Director Mike P. Nelson
Screenplay Alan B. McElroy based on the original film
Starring Charlotte Vega, Adain Bradley, Bill Sage, Emma Dumont, Dylan McTee, Daisy Head, Matthew Modine
When Jennifer Shaw (Vega) goes missing on a trip with five of her friends, her father Scott (Modine) goes to a small Virginia town looking for her. Flash back to 6 weeks earlier, and we see the friends arrive in the town. The friends include a variety of people one might find inside a liberal college campus.
Jennifer’s boyfriend Darius (Bradley) is a successful black man who runs a non-profit. He’s interested in studying the remains of a Civil War fort in the area. Locals tell the group to stay on the trail. Of course the mouthy friend will clap back a bit at the locals. And yeah, the friends will proceed to head off the trail anyway. That’s when things start to go wrong…you know, after the wrong turn.
The original film, released in 2003, played as a simplistic update of Deliverance, with no real effort to give the backwoods folk redeeming qualities. This time around, the teens are given to the idea that everyone they face is likely to be a racist, sexist bigot and homophobe. Of course the people of the town don’t give any indication that they are wrong.
This being the year 2021, the writer has updated his original story to make this “Foundation” that the group discovers a more sophisticated and correct thinking group. They still do some wicked and gory shit, but there is reasoning behind it all that every college student would support as part of the Green New Deal. That is, so long as they don’t have to do anything, you know, hard.
Nelson does a good job presenting all characters; whether or not they will survive. It’s still somewhat obvious what will happen from scene to scene, but the reason behind it is drawn more realistically than your average horror film. The reasoning behind the events may stretch credulity more than a little, but the people within the story make better decision. They that seem more intelligent than the usual “let’s split up and look for help” fresh meat that we’re used to seeing.
In this Wrong Turn, if you’re looking for woke, you got it. You want several traps and gory death, you will get that too. You want someone converted to a new way of thinking…that may happen along the way. Not this viewer, though. I’m not that into the Green New Deal.
I really love the ending, though. Bump it up another half star for that alone.
(**** out of *****)