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Appalachian Trail Terror: Wrong Turn (2021) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 767 days ago on Entertainment - image courtesy Constantin FilmThe trend of modern horror remakes continues with the release of the latest movie in the long running Wrong Turn franchise. This latest effort looks to kick start the entire property all over from a fresh launching point that abandons much of what was the core idea of the original series. In 2021, we've traded in one genre trope for another in a reboot that's a pure hybrid of slasher terror, folk horror, and brain bashing gore. Although it's nowhere near perfect, it's an ambitious little gem at the beginning of the year that bare minimum serves up a plateful of modern social commentary alongside its full spectrum of carnage, torture and flesh tearing mayhem.  When a fresh group of liberal minded college grads head into the Appalachians for some hiking, all hell breaks loose as they're ripped apart by a new hidden horror that awaits them in the woods. The setup is the same but the outcome is really different here. Immediately they're met by a crew of physically threatening wood dwelling country folk that warn them to stay on the trail. But do they listen? What do you think? Of course not.image courtesy Constantin FilmsThe people behind the latest Wrong Turn have gone to serious lengths to try and distance themselves from the previous six films. It doesn't seem like they're trying to disparage them. It appears they just knew it was time for some creative changes. Mixing cues of The Hills Have Eyes with themes from more modern films like Midsommar and M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, fans of the original timeline may be in for quite a shock. This isn't just another flick about mutants in the forest brainlessly hacking and slashing. There's actually a back story and enough character arc to make this watchable by the most fervent and critical of horror hounds.Wrong Turn (2021) is led by the sheer will of Charlotte Vega's character Jen Shaw and is backed up by the strangest of support players, Matthew Modine. Typically more prone to straight drama, Modine has his work cut out for him in his genre bending role as Jen's dad and emotional safety blanket. Vega is really a powerful force. Taking her cues from previous female protagonists or final girls, she charges ahead, paving her own way against a new villainous force. Vega really does ample work to carry the brunt weight of the script as she fights her way through a batch of blood soaked baddies that have no issue maiming and mutating their victims by "law". The creative team of writer Alan B. McElroy and director Mike P. Nelson take a nearly dead franchise and turn it into something fresh and new by using their mostly unknown cast to full effect. The standard fare of young adults being diced up by some crazed and mangled force has become extremely repetitious over the years. But this reboot actually defines the word. It doesn't rely too heavily on repeating anything the previous films have done. Instead, we're giving something that sits in a sub-category all by itself. Nelson takes long strides to make sure we're not constantly rolling our eyes and does a solid job at nodding to his influences instead of ripping them off.  Wrong Turn (2021) will be on blu-ray on February 23rd. It can be pre-ordered here at Amazon. -CG (function() { var zergnet = document.createElement('script'); zergnet.type = 'text/javascript'; zergnet.async = true; zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? "https:" : "http:") + '//'; var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; znscr.parentNode.insertBefore(zergnet, znscr); })();

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