and a great reinvention idea, but it didn't do much with the idea. Once you hit the little town in the woods, it feels like someone else took the wheel and ran with it. I'm glad I got to see what it was about, but I don't plan to revisit this particular entry. And I DO plan to go back into the woods, after all.
'Wrong Turn' is now available on DVD, Blu Ray, and VOD.
'Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra