A surprisingly decent slasher flick, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End bucks the trend of lazy, cheap sequel cash-ins. It’s silly fun, gory & violent with a mostly memorable cast & a great bunch of villains. Everything a horror sequel should be, bigger, better & nastier…oh, and Henry Rollins absolutely kicking ass! You can read our review of the first Wrong Turn movie here.
The movie opens with Kimberly Caldwell (playing herself) driving around the back country of West Virginia. She is lost & trying to find the location of The Apocalypse: Ultimate Survivalist, a new reality TV show. While on the phone to her agent she accidentally hits someone in the road. Someone who proceeds to bite her lips off when she goes to check on him.
This is Brother, one of the mutant cannibals of Wrong Turn 2. He is quickly joined by Three Finger who lifts his axe & cuts Kimberley in half. It’s a brilliant opening mixing gory practical effects with decent CGI.
When Kimberley doesn’t turn up for The Apocalypse: Ultimate Survivalist, which is taking place in the forest nearby, the show’s producer Mara (Aleksa Palladino) takes her place. The rest of the survivalists are made up of the model Elena (Crystal Lowe), American ‘bro’ Matt ‘Jonesy’ Jones (Steve Braun), U.S. Marine officer and Iraq veteran Amber Williams (Daniella Alonso), former high school football player Jake Washington (Texas Battle) and Nina Papas (Erica Leerhsen).
The host of the show is Former U.S. Marine Colonel Dale Murphy played by Henry Rollins. Spoilers: he’s the best thing in the movie!
The game is exactly how it sounds. The group are paired off & sent into the woods with timed challenges & random events taking place to throw them off. All of their exploits will be filmed via handheld or static cameras set up around the area. Thankfully Wrong Turn 2 is not a found-footage horror.
Once in the woods the characters bond & we get some surprising development for some of them. We learn a bit of about their history & why they want to win the show. All in a completely natural & non-forced way. Don’t get me wrong though we still have the likes of Elana who is as empty & vapid as you’d expect but someone has to get their boobs out in these movies.
Thankfully it’s not long before the contestants come under attack from the cannibal family that includes Brother, Sister, Three Finger, Ma & Pa. Inventive kills, gore flying & the ‘good guys’ actually fighting back makes for a very entertaining watch. You’ll want characters to survive, for them to get their own back on the cannibals so when Dale starts offing them you can’t help but cheer along.
It’s a stupid movie but it’s so easy to just sit back, relax & laugh at the silliness on show. So much so that it’s an easy recommendation. Decent acting by most really helps & while some characters are very basic (Elana & Jonesy) it’s obvious from the start that they are just fodder. In a movie like this, it’s not really a problem.
There are problems though. A dinner scene is far too similar to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre to be anything but a rip-off & it goes on for far too long. The cannibals don’t talk, they grunt & their communication is often hilariously bad. The final scene, a sequel bait ending (5 more of these to come) has a deformed baby being fed & it’s embarrassingly bad compared to what we’ve seen so far.
Still, an improvement over the first in almost every aspect. What more can you ask for?
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Wrong Turn 2: Dead End