With slashers, there’s only so many ways to skin a cat (and don’t worry, no animals were harmed – that we know of – during the production of this blog post).
Wrong Turn 2021 is a near-complete reworking of the hicksploitation “original,” for lack of a better phrase.
After all, how original can a property really be when Tobe Hooper basically created the blueprint on which the WT series is based?
In the first Wrong Turn flick, way back when, a bunch of good looking people are put in peril thanks to car trouble, that time-honoured trope of the genre.
This time, it’s a bit more pedestrian so to speak.
It’s a group of hikers with a set of presuppositions about Southerners, who are about to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Or, at least that is what they’re claiming. They really don’t have the gear to be doin’ a through-hike, and have barely enough supplies to stay the night.
After insulting a bunch of the yokel locals at the town watering hole, they make their way into the bush where they’re picked off one by one, then stupidly, encounter some secret society, turning this more into a folk horror a la The Ritual or The Wicker Man, but not up to par with either in the quality department.
The furtive lost Visigoth tribe, with some highly developed network of tunnels and of course, torches, has a leader that looks like Orson Welles, and who serves as the group’s judge, jury and executioner.
Wrong Turn 2021 thinks it’s smarter than it is, with literal discussions of what was just subtext in Texas Chainsaw Massacre (trespassing, moral relativism, etc.).
**3/4 (out of 5)