This is a reboot of the succession Wrong Turn franchise which began way back in 2003 that spurned 6 movies in the series. This latest Wrong Turn can be considered the 7th Wrong Turn movie except its story is not related to the earlier films.
The earlier series focused on victims getting lost and falling victims to cannibalistic tribes. This time cannibal tribes have been replaced by a somewhat less threatening community of people who have lived independently in the forest for hundreds of years. The aged old story of young playful hikers who are disrespectful of nature, getting lost and caught by the tribes is probably going to feel familiar. Making these genre movies today must be very challenging for the film makers if they want their movie to stand out and be different. That’s because they have so little originality to start off with. Even the film’s title here is from a series that has already been made 6 times.
Fortunately for me, I have never watched a single one of the original Wrong Turn series so I have nothing to compare with although I still find the overall storyline a familiar one. What made this stand out for me is the inclusion of veteran actor Matthew Modine as the father who goes searching for one of the lost hikers. It was great seeing Matthew playing the role of a responsible father in contrast to his younger days roles. The kills in Wrong Turn are not overly brutal which may not go down well with some of the more blood thirsty fans, but I thought they were well executed, showed some level of restrain and played along well with the development of the story. I liked that director Mike P Nelson did not resort to any cheap jump scares, gratuitous sex scenes or unnecessary show of naked bodies, to create the usual cheap thrills usually associated with these sort of films. Having one of the girls project the strongest survival instinct is becoming a trend these days but it still works. I liked how Charlotte Vega portrayed the heroine giving a convincing performance on how the trauma changed her persona.
As you can tell, Wrong Turn is a guilty pleasure for me and I suspect it will satisfy most fans who have grown up with the genre. Everybody outside this fan club stay clear and don’t make the wrong turn to Wrong Turn.