Be honest… who was actually calling for a Wrong Turn reboot? We know we certainly weren’t. The original series that run from 2003 all the way up to 2014 was certainly what you might call ‘hit & miss’. For every enjoyable film in the series (Wrong Turn 2) there is one that absolutely stinks (Wrong Turn 5). We know, we’ve reviewed them all and made a definitive ranking of the original 6 movies.
Regardless of desire, 2021 brought us the film nobody seemed to be asking for. The 7th film in the series and a reboot. Given the pithy title of Wrong Turn. Just to confuse the hell out of people searching for it on Google.
Directed by Mike P. Nelson and written by Alan McElroy. Wrong Turn (2021) stars Charlotte Vega, Adain Bradley, Emma Dumont, Dylan McTee, Daisy Head, Bill Sage and Matthew Modine. A very strong cast who do well. Easily what most will remember come the end.
Let’s get this clear from the very start. This reboot is not a bad film. However, it’s not a great film either. It’s perfectly watchable with some interesting ideas wrapped up in a muddled plot and lacklustre second half. This is no rehashing of the deformed cannibals in West Virginia. We do get something quite different here. Although, not at first.
At first, it’s business as usual as a group of friends go to a small town in rural Virginia where their ‘city ways’ sees them clash with the locals. Yawn. After a night of drinking, the next day they start a hike along the Appalachian Trail. A trip that has them warned to not deviate off the path but of course, they do.
This brings them into conflict with a secret and old group of settlers who live high up on the mountain. A group that has become completely self-sufficient, very defensive and unwelcoming to strangers.
Some are killed in violent and gory fashion; others are captured and agree to integrate with the settlers. Weeks go by and one of the group’s father has traced her to the town and beyond. Will he be able to save his daughter? More importantly… will she want to leave?
That’s the part of the story that seemed to be the most interesting. However, it actually ends up being the part of the story that lacks the most impact. Partially because of how little time passes (weeks not months) and how quickly any potential conflict is resolved. The ensuing chase and violence feels forced rather than a natural conclusion to the suffering that had already occurred.
This latter part is even more frustrating as it seemed as though the movie was going to really ask some bigger questions in regards to just who the real villains where.
It’s not the fault of the actors, there’s some great stuff here, but rather how average the characters overall are. It’s hard to get invested in them if you can barely remember their names.
Sadly, the biggest issue most will find with Wrong Turn (2021) is the haphazard story-telling that forces you to ask questions the film doesn’t answer. How could such a society exist in secret for so long? Especially with hikers going missing.
How could such a society have survived? Where does their food supply and water come from? Why do we see members of the society in the town at the start selling wares? Why would the local town help them? These are just some of the questions the film fails to answer satisfyingly. It’s what leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Regardless of that, this is a superior movie to many of the entries in the original franchise. It is every bit the reboot and certainly feels mostly fresh. Can this be capitalised on? Time will certainly tell but we’re not going to be asking for more. Are you?
The Final Score - 6/10