As of today, the seventh movie in the “Wrong Turn” series appears as completed on IMDb. This is my review of the franchise as a whole.
For me, in general, it failed to become as big as other horror series. Five wrongs and one or two averages don’t make a right. I don’t personally see a single sequel or prequel in the “Wrong Turn” series as average horror movies.
Moreover, I see the “Wrong Turn” series as having the potential to enrage horror fans in general and backwoods horror buffs in particular.
A godsend for gore and splatter horror audiences, but borrowing from three older and more established, sub-genres of the macabre. Backwoods horror, and its two banjo-playing, kid brother genres, hillbilly horror, and redneck horror.
I generally classify a movie by how many of its scenes stay with me through the years after watching them. It’s a common way to calculate how good a movie is, and it’s popular with many movie watchers.
Even if there are many other parameters to judge the worth of a movie, like how true to the genre it is, how much of the film panders to its target audience, or how script, photography, and acting are executed, the generally wafer-thin plots of each “Wrong Turn” and the shallow and forgettable back-story and characters of the property make for a very disappointing experience.
The Series’ Positive Points
The filmmakers may have attempted to come up with a great idea, a crossover between splatter horror and backwoods horrors but, even from the first view, for me, it wasn’t really that good. I’d define the final product and general feel of the series as popcorn torture porn.
Maybe they conceived the original as a crossover between gore and summer blockbuster. Either way, not taking on account the original, they were all straight to DVD movies. That should raise some red flags already.
I have to give to the original “Wrong Turn” the recognition it deserves. It was released the same year as “Saw” (2003), and two years before “Hostel” (2005), probably the two most recognized splatter/torture porn horror movies of the first decade of the twenty-first century.
The first two installments of the series might have been good, but as I watched the subsequent ones anything I could have treasured from the first became diluted by a hodgepodge of entrails, blood, and predictability. Without any thread to hold the narrative together other than the boorish Hilliker clan’s story-line.
Moreover, I noted the lack of transparency and disregard for smart backwoods horror audiences in the choice of theme and setting borrowing from backwoods/hillbilly/redneck and never, ever, repaying with a decent, well-thought plot or memorable hero or heroine in a string of six (soon to be seven) movies.
If I had to pick what I would salvage from the series, I’d say WT2, at the top, because of Henry Rollins’ badass/hardass part in it, and the original part as second best, and that’s it. I wouldn’t recommend any of the other parts, three to six.
The formula of the first, repeated ad nauseam in the following five, gets progressively boring if one approaches these movies expecting gore, updated versions of “Deliverance” (1972), “Southern Comfort” (1981), “The Hills Have Eyes” (1977), or even “Tourist Trap” (1979). Not a single “Wrong Turn” installment holds a candle to any of these old movies.
If these movies attempt at being intelligent or make a pun at casting a hardcore punk legend apposite nobodies to play characters who are also nobodies that always get mercilessly ganked and quartered or minced to non-existence, and about whom you can’t remember a thing later, as if to say that giving the audience someone to identify with and succeed is very last summer, they fail, and not just that, they also insult our intelligence.
I don’t know where Fox is headed with this franchise. Like I said at the beginning, “Wrong Turn” 1-6 are shallow and possibly infuriating for those who love survival horror, hillbilly horror, and backwoods horror.
I would rather watch any of the movies I named three paragraphs above instead of losing time with any “Wrong Turn” movie beyond the second one.