• Wrong Turn (Lionsgate) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Lionsgate
    Released on: February 23rd, 2021.
    Director: Mike P. Nelson
    Cast: Charlotte Vega, Adain Bradley, Bill Sage, Emma Dumont, Dylan McTee, Daisy Head, Matthew Modine
    Year: 2021
    Purchase From Amazon

    Wrong Turn – Movie Review:

    Directed by Mike P. Nelson, this 2021 Wrong Turn film reboots the six-film franchise that preceded it and is neither a sequel nor a remake to any one of those films (though it was written by Alan B. McElory, who wrote the original 2003 film). When the story begins, a man named Scott (Matthew Modine) arrives in a small town in rural Virginia. He’s looking for his daughter, Jen (Charlotte Vega), who, along with a few friends, was hiking the Appalachian Trail. She hasn’t been heard from in a few weeks and he figures this was the last place she’d have been seen. The cops are no help and all he gets is attitude from a local bar fly.

    From here, we learn what happened to Jen. She and her boyfriend, Darius (Adain Bradley), loaded up the SUV and, along with two other couples - Milla (Emma Dumont) and Adam (Dylan McTee) and Gary (Vardaan Arora) and Luis (Adrian Favela) - spent the night in the town before hitting the trails. They were warned not to go the path, but when Daruis learns about an old Civil War era fort in the area, he pushes the rest of the crew to go look for it with him. They oblige, and soon enough, Gary is dead when a giant log rolls down the hill and crushes him against a tree. It turns out that the area is inhabited by The Foundation, a group that abandoned civilization just as the Civil War was going to begin, figuring American would kill itself and they’d start over to rebuild the country in their own fashion, to create a land where everyone was equal, regardless of their status of skin color. It turns out that while The Foundation, led by Venable (Bill Sage), may have been started with the best of intentions they really don’t like visitors…

    This version of Wrong Turn takes some interesting twists and turns. Yes, it does feel about fifteen to twenty minutes longer than it needs to be and the hiker characters are annoying as fuck for the first chunk of the movie, but once the action in the woods picks up, the script provides some decent character development and some interesting situations. There’s an obvious social commentary in here about the current state of America that offers up some food for thought, and while aspects of the ending are a bit on the predictable side (there are a couple of characters here that might as well have been named ‘cannon fodder’) the effects are pretty good and there’s some nice set and costume design work on display in the picture.

    The performances are alright. The younger cast members play characters of their age well enough, obsessed with cell phones and selfies and none too keen to heed the warnings of any of the locals who try to subtly warn them of the dangers in the area. Charlotte Vega and Adain Bradley do really solid work as the picture intensifies, and Dylan McTee has a stand out scene in the picture which we won’t spoil. Modine plays the caring father well enough, and the supporting players all do decent enough work.

    It isn’t a perfect film, but Wrong Turn gets enough right to make it worth checking out.

    Wrong Turn – Blu-ray Review:

    Wrong Turn arrives on region A Blu-ray from Lionsgate in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 2.35.1 on a 50GB disc with the feature taking up 34.5GBs of space. This was shot digitally and as such, the picture is free of any damage or dirt. Detail generally looks really strong though it can be softer looking when shaky-cam effects are employed. The film makes use, primarily at least, of a color palette that is heavy on earth tones, so there are lots of greens, browns and greys, but the colors are reproduced accurately and nicely. We get solid black levels, good skin tones and nice texture throughout most of the film. There aren’t really any issues to report here, the movie looks really solid.

    Audio chores are handled a 24-bit English language DTS-HD 5.1 Surround Sound track with optional subtitles offered up in English and Spanish. The track is frequently pretty immersive, the log roll scene being a great example where the sound comes up behind you at just the right time. It does a good job of putting you in the action. At the same time, the levels are nicely balanced, dialogue is always clear and the score sounds nice and deep.

    The main extra on the disc is a feature length audio commentary track with the film's director, Mike P. Nelson, who is admittedly nervous about doing his first commentary track but very enthusiastic. He talks about some of the influences that inspired him to make the movie, the support that he got from the film's producers and why certain sections of the film were re-ordered. He talks about getting the main cast members to hang out before shooting started and how great they were to work with, the locations that were used for the shoot, shooting certain scenes with multiple angles, how some of the stunts and effects work was accomplished (Modine did his own stunts!), the specifics of the linguistics used by certain characters in the movie, creating some of the props featured in the picture and lots more.

    A twenty-eight-minute featurette entitled Monsters Among Us: Making Wrong Turn interviews the director, producer, cast and crew about their experiences working on the film, the themes that the picture explores, why the series was rebooted, casting the film, what it was like directing the picture and taking direction on the picture and quite a bit more. It's a bit clip-heavy but it's interesting enough and it has some decent behind the scenes clips and photos in it.

    Rounding out the extras is a promotional trailer from 2019, a few deleted and extended scenes, menus and chapter selection. This release also comes bundled with an insert card containing a download code for a digital HD version of the movie and comes packaged with a slipcover.

    Wrong Turn - The Final Word:

    Those expecting a rehash of the earlier entries in the Wrong Turn franchise might be disappointed that this newest film plays things very differently, but this picture turned out to be much stronger than expected and is worth seeing if you can appreciate the stranger folk horror aspects that it deals in. Lionsgate’s Blu-ray release offers up a strong presentation and a couple of decent extras as well. Recommended.

    Click on the images below for full sized Wrong Turn Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Darcy Parker's Avatar
      Darcy Parker -
      I have a feeling the director may not be the only Mike Nelson who will end up being associated with this one