• Wrong Turn 2: Dead End

    Released by: Fox
    Released on: 09/15/2009
    Director: Joe Lynch
    Cast: Erica Leerhsen, Henry Rollins, Ken Kurzinger, Crystal Lowe, Matthew Currie Holmes

    Year: 2006

    The Movie:

    The first Wrong Turn might not have been all that original but it was a moderately entertaining backwoods slasher that seemed to have its heart in the right place. It made a bit of money at the box office and as we all know, one successful horror film will almost always spawn a few more, though this second entry went straight to video.

    When the film begins, an obnoxious but attractive blonde Kimberly Caldwell (yep, the American Idol girl, here playing herself) yapping on the phone as she drives through the mountains of remote West Virginia on her way to partake in a reality show wherein contestants try to survive in a simulated post-apocalyptic environment. She hits someone on the way there, the body bouncing off of the windshield of her Mustang, though when she stops to see if the ‘person’ she hit is okay, she finds out that she’s been set up. It’s too little too late and she’s slaughtered in one of the coolest and most creative opening kill scenes in some time.

    Cut to the set of the show, about to start taping, and hosted by a former Marine named Dale Murphy (Henry Rollins). The series’ director (Matthew Currie Holmes) is running around in a Battle Royale shirt and sticking his dick into the mouth of one of the cute starlets while his girlfriend is asked to stand in for the missing Caldwell so as not to throw off the shooting schedule. Of course as the contestants all head out into the woods – a well meaning black dude, a pretty lesbian Latina, a bitchy blonde chick, a lunkheaded X-games type and the aforementioned blowjob girl and director’s girlfriend – the mutant cannibal types from the first movie show up and start killing everyone off.

    That’s about all there is to this one. It’s short on plot and surprisingly high on gore. The kill scenes in this picture are surprisingly strong for a film backed by a major studio like this one is, and you’ve got to hand it to director Joe Lynch for not shying away from the grue. There’s a twisted sense of humor to the whole film, you can tell no one is taking any of this all too seriously and while you can’t really call it a horror comedy, tongue is generally placed firmly in cheek here. It works better than you might expect it to. The film moves along at a good clip and while it’s never really scary or all that tense there are a couple of good jump scares and yeah, the gore is really good here. The movie definitely has that going for it.

    Acting wise, well, no one stands out here in the least save for Rollins, who is well cast and doing his best R. Lee Ermy impersonation. He’s got enough charisma to make the role work and his screen presence helps things considerably in this department. He may not be winning an Oscar anytime soon but he’s fun in this part and he makes it his own.

    There’s no character development here, and not much of a storyline really but there’s an inspired sense of manic chaos that makes it all watchable. Throw in some gratuitous and sometimes taboo busting sex, an obvious but effective homage to a certain influential Tobe Hooper classic, and some great make up effects work and you’ve got yourself a fun time at the movies – and in the film’s defense you never get the impression that it’s aspiring for any more than that.


    The AVC encoded 1080p 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen video on this Blu-ray disc isn’t all that impressive. The picture is often times very soft and a bit murky in spots. Fine detail seems to have been scrubbed out of some scenes and while colors look nice and vibrant, black levels aren’t as strong as you’d expect them to be. It’s all watchable enough and there are shots here where you’ll definitely know that you’re watching a high definition presentation over a standard definition one – so there is an improvement – but it’s not drastic, and revelations are disappointingly sporadic.

    The primary mix is an English language DTS-HD 5.1 mix though alternate tracks are provided in Spanish and French 5.1 Surround Sound with subtitles available in English SDH, French and Spanish. Again, this is a noticeable improvement over the standard definition release. The DTS-HD mix opens up the audio a bit and fills the room quite nicely. This isn't a reference quality surround mix but it's a nice one that uses the rears to build atmosphere and help out in the jump scares department. The lower front end isn’t very strong however, and surround activity isn’t quite as aggressive as you might have hoped for. Everything sounds fine, but the mix could have and should have had more punch and power behind it than it does here.

    Fox has included a few decent extras starting with a commentary track from director Joe Lynch and actors Erica Leerhsen and Henry Rollins. Lynch does almost all of the talking here, rarely letting the others get a word in edgewise, not easy to do when Rollins is in the room, as he’s a man that likes to talk. Regardless, Lynch is entertaining enough and he’s certainly not in the least bit short on enthusiasm. He covers all of the basics here, shooting on location in Vancouver, working with the actors, the gore scenes, and the film’s origins. The story genesis is touched on in that track but further elaborated on in the second commentary by writers Turi Meyer and Al Septien and it’s nice to hear the honesty in the talk as these two openly admit that they were writing a trashy gore film. It’s a bit dry in spots with a bit too much dead air but if you want to hear more about the characters and various plot points, this’ll scratch that itch for you.

    From there, dig in to the first of the supplied featurettes, More Blood, More Guts: The Making Of Wrong Turn 2 (9:32) which is a bit where Lynch and his producer talk about casting the film, the intensity of the script, and the cast members all pop up briefly to talk about their parts. There’s not much of any actual substance here, it’s pretty basic. On Location with P-Nut (2:14) is a short behind the scenes bit shot by the bass player for 3-11 who happened to be on set the day that the incestuous mutants screwing in the woods scene was being shot, while Making Gore Look Good (11:32) is a bit about the effects work used in the film. This is actually the best of the three featurettes which shows in a fair bit of detail how some of the movie’s better and more splat-tastic moments were created.

    Menus and chapter stops are included. All of the extras are presented in standard defintition.

    The Final Word:

    While it’s definitely a more enjoyable film than the first one, the Blu-ray doesn’t offer up a huge improvement in sound or video quality nor does it contain any exclusive supplements. If you own the SD release, you can probably keep it, though if you don’t and you want to own the film the marginal improvements in quality make this a slightly more desirable option I suppose. Not a classic, but a fun, dopey gory movie that’s worth a watch.