Directed by: Joe Lynch
Written by: Turi Meyer, Alfredo Septién, Alan B. McElroy
Starring: Henry Rollins, Erica Leerhsen, Crystal Lowe and Daniella Alonso
Throwback Thursday Film Review: by Rachel Pullen
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007) Review
I have watched some utter piles of garbage in my life, like massive piles of garbage and sometimes they are so good because they are bad, horror seems to have a lot of them, and I mean a lot, I'm assured that horror wears that crown proudly. And with that in mind, we sometimes forgive the more silly narratives within these films, the ridiculous kills and survivals, the disposable characters and pageantry of the killer, because we understand it’s fantasy and we are ready to invest in that environment, but what makes those films work is the fact that they are self-aware. If you’re going to make a film about killer tomatoes, or clowns from outer space, you gotta have a bit of a laugh with the script.
So where am I going with this? Well, I'm kinda lost because I really don't know if Wrong Turn 2: Dead End is meant to be one of those films, or is it actually trying to be serious? I watched two mutated hillbillies have a marital argument because the husband was caught jacking off over a girl in a bikini...but it was serious, and now my mind hurts, and I don't really know what this movie has done to me, so let’s talk about it.
Wrong Turn 2 is the story of a bunch of teens (of course) who enter a survival contest in the woods to try to win a tonne of money. They have to pair off and find food, shelter and just simply survive, seems easy enough right? But what no one took into account is that it’s set in the woods where all those hillbilly cannibals from the first film live, and boy do they live!
They have bred, got kids, live in an old paper mill, they kill people and eat their bodies, there is a bunch of them basically having a grand old time and throwing body shop parties or something like that...good for them.
Anyway, the teens quickly get picked off one by one and it’s up to the host of the show, Henry Rollins (actual dreamboat) who comes to save the day because he was once in the army, and he has big ripped arms the size of dustbins and I LOVE HIM, anyway, they fight the hillbillies, some die, some don't, there is an ominous final shot, eluding to the idea that the hillbillies are still alive, blah blah, the end, we all go home.
Now I'm not mad at the storyline, in fact, I knew it was going to be the same style as before with a few changes, that's what most horror sequels are, and the addition of the survival show opened up a lot of doors for interesting kills and character development, think Halloween resurrection but without Busta Rhymes doing karate.
So we can’t sit here and condemn it for being boring and the same as the first, because while that's true, you can sense that the writers really tried to develop the storyline enough to make it compelling for the audience but still keeping the hillbilly family element alive.
So what is so confusing about this movie? Why am I so traumatised?
Let’s sum it up, we are in the movie, invested, caring about characters, we know the hillbillies exist as they are featured in the opening scenes...so far so good, we are ready to expect the same style as the original, with some minor changes...ok...but then...just as we feel the investment wash over us, we see the hillbilly jerk off scene, his wife come and get mad, and then kill the human girl, wear her face as a mask and have sex with each other over a log....yeah...that actually happens.
I fell, Alfred Hitchcock Vertigo style, into a swirling background of exclusion.
I was taken out of the film at this point, and I feel the director was too. The whole second half of Wrong Turn 2 has some questionable scenes, it takes on a bit more of a goofy tone, we see them feed a finger to a deformed baby, we see green toxic waste (in toxic waste barrels which look like they are from an episode of Power Rangers) trickle into the water supply, as to explain why the hillbillies are...well the way they are. We find out the gas station guy from film 1 is their real daddy but he is not into eating humans so he just has fish, and then Henry Rollins puts a stick of dynamite down the back of his jacket, Looney Toons style and he blows up!
And while there is nothing wrong with that, trust me I love a silly horror we can all laugh at, you do need to have some consistency to the narrative of the enemies, are we meant to fear them or just see them as a kind of dopey dumb killer who we enjoy seeing taking an axe to the skull? Should we care when the teens are waking into danger? Or are we cheering to see some slapstick gore? Pick a path and roll with it, don't lead me down a wrong turn to dissatisfaction city...ahh I couldn't help myself.
So there are like seven more movies in the Wrong Turn franchise, which I am not doing because I have a soul, and if I have to watch hillbilly sex again I may lose the desire to let another person touch me ever, but if you feel you can do it then you are a bigger person than me.
This week we learned...
Henry Rollins always carries dynamite
Toxic slime is not just for Power Rangers
And never underestimate the chance of someone cutting off your face to use it in their sexual games.