Wrong Turn 2 : Dead End (2007)

Apparently one Wrong Turn does deserve another. Much like that awful pun, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End is about as subtle as an axe in the crotch. It is insanely violent, surprisingly witty and a lot of fun. Occasionally it veers into being sickeningly ugly and knowingly predictable, but overall it is entertaining in a gloriously bloody way.

Welcome to “Apocalypse: Ultimate Survivor”, a game show set in the deep forests of West Virginia. Six wannabe celebrities are set to participate in a “Survivor”-style TV show – the aim is to stay in the wilderness with nothing but their wits and determination in order to win a prize of $100,000. But they’re not alone in the forest, and soon the fake “fight for survival” becomes a very real one, as a family of inbred cannibal psychos turns their little game into a gory deathfest.

The premise is not an original one (see Halloween Resurrection, My Little Eye, Dead Set etc…), but little is original about Wrong Turn 2 and it simply doesn’t care. It’s not about innovation, but about character, about action and about how wilfully extreme they can be without completely alienating their audience. While it remains brutally sarcastic about reality television and the cult of celeb, there is no “message” in Wrong Turn 2, just a good reason to murder people in grotesque ways.

“You can’t afford to make a wrong turn here”, an agent rather fortuitously tells his prissy actress as she heads to the base-camp. Oddly, Wrong Turn’s name is now a misnomer, as the cast of the unfortunate reality game show actually take the correct turning, only to find out that particular road leads to a whole heap of extreme violence.

It is smart, slyly written stuff. The excellent opening title sequence lets you know exactly what to expect – quick, witty, self-knowing dialogue and ridiculously extreme violence. The characters in Wrong Turn 2, although caricatures, have more than the usual level of 2D stereotype about them. Some stick staunchly to the annoying desperate celebrity shtick until they die brutally, while others develop and reveal more sympathetic sides… before they die brutally. Oddly, Wrong Turn 2 is one of the few horror films that features more than two characters who are likeable, and it also really surprises the audience with who lives longer than who.

Wrong Turn 2’s appearance was inevitable as the first film was a surprise success, doing well at the box office and in general reception from critics and the horror community. What is most surprising is that Wrong Turn 2 is actually good. The tone is significantly different to the original, but necessarily so. The secrets revealed in the previous movie means it is more open for extreme violence and bright, vivid deaths rather than sticking to the creepy, shadowy violence of the first Wrong Turn. The evil, psychopathic inbred bastards have increased their stock too, which feels contrived but certainly doesn’t greatly aggravate.

For gore-hounds you’d be hard-pressed to find a recent film featuring as much blood, guts and crimson-soaked violence as Wrong Turn 2. Limbs rip, people explode, arrows fly, axes chop, heads come off, shotguns blast, knives tear flesh, blood gushes and everything is shown in glorious non-subtle daylight throughout!

Despite the hilariously bloody moments peppered throughout the film, some of Wrong Turn 2 is really very unnecessary (I’m looking at you, masturbating mutant boy) and borders on being pointlessly horrible. There is a deliberate and sometimes infuriating lack of subtlety, where everything is shown in explicit detail – bizarrely the entire film is set in daylight too, which only adds to the vividness of the bloodbath on display. It is not about scares, however, but about being grotesque. Luckily this is done in a tongue-in-cheek way rather than the abhorrently serious way those “goreography” films of late like to repulse us with. Sometimes, however, it steps over the edge and just becomes… nasty.

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End is unoriginal, predictable and unnecessarily horrible in places, but it is done with such a gleeful charm that it becomes an enjoyable and immensely likeable film. Incredibly harsh, very gory and never serious, this is a decent sequel and simply a lot of bloody bloody fun.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

2 Comments on “Wrong Turn 2 : Dead End”

  1. Aaron Gillott says:

    Nice review and I agree on all the points about what makes this a surprisingly fun, entertaining sequel, in fact I think I slightly prefer this one to the original just for simple re-watch value.

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