Wrong Turn: The Foundation (2021)
Eighteen years ago, a film hit theaters that began an entire series of movies including five sequels and now a reboot. The original WRONG TURN film - written by Alan B. McElroy - sparked an entire fandom based around his twisted movie where the premise is pretty simple: a bunch of people take wrong turns and end up in hell on earth. Nearly two decades later, McElroy is back in the writing chair and has linked up with director Mike P. Nelson to bring fresh blood to the Wrong Turn franchise in the form of a reboot, known as both Wrong Turn (2021) or The Foundation. Unfortunately, due to the craziness of the pandemic and the state of movie theaters today, the fim never got a proper theatrical release, but instead it saw one night in theaters and is now available for streaming and purchase; but the big question is... is this reboot of a classic modern horror worth both your time and money?! Let me put it this way... if you're a fan of the original film of the series or if you even think this is a concept you'd appreciate, spend the five bucks and the two hours and jump into the fucked up world of The Foundation. Of course, with so many movies pretty much retelling the same story over and over again the last two decades, horror fans are justifiably hesitant to commit too much to a movie that they've probably already seen before under a different setting. I'll be the first to admit that while this film isn't crushing any new ground or blowing your mind out of your head, it is absolutely a movie that will leave you on the edge of your seat and pretty much keep you there the entire two hours. It's a pretty haunting little tale set deep in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia that will have you guessing the outcome every ten minutes. If you are a fan of the original 2003 film, you may want to wait before blowing this one off, because McElroy has a very different story to tell this time around - but it will scare you just like it did all those years ago. [Reader beware: the following review contains spoilers!]
Three college age couples from New York make their way down to Virginia to do some hiking in the mountains, find themselves a bit, and just have a great time away from the "real world." They have a slight run-in with some of the locals - the backwoods, redneck type often portrayed in movies like this - who pretty much warn the couples to mind their own business and stay on the hiking path. Long story short, they don't, and the next thing they know, they are in some deep, deep trouble with the people of the forest: The Foundation. The civilized community that resides just outside of the mountain trails have a kinda unspoken relationship with The Foundation: they don't cross paths into each other's territory or lifestyle... and once someone does, trouble finds them. Without giving away too much, the couples end up in some trouble when one of the guys bludgeons a Foundation member to death, thinking that their friend was being kidnapped. The Foundation brings the couples back to their "court" where they are all tried for their wrongdoing and a punishment must be decided for each. From here, the real fun of the film begins to take shape as things go from crazy to absolute fucking chaos, and blood is relentlessly spilled. Will the remaining friends be able to escape The Foundation and make it out of the mountains alive, or will the people of the mountain punish them with death for their crimes against their people?! Find out in... WRONG TURN!
This film ended up surprising me not once or twice, but numerous times throughout its two hour runtime! When I said before that it really does keep you on the edge of your seat, I meant it - the first kill of the film comes very abruptly and violently, and it's actually surprisingly graphic! From that moment forward, I knew Wrong Turn had more tricks up it sleeves and I was absolutely right. Again, not trying to give too much away, but there's something very different and unique about these forest people than in the previous films; they've got a special kind of organization to them. They make for excellent villains for the main characters of the film, and they are quite relentless in their ways. Add that to the fact that the movie feels like it ends ten times (which I fucking loved, it was excellently done) and Wrong Turn just truly packs a mean, mean punch as it sends you on a rollercoaster ride. While the main characters are pretty forgettable, it doesn't mean that they are not a fun group to watch on screen trying to survive - most notably the main character Jen played by Charlotte Vega. The story is mainly told through her viewpoint and shows her attempted escape out of the woods and away from the psychos out there. Her story of overcoming the situation is cool and all - she ends up becoming pretty badass - but it's honestly nothing that out of the ordinary for films like this and there's nothing really super memorable about it. Besides that though, this film plays out wonderfully and looks absolutely stunning; it's probably one of the overall nicer looking movies I've seen in a while honestly. If you are looking for a fantastic get-out-of-the-woods horror this weekend, Wrong Turn should absolutely be a top contender. I think audiences will love the tension the film builds on and just how crazy the film can get. Check it out!!