director: Mike P. Nelson (the domestics)
starring: emma dumont, charlotte vega, damian maffei and daisy head
REVIEWER: nick tonkin
Friends hiking the Appalachian Trail are confronted by 'The Foundation', a community of people who have lived in the mountains for hundreds of years.
Wrong Turn is a reboot of the long running Wrong Turn franchise and was directed by Mike P. Nelson and written by Alan B. McElroy. Reboots and remakes of horror franchises and films seem to have become increasingly common in recent years, with varying degrees of success.
Films like 2020’s The Grudge and 2019’s Child’s Play and Black Christmas arguably all failed to equal, let alone surpass their source material films. How interesting it is that writer McElroy would take up the task of rebooting his own franchise, and in a style and tone much distinct from the original. So much the better, as Wrong Turn is a thrilling ride from its first ominous notes of danger to the kick-ass final scene that rolls behind the credits.
The film follows a group of friends from New York making their way into small town America to hike the Appalachian Trail. Excited and eager to get amongst it, the group dismiss the vibes they get from the locals as parochial, and even the advice of their innkeeper to stay on the trail - venturing off it almost immediately to experience the beauty of the wilderness and to investigate a historical civil war fort.
Unfortunately poor choices by our young folk begets loss and puts them squarely in the crosshairs of a reclusive and ancient community called “The Foundation”, who are less than friendly to outsiders to say the least.
It isn’t hard to infer the influence of films like The Descent or Deliverance on Wrong Turn - the trials of a group of friends thrust into a horrific situation due to one person’s choices, or the perceived hostility of small townsfolk.
However, despite one identifying these tropes, Wrong Turn will still be one step ahead, keeping you guessing and engaged as the film doesn’t rely on cliche, instead thriving on being unexpected.
Moments of action, drama and horror all occur, sometimes in the same breath - which is a bit of a feat frankly, and all serve to make Wrong Turn a thoroughly satisfying watch.