Fans of the horror genre are a steadfast and loyal group of individuals, proven time and time again through devotion to their chosen film franchise. Except me it seems. I am a reluctant horror fan. I am not sure if I have ever expressed it in those terms, but that is the truth of it. I sit with my husband (and/or children), to whatever movie we have on the docket for the evening, and usually have to fain interest and hope for the best. It was no different with our screening of Wrong Turn (2021) directed by Michael Nelson. Perhaps the only difference was I already knew I did not like the previous films, so my expectations were lower than normal. I am glad they were as it made the payoff that much more rewarding.
Upon first glance this film seems to be derivative; your stereotypical film about a group of young adults out on an adventure where things go horribly wrong. And while that isn’t false, it becomes increasingly apparent that there was more on the mind of the writer than violence for violence sake, and gore for gore sake. I easily found a strong, and quite on time, message. This is the type of horror movie I can sink my teeth in. Perhaps because it is scary on more than one level and causes you to think about the world (and people) around you.
Interestingly enough, at the time we watched this film, we had just finished up a sermon series at our church called, The Heart of Neighboring. Being able to mull over what that sermon was about and being well aware of the state of the world around me (thank you social media), it made this film all the more distressing for me. I see the reality it portrays in it’s fictional story.
Along with my HuuuH? Podcast cohost (and husband) Dino, I had the pleasure of speaking one on one with the Director of Wrong Turn (2021), Michael Nelson. From the get go he admitted that initially he questioned whether the world really needed another Wrong Turn, but quickly changed his tune once he read the script by Alan B. McElroy. He saw the poignancy of this film, for this time, and his direction did not fail in its mission.
Messages aside this is a need to watch movie. You will thoroughly enjoy it from beginning to end. I love the ending by the way, so atypical. The characters are likable, relatable; and the actors did an excellent job drawing you in enough to care about them and their plight against the “villian”. You may even need to question who that villain is.