Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Film Review: 'WRONG TURN 2: DEAD END' (2007)

Review by: Chris Ward
Directed by:Joe Lynch Writers: Alan B. McElroy (characters) Turi Meyer(Movies)
Released: October 2007

2003's 'Wrong Turn' was a pretty unremarkable little thriller. It had some good moments, but just being good doesn't really cut it when you're amongst modern horror giants like 'Saw', 'Switchblade Romance' and 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', all also released around the same time. Popular amongst a teen audience, it was really a 'The Hills Have Eyes'-inspired romp that managed to be enjoyable but ultimately forgettable, so guess what? They only went and made a sequel!

'Wrong Turn 2: Dead End' (do you see what they did there?) follows a reality game show, hosted by ex-Marine Dale Murphy (Henry Rollins), where a group of young people have to survive five days in the woods in a supposed post-apocalyptic fallout. The usual group of misfits turn up - the wise-cracking joker, a jock, a lesbian, a prick-tease, a self-harmer and an actress - and proceed to get picked off by the redneck cannibals that dwell in the woods.

And that is it - simple really. There's no point delving too far into the plot and detailing what happens to whom, as that would spoil the enjoyment that there is to be had in this gem of a movie. It's not to say that it's a perfect movie - because it isn't - but it's the sort of movie that knows exactly what it is, and has been made by somebody with an obvious passion for these sorts of things. The cast are all pretty good in their respective roles, especially Rollins, who may not be the best actor in the world but he does have a massive screen presence, and nearly every scene that he's in is enjoyable because of him. Erica Leerhsen also appears as Nina, the self-harmer, and is rapidly showing promise as a Scream Queen for a new generation, following on from her role in '...Chainsaw Massacre'.

There are faults here, namely the plot itself which is hardly original, but when it's delivered in such a relentless and fun style, it really doesn't matter. The other major weak point is the cannibals themselves, whose prosthetic make-up is pretty fake looking, but as there aren’t many lingering shots on them, it's a minor quibble. There's also a few other glitches in the special effects, but, as with the other negative points, it's all forgivable due to speedy narrative and lashings of gore.

Overall, 'Wrong Turn 2' ticks all the right boxes - nudity? Check! Inventive kills? Check! Charismatic and sympathetic characters? Check! Fast-paced action and loads of blood? Check! Black humor? Check! It's big, dumb fun and it knows it, and as far as capturing the aura of the video nasties that it is an obvious homage to, then it can be called a success. It isn't likely to win any Oscars, though!


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