Director – Joe Lynch
Cast – Erica Leerhsen, Henry Rollins, Texas Battle, Aleksa Palladino, Daniella Alonso, Steve Braun, Matthew Currie Holmes, Crystal Lowe, Kimberly Caldwell, Wayne Robson, Ken Kirzinger, Ashlea Earl, Clint Carleton, Rorelee Tio
Release Year – 2007
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Wrong Turn remains one of my favorite horror films of all time, mainly because of Rob Schmidt(The Alphabet Killer)’s amazing execution of an often-used plot, but simply because the film is awesome. Because of the usual crapiness we get with horror sequels, you can imagine my distaste when I first heard word that Wrong Turn 2: Dead End was in the works, however I gave this one a chance when it debuted ONLY because Henry Rollins was in it, and I am glad that I did. The film is by no means even close to the greatness of Wrong Turn, but for fans of these “backwoods killer” flicks as well as fans of awesome gore this is one definitely worth giving a shot at.
Retired military commando Col. Dale Murphy(Henry Rollins; Feast) is hosting the newest, hottest reality television show, one in which its contestants must survive post-apocalyptic scenarios in the backwoods of West Virginia. The show is going well and according to plan, until an inbred family of cannibals shows up and causes all hell to break loose. As the contestants fall victim to the family one by one, the remaining survivors realize they are no longer playing for $100,000, but for their lives.
Well, if you liked Wrong Turn then there is a chance you may like this one. Only a “chance”? Yes, because this film really does have a different look and feel, and also comes with a story that may be a bit silly to some.
I personally hate reality television, so at first I really did not like the idea of the film employing such a tactic, however, I did love seeing reality show contestants being gutted and eaten, so in the end the reality element is evened out. The majority of the story is much like I explained it, we watch the contestants try and survive being killed and eaten by the cannibals. It sounds simple, and it is, but I found it fun-to-watch and quite engaging given we have the usual ditsy girls who have no clue how to survive in the wild, and of course a few badass males and females who have what it takes to fight off their attackers. The contestants were forced to enter the show without any personal belongings aside from the clothes on their backs, so they are truly defenseless against their attackers, which not only adds a strong sense of helplessness, but forces the strong ones to get creative if they want to survive. Oh, and did I mention Henry Rollins is in this one? His character was very fun to watch, and while we don’t get as much screen time from him as I wanted, the screen time we do get from him is awesome and written to please the fans.
Earlier I mentioned that if you love gore then you might enjoy this one, and I meant it. Director Joe Lynch(who acted in Terror Firmer, Frozen, and Hatchet II) does a fantastic job bringing some campy live-action gore to the screen, and while we do get some lame CGI gore during some very gory scenes, the CGI gore came in high dosage, which made it bearable given the nature of what was happening. His pacing is well done, mainly because of his ability to sell the film to the viewer visually, as well as the non-stop antics and mayhem that are going on throughout the film thanks to its screenplay. We do get some different film tones going on due to Joe Lynch giving us many scenes that come via the cameras set up throughout the forest to record the actions of the contestants, but overall I did not find this to really be a bother to me. Your mileage may vary on this, because it really only adds to the “sillyness” of the reality-television based plot. The look and mannerisms of the inbred cannibal family was well done, and they deliver some good bloody carnage as well as the best human BBQ you can find.
Overall, this is a fun watch that I recommend to fans of the “backwoods killer” flicks who would like to see a different take on the sub-genre. If you enjoyed Wrong Turn then there is a chance you will enjoy this one, just don’t go in expecting the same level of seriousness, but more of a campy watch.