It is pretty common knowledge that the reason reboots are so reviled by the movie-watching community is the constant retreading. They are remakes/ reboots of films that have no reason to be “reimagined” other than a film company looking to drain the wallet of fans with the promise of nostalgia. On the complete flip side, there are films that have little to nothing to do with the original and are just using the title as a shortcut to tap into an already existing fan base. While this is the better option it is still doing a disservice to the fans, in this case, the Wrong Turn fanbase.
Arriving in the town of Wrenwood Jen and her friends immediately begin to feel like something is off with locals. They were expecting standoffish Southerns who yearn for the “good” ole days but they weren’t expecting warnings about the woods near the Appalachian Trail. Stories that people who enter and are never seen again sounds like small-town folklore and superstition to the group so they are on their hike the next day. Things start to go sour for the group though after straying from the trail and as they soon discover that they are not alone in the woods.
Anything that isn’t simply a soulless cash grab is always a plus but to stray so far from the source material while keeping the Wrong Turn title comes across as desperate. A film franchise that built itself on deformed redneck cannibals in every installment just to not exist in any way, besides a passing joke, is unacceptable. The biggest crime of all being that this film is leaps and bounds better than the series it is trying to disguise itself as. It is bizarre enough that one would expect it to be a completely different movie that was just rebranded by the studio, but that is unfortunately not the case.
Diving to the film proper, it is in no way as forgettable as Wrong Turn 2003 but falls into its own variety of easily avoidable mistakes, the biggest of them being character motivations. The first hour of this movie is fantastic, where if it ended it would have been a short, thrilling masterpiece, but as it meanders and wastes time it just becomes confused and boring. Every character from our mains, to the antagonists, to the side characters, are confused in their motivations and their actions. Many of these moments leaving the audience scratching their heads wondering why they would be making any of the decisions they are making.
Wrong Turn is not a bad movie in the slightest. There are thrilling moments throughout, great surprises, some beautiful camerawork, and an engaging story that deserved to be its own film. What the film does right though is covered up and hidden behind unlikeable characters, confusing motivations, and a completely unnecessary run time. Trimmed to a lean 90 minutes and this would be a satisfying film, but as it stands it is nothing but a cluttered unfaithful reboot that leaves the cannibal community high and dry.
7 out of 10