I completely missed the Wrong Turn series, hadn’t even heard of it until relatively recently when my mum told me about them. She told me that they got sillier and funnier as they went on. I did put them off at first, there is something daunting about 6 horror films (7 if you include the recent reboot), especially ones that don’t have good reviews. At her insistence, and wanting something brain-dead to watch, I decided to try it out.
For those that are new, Franchise Catch Up is where I take a series of films (of at least 3 or more) and binge watch them, writing a initial thoughts for each one shortly after watching it. If you haven’t seen the Wrong Turn series and are curious, or you love the franchise and want to see what a newbie thinks, I hope you enjoy.
I’m genuinely surprised by Wrong Turn. It was a decent horror film. Nothing original about it but it’s good. There’s a little Chainsaw Massacre, Deliverance, Hills have Eyes. It’s a mix of classics but is still enjoyable. The characters are decent, the scares are good. The effects are a mixed bag but I enjoyed it. Not a classic, but a lot better than I was expecting.
Wrong Turn 2
This feels like a template straight to DVD film. It takes the idea of the first one, doesn’t really know what made it enjoyable and rehashes it. The effects are awful, the acting is bad. The horror isn’t there and everything is over the top. It’s funny and stupid, but not scary. It’s not as good as the first one, but still enjoyable. The moment where they have dinner is almost an exact copy of the scene from Texas Chainsaw 1&2. There’s still something to like here, even if it’s a lot different from the first one.
Wrong Turn 3
After the opening scene, which is pretty standard for the series so far, it jumps to a prison with a transfer taking place. It’s a lot more grounded and serious that the 2nd one, which was just as crazy as possible. I really like the idea of a bus full of convicts and the guards being the ones lost in the woods. It’s an interesting dynamic and works well. It’s not used to its full potential here, but at least it makes it feel original. The effects, while not as bad as the 2nd one, aren’t great. The CGI is painfully obvious and distracting. It’s not the end of the world here though. This one rattles along, nothing made me laugh but there’s some good moments of tension and horror in this one. Overall not as good as the first one but miles better than the second one.
Wrong Turn 4
This is easily a contender for the worst film I’ve ever seen. There are a lot of bad films out there, most of them horror, but this really pushes it. Even with a budget of £2 million, this looks rubbish. The acting is some of the worst I’ve seen. I wonder how the auditions looked for this one, the other contenders must have been a cardboard cut-out and a potato. I almost turned this off 10 minutes in.
The opening of this one, which is a prequel to the series, shows the cannibal murderers locked in a hospital, then escape and kill a load of people. They are so cringy to watch. They aren’t scary, or funny just cringy. Every time one of the killers were on screen I winced because I ashamed to be watching it. I can only imagine what it must feel like to be someone who worked on this film. The rest of the film is set closer to the present with a group of unconvincing students, who find the hospital in the middle of no where and get stuck there, before being picked off one by one. It’s so bad with no tension or actual horror. It’s also not funny, which is what makes this a lot worse than other horror films that are so bad they’re funny. Most of the effort went into a scene where someone is skinned alive and it doesn’t even look that good. This was awful. If I hadn’t already started this series for a post, I would give up at this point.
Wrong Turn 5
God, this was awful. I thought the 4th one was bad, but this one is just horrendous. It was barely 80 minutes and felt at least triple that. The characters are bad, the acting is bad, the effects are bad. There are no redeeming qualities here. I want to know if the people who made this film are proud of it? They shouldn’t be – it’s a contender for the worst film ever made. It’s not so bad it’s funny. It’s not campy and enjoyable. It’s just lifeless and time consuming. Why was Doug Bradley in this? Was he that desperate for money? No Hellraiser films planned at that point?
This film cost $1.5 dollars. Where did that money go? On the talentless actors? On the shockingly bad effects. I hated this film so much. Only 1 more to go. The first one was pretty decent, how did it get so bad.
Wrong Turn 6
This one was marginally better than 4 & 5, but only slightly. I wasn’t angry at the film, but I was bored out of my mind. I don’t understand the appeal of this series at all. I don’t know if there are mega-fans out there, but they made 6 (+ the reboot). The villains are so cringy, every time they are on screen I want to look away, not because they are scary but just because I can’t believe that someone made this. This one attempted to have better characters, but the acting is so poor that I found it hard to stay focused on it. There is so much nudity for no reason it borderlines softcore porn. This is a bad end to a disappointing series. I had high hopes after the first one, but this is the worst film series I’ve ever watched. Normally I wouldn’t have made it this far, but I don’t want to give up half way through a franchise catch-up. I’m going to try the reboot, purely because I’ve heard it’s different. It can’t be worse than 4, 5 and 6. Those are among the worst films ever made.
Bonus Round: Wrong Turn (2021)
I’d heard some good things about this one, which is why I watched it. It’s a lot better than the original series. Originally titled Wrong Turn 7: The Foundation, the name was reduced to simply Wrong Turn before being released. It’s the only film to be written by Alan B. McElroy since the first one and that’s the only thing it shares with the series so far. It’s a completely stand-alone horror film and works quite nicely. All of the hallmarks of the series are gone; there’s no horrendous acting, no ridiculously bad effects, no more cringy villains that aren’t believable or scary. This was a pretty decent film. It’s got some great suspenseful moments and some proper terror. The end is also pretty great. It does go on too long. It feels like there are too many ideas here and it could have been cut down a little bit. It’s still a massive improvement for the series and I would happily watch another one in this style. To be honest, it shouldn’t have been called Wrong Turn. If they had called is The Foundation instead, I think it would have been received a hell of a lot better.
What started as a series that blended some well-established tropes of the horror genre and turned it into something entertaining quickly descended into complete trash. The reboot is better than the first 6 films but should have been separate and called something else.
I would recommend the first one, the reboot and number 3 if you can’t get enough. For the rest, leave them well alone. The 2nd one is okay, but 4, 5 and 6 are some of the worst horror films ever made and should have never been given a wide release. Watching number 5 was akin to being waterboarded.
Thanks for reading and until next time,
I somehow had no idea they made sequels to the original.
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You aren’t missing much. Trust me, they aren’t worth watching.
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I know, right, Dusty? I’ve just come aware that there are six . . . SIX films . . . in the Trancer series. I lost track after the third . . . and it shouldn’t have gone that far.
Like Ash said, Wrong Turn, after the first, is right off the ’90s straight-to-DVD drawing boards.
Cool deal tackling the series. There’s no metal for that, sadly.
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