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Mike P. Nelson
Charlotte Vega, Matthew Modine, Adain Bradley
Writing Credits:
Alan McElroy

Friends hiking the Appalachian Trail are confronted by 'The Foundation', a community of people who have lived in the mountains for hundreds of years

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 110 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 2/23/2021

• Audio Commentary with Director Mike P. Nelson
• “Monsters Among Us” Featurette
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• Promotional Trailer


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Wrong Turn [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 8, 2021)

Back in 2003, Wrong Turn got mediocre reviews and even with a modest $12 million budget, its $28 million worldwide gross left it as a break-even project at best. That doesn’t sound like the foundation for a franchise.

However, horror films often spawn additional chapters even when they don’t seem to deserve them, and that proved true for Wrong Turn. Wrong Turn 2 materialized in 2007, and through 2014, we got a total of five sequels.

Rather than bring us Wrong Turn 7, the franchise decided to reboot. With 2021’s Wrong Turn, we go back to the series’ origins.

20-something Jen (Charlotte Vega), her boyfriend Darius (Adain Bradley) and four other pals go to rural Virginia. There they plan to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Although they get ample instructions to stick to the beaten path, they eventually stray and wind up on territory dominated by “The Foundation”, a clan of protective mountain dwellers who defend their land by any means necessary. This leads them to deadly trouble, and their biggest hope comes from the possibility Jen’s father Scott (Matthew Modine) can rescue them.

Of the first six movies, I only saw the original Wrong Turn and its first two sequels. I thought the 2003 film and the second chapter worked reasonably well, but Wrong Turn 3 stunk to high heavens.

This means I don’t know if films four through six offered much – or any - entertainment value. Turn 3 turned me off enough to bail on the franchise.

Still, semi-fond memories of those first two flicks left me intrigued to see how a reboot would work. 18 years after the series launch seems awfully soon to restart, but it probably makes more sense than yet another sequel.

One big change from the 2003 film relates to running time. Whereas the original movie ran a tight 84 minutes, the 2021 Turn goes a much longer 110 minutes.

That surprised me. Horror flicks usually clock in around the 90-minute mark, and given the basic hack-and-slash nature of the narrative, 110 minutes seems like a bit much for this sort of tale.

And I thought correctly, as Turn doesn’t enjoy enough substance to occupy nearly two hours of running time. If the movie used its length to flesh out characters and scenarios, that would seem fine, but instead, it tends to give us basics and little more.

The 2021 Turn deviates from the original due to the presence of Scott, a character with no analogy in the first film. I don’t really understand the purpose of the “concerned father” part, as I feel like the basic “survival against violent woods dwellers” theme should stand on its own.

The tale works best when the protagonists end up on their own and we get no glimpse of a potential white knight who might save them. The Scott segments offer little substance and just distract from the main purpose of this sort of story.

Even if we ignore the fact it reboots a franchise, Turn walks well-trodden ground, as we’ve gotten plenty of “territorial folks terrorize innocents” via movies like Deliverance and The Hills Have eyes. Turn does find a few twists, but it mostly engages in a form of violence porn, as it seems more interested in gore than characters and narrative.

I do appreciate that Turn doesn’t simply remake the 2003 film, so it manages a mostly different story than its predecessor. However, it runs too long and lacks the real tension and terror it needs to prosper.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B

Wrong Turn appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a pretty strong transfer.

Overall definition seemed positive. A smidgen of softness hit some wider shots, but most of the movie showed nice delineation.

I witnessed no issued with shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes remained absent. No print flaws cropped up along the way.

Like virtually all modern horror tales, Turn opted for a stylized palette. It tended toward a low-key, semi-desaturated vibe that emphasized a chilly green/teal feel, with some amber as well. The hues worked fine for the material.

Blacks seemed dark, while shadows showed positive clarity most of the time, though a few interiors felt a little dim. This became a quality presentation.

Similar thoughts greeted the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. It went for a fairly atmospheric air, as the mix gave us logical accompaniment for the creepy visuals.

This meant music popped up around the room and became somewhat dominant while effects remained mostly in the environmental realm. Violent scenes – especially those that involved attacks on the hikers – used the five channels in an active manner, though, and those added pizzazz to the proceedings. Some thunderstorms kicked it up a notch as well.

Audio quality was good. Dialogue appeared natural and concise, while music showed nice range and impact.

Effects boasted positive punch and dimensionality, with deep low-end when necessary. Though not a killer mix, the audio fit the story.

A few extras appear here, and we open with an audio commentary from director Mike P. Nelson. He provides a running, screen-specific look at story and characters, what attracted him to the project, sets and locations, cast and performances, music, editing, effects, stunts, and related domains.

Overall, Nelson provides a fairly good commentary, and he maintains a nice level of enthusiasm throughout the film. While I wouldn’t call this the most informative track I’ve heard, Nelson makes it engaging and useful.

Monsters Among Us runs 27 minutes, 25 seconds and brings notes from Nelson, screenwriter Alan McElroy, director of photography Nick Junkersfeld, and actors Charlotte Vega, Adain Bradley, Vardaan Arora, Emma Dumont, Adrian Favela, Dylan McTee, and Bill Sage.

“Monsters” look at the updating of the reboot, story/characters, cast and performances, locations and set design, stunts and photography. This never becomes a deep view of the production, but it includes enough useful material to merit a look.

Six Deleted/Extended Scenes span a total of seven minutes, nine seconds. These tend to offer minor character embellishments, though one that shows a little more of Darius late in the story adds intrigue.

Finally, we get a Promotional Trailer. Created during production in 2019, this differs from a standard advertisement in that it mixes movie clips with comments from Nelson. While out of the ordinary, it’s not especially interesting.

As a franchise reboot, Wrong Turn shows potential, mainly because it doesn’t simply remake the original. However, the film lacks much more than gore and cheap plot devices, so it doesn’t capitalize on its possible strengths. The Blu-ray offers good picture and audio along with a mix of bonus materials. Turn becomes a spotty restart to a horror series.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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