I actually like Wrong Turn 2. I think it’s a fun entry with some cool kills. But that doesn’t mean I can stop The Wolfman (@TheWolfmanCometh – on the boards) from selecting it as his next target! You’ve already read his assessments of House Of Wax and Ghost Ship, so you know how he rolls. Just because you don’t like a movie, that doesn’t necessarily mean every single frame of it is bad! And that’s precisely the point of his column here.
Head inside for his take on Wrong Turn 2!
Is there a politically correct term for the killers found in the Wrong Turn franchise? Jerks? Creeps? Rude Dudes? I don’t think there is a nice way of describing villains if the reason they are evil is because they have lived in the woods for decades and their parents are relatives of one another. I guess there’s implications of nuclear waste or whatever. Rather than risk offending anyone, I’ll make things simple by referring to them as “Chuckleheads”. The first movie in this franchise wasn’t all that original and didn’t have very popular of actors, so nothing really come of its theatrical run. Despite its relative failure, that didn’t stop the studio from making a straight to video sequel. I have NO idea why but, as if one sequel wasn’t enough, there’s actually a Wrong Turn 5 on the way. FIVE MOVIES?! I could see maybe one, POSSIBLY two sequels, but a fourth one?! I remember when there were only two sequels, I was thinking I was missing out on something so I subjected myself to the whole franchise and had a hard time finding anything redeeming about these movies. Well, except there was ONE thing that I thought was pretty cool, and if you keep reading, you’ll find out what that one thing was!
The first film featured characters who were stuck in the woods and this resulted in them being victims for those previously described Chuckleheads, for no real rhyme or reason. The sequel, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (ya know, because those are both automobile related phrases), goes in what is the most obvious, natural direction for the franchise: the filming of a reality TV show! As if we all hadn’t seen that coming when the credits rolled in the first film, right? Anyways, in true reality show fashion, this fake reality show takes all the stereotypes we’ve come to expect, skateboarders, floozies, depressed goths, and have them compete in some sort of insane competition. I still have no idea what the “rules” or “point” of this TV show is, and I’m not sure the filmmakers ever thought it through either. The show is in the woods, and the Chuckleheads start taking them out one by one. Some of the people die, some of them live, and apparently there are still enough unanswered questions to warrant three more movies.
I think there is possibly an argument to be made that this movie is enjoyable for how INCREDIBLY awful it is. If that’s what you find redeeming about this movie, then more power to you. It was directed by Joe Lynch, who has a history of incorporating silly or tongue in cheek types of things into the projects he’s involved in. But since this was his first bigger directing gig, I don’t think he went as far as he could have with the absurdity, or maybe he was stifled by the studio as a first time director. Yes, there are some things in here that seem intentionally ridiculous, but I think that everything that happens in between those silly things is so incredibly boring that it’s not worth sitting through for 93 minutes.
When you realize that Henry Rollins is in a movie, you think that maybe he can make it worth watching. Most of the time he pops up as some hardass tough guy that’s only in a few scenes. In Wrong Turn 2, he does play a grizzled Marine type of character, but he’s given too much screen time and his character has to be toned down a little bit to compensate. Sadly, not every Rollins performance is awesome, and sometimes you end up with a movie like The Chase. Although her acting in this movie wasn’t particularly bad, this movie also stars Erica Leerhsen. You might not recognize her name, but I wanted to point out that she was also in Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, as well as 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s like she made a point to only star in movies that were pointless sequels/remakes that nobody really wanted to exist in the first place. Did I mention that I even watched the supplemental content on this DVD? I did! And even though she was only in the movie for a few minutes, I grew to HATE the individual named “Kimberly Caldwell”. Whoever this woman was she seemed incredibly self-centered and full of herself. She made it seem like it was this amazing thing that she was in a horror movie and how excited everyone should be that she was stooping to it. It’s strange how someone so annoying and egotistical could also be involved in the absolute best thing in the whole movie.
While Kimberly Caldwell (who plays Kimberly [who is playing herself?]) is driving to an audition (while talking on the phone [with the voice on the other end being Patton Oswalt?!]), she gets a flat tire or her engine blows up or something, I can’t really remember*. Since her cellular telephone is no longer getting reception (because of “the woods”, obviously), things aren’t looking good for our dear, sweet Kimberly. Sadly for her, the only person who offers their assistance is one of the Chuckleheads who is planning to harm, rather than help, poor Kimberly. When it’s time for Kimberly to meet her demise, we see a Chucklehead raising an axe up over his head, and then they cut to a shot of the back of Kimberley’s legs as we see the axe hitting the ground, a huge pile of guts landing on top of it, and then the two halves of her body are dragged off. WHY KEEP MAKING THIS MOVIE AFTER THAT?! There have been plenty of killers that have cleanly cut people’s body parts off of separated one half of their body from another, but to have Kimberly cut cleanly down the middle, combined with the way the shot and effects were constructed, it’s really a gruesome, entertaining kill. In fact, seeing an animated GIF of that shot is what made me seek this movie out in the first place. Feel free to let me know if all the other movies started this way, and I might be willing to watch those first few minutes on YouTube, but other than that, I think the Wrong Turn franchise should’ve…ummm…YIELDED TO PEDESTRIANS?! I really thought I could make a good road sign pun there, maybe next time.
*Editor’s note – she’s ambushed by one of the mutants throwing himself in front of her car.