Starting all the way back in 2003 Wrong Turn was a decent low budget slasher about cannibalistic hillbillies and starring Eliza Dushku. Earning $28m off its $12m budget it was enough to green light five more sequels every couple of years about the inbred hillbillies who wouldn’t have looked out of place on The Jeremy Kyle Show. But by 2014 inevitably the law of diminishing returns saw ever diminishing box office. But this year saw the franchise rebooted to great effect by Robert Kulzer, producer of the 2003 Wrong Turn and executive producer of its sequels who called upon Alan McElroy, screenwriter of the original film.
“We talked about all kinds of ideas,” recalls McElroy. “But the thing that really came to mind was this idea of, Where is America today? Where are we, as Americans, today? That led to a discussion about, Have we lost something over the last 150 years? We are a society wrapped up in social media who need a Peloton if we want to exercise. We think we’ve advanced, but what have we lost? Then we started comparing the men of the past versus the men of today, and what would happen if a group of people decided to sequester themselves and were doing everything we say we want to do — eating organic, working collectively — but have not achieved. That was the birth of the idea for pitting today’s millennials versus a group that had set themselves aside, saying, ‘Who’s better? Who’s worse? Who’s the true monster and who isn’t?’”
“It felt appropriate to tap into the ‘social horror’ genre that modern classics like ‘Get Out’ helped pioneer. The world around us can be crazy and disorienting and it didn’t feel appropriate simply to make a ‘monster in the house’ movie,” says Kulzer. “Horror audiences are super smart and want something new. With this new Wrong Turn, we wanted to leave the audience thinking and talking, and draw parallels to their own personal experiences, lives, and culture. Alan is a terrific writer and created a great, new, twisted piece of genre mythology that salutes both the Wrong Turn franchise and other classic horrors, while also bringing a socio-economic lens that elevates the entire thing.” The result is Wrong Turn: The Foundation.
To direct McElroy’s script, producers Kulzer and Harris approached Mike P. Nelson, whose debut feature, along with an as-yet-unproduced script of his, had impressed them greatly. “Mike was first introduced to us via an absolutely hysterical and brutally violent spec script he wrote,” recalls Kulzer. “Then we screened his movie The Domestics, which we loved – it was thrilling, yet hysterical. It felt like he absolutely would be able to nail the tone of this movie, something that needed to be scary, yet also dramatic and even a little funny. It’s all about the characters, and we knew Mike could deliver on that.”
So this new Wring Turn film sees a chaotic fight for survival by a group of friends on the Appalachian trail. When a dream trip turns into a nightmare, one group of friends finds themselves at the mercy of an urban legend – The Foundation. As a freak accident drives the group deeper into the mountains, they find themselves succumbing one by one to hunting traps large enough to take out anyone that dares venture off the beaten path. The group soon realises they are not alone and what happens next escalates into a gruesome game of survival, as those who called the mountain home respond to this outside threat with their own swift and brutal justice. Unusually this has a decent actor with Matthew Modine starring and rising star Emma Dumont .
The Wrong Turn blu-ray has only a few bonus features with a decent ‘making of’ with some fascinating tidbits – the ending of the film ,which is one of its highlights, was a last minute idea thought up on set and it works really well too. The film also has a director’s commentary by Nelson (who barely looks old enough to have left high school) with some decent anecdotes and of course there’s the deleted scenes too which, like most deleted scenes, becomes obvious why they are deleted scenes. All in all though this Wrong Turn blu-ray is adequate with the film unusually able to rejuvenate what was a flagging franchise and is far better than might be expected (read our full review of the film HERE).
Here’s the Wrong Turn blu-ray trailer…….
Signature Entertainment presents Wrong Turn (2021) UK Home Premiere on Digital Platforms 26th February and Blu-Ray & DVD 3rd May