Wrong Turn 2: Dead End

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End
Takes the right path
Updated: 09-06-2007

I enjoyed the over-the-top, gruesome hillbilly horror of the first Wrong Turn movie. To be honest, I remember being pleasantly surprised as I was not expecting much at the time. While I liked it, I never saw it again. So, I viewed Wrong Turn once in 2003, and never looked back — or would that be ahead?  Seems someone else was looking ahead, because the inevitable sequel is now on its way.


It's direct-to-DVD on October 9, 2007 from first-time feature director Joe Lynch, peppered with a cast of genre 'names' (Henry Rollins from Feast; Texas Battle from Final Destination 3; and Erica Leerhsen from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, to name just a few), and featuring the dreaded "reality TV" subplot (Halloween: Resurrection, House of Nine, Are You Scared, and so on).


Sounds pitiful, but you know what? Wrong Turn 2 starts of with a bang (or a mighty chop, as the case may be) and it never slows down from its first peel of acceleration to its final brake-squeal. The unrated version is unbelievably gory and it's painfully obvious that those behind the camera took a ghoulish glee in making everything as bloody, gooey, ropey, chunky, and stringy as possible.


The story continues with the West Virginian family of mutant mountain-folk who enjoy a bite of tourist tartare every now and again. While they are given some dimension and a flash of character, our tension lies with the potential victims. Writers Turi Meyer and Al Septien, certainly with a lot of help from Lynch, make their cast of obnoxious characters fun to watch — and even more fun to watch die at the grubby hands of their relentless, ravenous attackers.


The movie has a few pacing issues (and a toxic waste subplot which really didn't work for me), but overall if you're looking for an hour and change of old-school, no-holds-barred horror, you can't go wrong with Wrong Turn 2.


It's difficult for me to fathom why Fox released the far inferior "inbred, cannibal horror" movie The Hills Have Eyes 2 theatrically this year instead of Wrong Turn 2, but I guess that's why they make the big bucks. At least with the unrated DVD, you will get not only some guilty-pleasure giggles and grotesque deaths, but you also get a slew of additional release material.


Making The Gore Look Good is a featurette about… well, if you can't guess, I think you may need to check your own family tree for some genetic overlap. In this mini-doc, the filmmakers talk about not only the famous cleaved-in-half scene featuring real-life reality TV star Kimberly Caldwell, but how they got those intestines so ropey and how they got the blood to just the right consistency.


Since the gore is indeed exceptionally good in Wrong Turn 2, this is a particularly interesting look at how it was carried out. Along with the look, of course, there must be action: an exuberant Lynch — along with stunt coordinator Jacob Rupp, special effects guru PJ Vincent, and makeup effects artist Bill Terezakis — explains how these death scenes are put into action and still made to "look good". The attention to detail (right down to the Kimberly death-doll's irises) is pretty impressive. But it's not all organic — the digital effects also play a pivotal part.


The check disc DVD that I got only mentions commentary from Lynch and Rollins, but the one that I got also included Erica Leerhsen. The yak-track is good in that it not only discusses the making of the movie and the scenes at hand ("commentary clichés", laughs the director), but there is also some perspective on the horror genre in general (Lynch is obviously an enthusiast).


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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson

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