CONGRATS: ‘Wrong Turn 2’ Avoids Horror Cliches

It doesn’t hit DVD shelves until October 9th, but I just got an early look at the new Wrong Turn 2: Dead End DVD from Fox, a follow-up to the rather crappy 2003 flick Wrong Turn starring Eliza Dushku. Looking back at my review for that movie it amazed me at some of the things that I wrote when I take Wrong Turn 2 into consideration…

Things such as:

“Outside the realm of possibility” is the idea that has made horror movies forever, but they fall short when they add nothing new. Nothing new is exactly what Wrong Turn offers.

…and then…

The one place this movie strayed from the typical horror movie was no nudity, which really would have made it all too cliché, so for that I am thankful.

Wrong Turn was a horror film cliché despite the no nudity aspect, and while Wrong Turn 2 has its clichés (two bouncing breasts included), I am talking major clichés that were avoided with this one.

I will now warn you that what follows contains spoilers. In order to get my point across I actually have to spoil the ending. All spoilers have been blacked out (example: this is an example), so if you want to read the spoilers highlight the blacked out areas.

THERE ARE SPOILERS INSIDE THE BOX
Now that you have made it passed the spoiler warning let’s continue. Wrong Turn 2 uses the excuse of a simulated post-apocalyptic reality show where participants are challenged to survive a remote West Virginia wasteland to get its players into place. In true horror film fashion the show turns into a nightmare when each contestant realizes they are being hunted by an inbred family of cannibals determined to make them all dinner. Plot is simple, effective, and we go along with it because we want to see a bloodbath. It is just a matter of how that bloodbath is accomplished to determine whether or not this flick is worth a watch.

To the right you will see the cast that makes up the prey. Looking at them I can only assume that if you take into consideration everything that happens in horror movies and the folks that always seem to survive that you already know who is going to come out at the end.

Yeah, that’s “American Idol” Kimberly Caldwell second to the top. Yup, that’s a black guy. Yup, that girl at the bottom was actually not even supposed to head out into the woods. I mean, come on… based on this knowledge we know who is getting the axe to the head and who will run out of the woods and flag down a car just in time to escape. It’s movie magic baby and we are all screenwriters.

BUT… This is where Wrong Turn 2 makes a right turn.

There are a few things you can assume and they do come true. “The Slut” shows her tits and then she gets killed, but beyond that it is all up in the air. The biggest shocker is that the black guy lives. I’ll give you a moment to digest that. The second biggest shocker is that the person that comes out of the woods alive with him is NOT the “Plain Jane,” she gets an axe to the dome about midway through the film.

Oh, and the “Pretty Girl”… she gets one of the coolest deaths I have seen in a horror film to start off the picture. “Rambo Chick” and “The Skater” are pretty much throwaway characters, you don’t give a shit about them because they are extremely cliché and while their death scene is pretty cool you don’t really care.

Listening to the commentary on the DVD with director Joe Lynch and stars Henry Rollins and Erica Leerhsen (“Goth Chick”) it was nice to hear Lynch actually comment on the fact that as he was reading the script he was like, “Wait a second, the black guy is still alive?” Honestly, the way this movie is set up you expect every horror movie cliché to show its ugly face, fortunately it is only the good ones that do so (nudity and the slut getting the axe).

I am not going to give Wrong Turn 2 a full DVD review since I was only sent a check disc with the commentary and one other featurette on it, but I am going to tell you that if you are a horror fan this is a fun one to pick up, and it is much better than the first. The story is simple, but unlike the first film it doesn’t get tedious. What I mean by that is that the inbred family is not as boring. On top of that some actual logic was used in creating the film and when the tiny “Goth Chick” says to football player Jake (the black guy played by Texas Battle from Final Destination 3), “I guess I’ll go first,” it is priceless. Truly a fun film.

Lynch tells us they used 300 gallons of blood to make this movie, but more important than the gore is the way they deviated from traditional horror film pitfalls and offer up something different. It is a bit surprising to find that when you avoid killing the traditional stereotypical people how much better your movie actually can be.

My hat goes off to Lynch and screenwriters Turi Meyer and Al Septien for turning in a direct-to-DVD horror film worthy of watching and a movie I would recommend any horror fan at least give a once over.

For more on Wrong Turn 2 click here. The DVD hits shelves on October 9, 2007. For information on the DVD and to buy it now click here.

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