Wrong Turn 2: Dead End DVD review

Who on Earth thought that 2003's dismal Wrong Turn needed a sequel? Not Matt, that's for sure. But the lure of Henry Rollins was strong...

wrong turn 2

The Internet is clogged up with gut instincts about films. People are queuing up to tell you why they know every film yet to be made will be good, bad or downright ugly. Perhaps my guts are steadier than those of the average Internet writer, or perhaps I’m just too passive, but I don’t tend to get upset about ideas. It’s impossible to guess what will be good so best to keep the mind as open as possible. There really are few occasions where I’ll read about a film and respond with a resounding ‘oh dear’. When first reading about Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, I got the feeling.

On paper, Wrong Turn 2 is certainly not the most enticing prospect for an evening’s entertainment. A direct-to-video (DTV) sequel to a mediocre film based around a concept involving reality TV contestants pitted against the cannibal mutants from the first film. But when doing the rounds at the summer festivals it met with some very positive responses. It was possible, I had to concede, that my stomach had steered me wrong. It has got Henry Rollins in it. And so I approached Wrong Turn 2 with a cautious enthusiasm.

It turns out that my gut reaction wasn’t a dodgy lunch but in fact the result of some kind of psychic lasagne letting me know not to bother. Wrong Turn 2 is silly without ever being fun. There’s gore, but no more or better than in any other horror film. There are boobs, but they’re smaller and less liberally distributed than you’ll often see. There’s nothing original about this film, nor does it do anything better than it’s been done before.

The characters are no more than basic cliché’s. For the most part, this can be explained away by the idea that the reality show contestants were picked for this reason. But that doesn’t explain the typical ruthless director and Rollins’ fun but standard military advisor. Rollins is the best thing about this film, but isn’t given nearly enough screen time. Similarly, it’s a role that you’ll have seen done better before, whether it’s the Rambo moments that don’t match up to Sylvester Stallone’s jaded ex-soldier or the aggressive drill sergeant moments R. Lee Emery perfected in Full Metal Jacket.

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Whilst it’s a sequel to Wrong Turn, the film’s existence probably owes as much to the recent success of The Hills Have Eyes remake. Inbred mutants in isolated locations are in at the moment. The film plays more like a mentally challenged cousin to that film. You feel sorry for it, but at the same time you’d really much rather be with the smart one that doesn’t dribble or play ‘Candle in the Wind’ by Elton John on repeat for seven hours straight.

An example of the two matching off would be to check the brutal rape scene from The Hills Have Eyes and then consider the bizarre shot in Wrong Turn 2 of a mutant wanking himself off in the woods. One is shocking and difficult to watch, an attack by a human-like monster forcing sexuality on an innocent representation of white suburbia. The other is a mutant wanking himself off in the woods.

Wrong Turn 2 dedicates a fair portion of its last twenty minutes to paying a fairly hefty ‘homage’ to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘s meal with the family scene. I can’t really understand why this film would want to invite that comparison and so will not comment any further other than to say that one of them is considered to be one of the greatest horror movies ever made. The other has a mutant wanking himself off in the woods.

Perhaps the film plays better to the kind of packed theatres it screened in at the genre festivals over the summer. That’s not much of a defence, particularly for a film that isn’t getting a theatrical release. Wrong Turn 2 is exactly what you’d expect from a DTV sequel; an inferior cash-in. There are some genuinely fun moments, but in a crowded market place there’s not enough to warrant anyone except real horror enthusiasts checking this title out.

1 out of 5

Rating:

1 out of 5