Wrong Turn 2021: Not everyone will like this new version of ‘Wrong Turn’. This is a film that has almost nothing in common with previous films of the series, except for the general idea of a wrong turn in the wilderness. Undoubtedly, this is ‘Wrong Turn’ made for a generation of ‘Midsommar’ folk-horror fans.
This years ‘Wrong Turn’ (aka ‘Wrong Turn The Foundation’) is a more politicized and complex piece of horror than previous films of the series, and devoid of deformed cannibals that the Wrong Turn series is known for.
Read on for our synopsis, full review and breakdown of Wrong Turn 2021 (Wrong Turn The Foundation). Don’t think about watching the movie until you read this, especially if you are a fan of the previous Wrong Turn films.
Wrong Turn 2021 Synopsis
The heroes of the film, the “damn hipsters”, are a fashionably diverse group consisting of Jen and her dark-skinned boyfriend Darius (Charlotte Vega, Adain Bradley), Adam and his girlfriend Milla (Dylan McTee, Emma Dumont), and Gary and Luis (Vardaan Arora, Adrian Favela). They come to West Virginia to explore the Appalachian hiking trail.
In the small town there, tensions arise with the locals when they see an interracial and gay couple. “This world is in trouble because of you hipsters” yells one of them, warning young people to “stick to the marked paths” because “nature doesn’t forgive here” and “danger lurks up there”. Similar words will be repeated by the local sheriff to Jen’s father (Matthew Modine, the most famous acting name on the team) when she comes in search of his missing daughter: “There nature devours everything that falls into her hand and doesn’t care who you are.”
Jen and team will, of course, make a ‘wrong turn’ after Darius suggests they search for a Civil War fort off the beaten track. “This country is their country,” the ‘Wrong Turn’ posters warn nicely. But, who are “they”?
They are the ‘Foundation’, a community of mountain dwellers lead by Venable (Bill Sage). For context, just before the start of the Civil War, a dozen American families from Virginia went to live in the Appalachian Mountains in fear of the collapse of America. There they developed a cult called the ‘Foundation’ that lives by its own rules within nature. The Foundation fight to maintain their way of life at any cost and are barbarically ruthless to any intruders, although they have no problem descending into civilization if necessary. The city-folk are captured by the Foundation, and the action of the film then moves to the camp of this primitive, murderous collective.
The antagonists of the film are the “real” people from the deserted forests and hills of Virginia, which the “damned hipsters” will encounter in an ambiguous conflict between two civilizations: the primitive vs present-day America.
Review of Wrong Turn 2021 (Wrong Turn The Foundation)
What is BAD about Wrong Turn The Foundation?
Sadly, this new film ‘Wrong Turn The Foundation’ does not contain the most recognizable element of the series – its mutated villains – which will disappoint fans of the series. There are no particularly creepy scenes, not many murders, no brutality (at least, not compared to what we’ve seen before) and no charismatic villains that we would like to see in a potential sequel.
The story of the town and forest consists almost entirely of clichés that we have seen thousands of times before. For example, in the cafe, the locals do not welcome our heroes very well, which immediately escalates to conflict with the locals who warn them about something in the woods but do not say explicitly what. Also, there are some weird characters who seem completely normal to our city heroes (two girls selling souvenirs), even though it is completely obvious they are on the antagonist’s side.
When the group goes into the woods, the clichés continue. True, ‘Wrong Turn 2021’ looks like the original from 2003, because it is full of numerous elements borrowed from other horror films, but in this one it was not done in an interesting way. In this film, the deviation from the hiking trail seems too obvious, just like the complete disappearance of mobile phone signal. As expected, numerous conflicts in the team arise straight after realizing that they got lost in the woods, and darkness soon falls. Everything is too predictable. The only unpredictable aspect of this film was how the first accident that befalls our heroes could be so totally unconvincing.
We meet the ‘Foundation’, a community that has been isolated in the woods for centuries, far from the influence of modern society and technology. According to the story, these forest-dwellers do not mix with people from urban areas, which makes you wonder with their small population how they reproduce and avoid problems with future generations. We see the youngest members of the commune selling souveniers in the city and older ones have properly registered vehicles, which contradicts what we are told throughout the film about them not mingling with locals, and implies that they are not so distant from the modern world afterall. Locals from the surrounding urban areas ignore the existence of this group, even though later in the film we discover that many people are missing or injured in this part of the forest. It is difficult to accept the idea that people would be kidnapped or killed from time-to-time, and no one reacts. All these are strong indicators that the authors did not conceive the story well.
In addition to setting and controlling numerous traps, the forest-dwellers move in complete silence or super fast. Although they wear animal skull masks on their heads, they have a perfectly good view of the environment and can apparently hide in holes within a split second with mask and all. They are covered with leaves, sticks, skins and other stuff, and walk on dry leaves, yet their movement is supposedly inaudible. Really? There is also an irritating impression that they are waiting at literally every step and there is no escape from them: they are on a tree, in a hole, on a rock and in a tent. Why do they even need traps? Which leads me to mention, how unrealistic it is that every inch of the forest that stretches for thousands of square miles is covered with traps, holes, wires, deadly spikes and other deadly devices that can brutally kill someone if they make just one wrong step. The city-folk are just as irritating because they are arguing and shouting in the middle of a peaceful forest, even though they know that they are being pursued by a murderous group of enemies.
What is GOOD about Wrong Turn The Foundation?
Surely you are wondering what is positive in this film? The best aspect of the film is definitely the beautiful visual elements of the forest and nature, throughout the first half of the film. The forest paths and slopes are beautiful, the abysses are scary, and the small forest cemetery is quite creepy and absolutely unsuitable as a camping spot. All the scenes have good visibility, despite the darkness, and the direction of certain scenes is really great. To some extent, the film also depicts the life of a specific isolated group of forest people.
The reversals and the character of Jen is also positive. This girl definitely has a strong will and a strong character, although her decisions are not always the most rational, as you will see during the final turnaround. Good acting is also provided by Matthew Modine (47 Meters Down, Altar) as Jen’s father, and Bill Sage (We Are What We Are, Fender Bender) as the leader of the Foundation. You will also continue to remember the little blonde girl, even though she does not utter a single word. The rest of the cast is pretty unmemorable, both by their characters and acting achievements.
Verdict: Wrong Turn 2021
We believe that the real fans of the previous ‘Wrong Turn’ series will be more or less disappointed with what they see here. Surely these fans will make up the majority of viewers of this film, as other people may be deterred from the film because ‘Wrong Turn’ reminds them of brutal killings and mutant bloodshed. If there is a sequel, we can only hope that it returns to the original style of the ‘Wrong Turn’ series, and leaves this rather dismal Wrong Turn 2021 version behind.