Wrong Turn (2021)

Friends in their early 20s go hiking in the woods and come across a clan who has been living in the in the mountains, secluded, for centuries.

Written by Alan B. McElroy and directed by Mike P. Nelson, this reboot has so little in common with the original or its sequels that it might as well be called something else entirely. The premise is fully different in that the characters go into these woods of their own and the people they encounter are not like one would expect from a Wrong Turn film. The differences with the original are extensive enough for this to stand on its own; but clearly, the marketing is using the familiarity to the name to its fullest potential. That means that the viewers should not be fooled into expectations of this being another film in a series that has been long running and full of deformed inbred cannibals. Here the film is less about that and more about survival for both sides of the story. The people caught in their traps are more varied this time around and most of them should know better. In the original series, some should have known better, but most were just vaguely idiotic victims thrown in there for the blood and gore. Here the victims are college students and graduates with high levels of education and some of them even have good knowledge of hiking and going into nature. The reasons they get caught are almost of their making and it becomes a bit more frustrating while the film works in that it makes the situation a touch more realistic once this is passed.

The cast here is composed of young, but not teenage, actors who have between 10 and 25 credits a piece on average, so not newbies, but a lot of people won’t really recognize them, which works here in that it makes the film feel a bit fresher than if it was all familiar faces and who might survive is basically written on the poster. Who course, who the final person gets to be is fairly simple to guess as it usually is with these types of movies, but the fates of the others is not written in predictable patterns too much. The ensemble here does well, acting is basically on point and seeing Matthew Modine as the dad is something fun in this context. The work everyone puts in works well for the film with a few coming up on the top, including lead Charlotte Vega. Her work will keep most viewers involved and interested.

This one also looks quite different from the film it’s a reboot of, with cinematography by Nick Junkersfeld that creates a dark look while keeping the content of each scene actually visible. This one proves that you can go dark and still manage to create a film where the action is not obscured. Also helping this is the editing by Tom Elkins, giving the film some oomph yet not over editing the scenes to a point where the viewer can’t see a thing. This helps the film a lot.

Wrong Turn is a reboot that doesn’t feel like one as it feels like a movie that does not belong on this universe, which may be what saves it from being compared too much. This is not a film part of the series and it’s okay. This leads to a film that is its own thing so it works independently. The film is entertaining with a good ending which is worth sticking around for, the gore is brutal when it happens, and the acting works here. Wrong Turn has its issues, but it’s entertaining and a fun watch if you like a brutal backwoods film with a bit more to it than just kills and blood.

Now Available On Demand, Digital, Blu-ray and DVD.