Wrong Turn Movie Review
Working backwards, the new Wrong Turn movie concludes with one of the most satisfying end-credits sequences you’ll ever see. The rest is pretty rewarding as well. Dark, bloody, and viscous, this loose remake of the 2003 Eliza Dushku horror-thriller gets much more right than wrong.
I have little memory of the original, nor have I watched any of the direct-to-video sequels, but needless to say, the only real similarities between this new version and its predecessor are its title and the fact they both take place in the woods. Gone are the cannibals, but they’ve been replaced with something just as menacing. And the plot points differ significantly too, offering a whole new experience for fans beholden to the franchise.
Comparisons aside, this new Wrong Turn, which notably brings back writer Alan B. McElroy, is a pretty badass horror film. Directed by Mike P. Nelson, it’s a harshly serious and coldhearted thriller that is consistently unsparing and to some degree unpredictable. While it soon becomes clear that Jen (Charlotte Vega) is the lead protagonist, neither her survival nor the fate of her friends is guaranteed even early on, making for a satisfyingly windy road of a movie.
Vega makes for a terrific lead, and her development into what she ultimately becomes is fun to watch, even if the movie itself views “fun” as a bad word. Meanwhile, Bill Sage serves as a ruthlessly cold and intelligent villain; he may not be a cannibal, but his penchant for violence is equally frightening.
Wrong Turn holds back very little, and yet if I were to fault it for anything, I was hoping it’d be even more ballistic and violent than it is. Its long-ish runtime, just short of two hours, may contribute to that feeling; it certainly isn’t dull, but a leaner, meaner cut may have resulted in a more hard-hitting, skull-cracking experience.
But Wrong Turn is definitely a movie you should steer towards. If you like your horror-thrillers violent and bloody, the movie delivers in spades, and as for that end-credits sequence, get ready to smile.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.