Monday, October 18, 2010

31 Days Of Horror: Day 18: Wrong Turn 2

My main problem with Hatchet (of many) was while the tagline bragged about being “old school American horror” precious little that actually felt like, well “Old School American Horror.”

Instead, Hatchet felt like some very new school horseshit. With it’s mountain dew pacing, non stop barrage of mythology, boobs, and way OTT gore, it felt much more like your sugar addled friend in Jr. High relating a slasher movie to you the night after he snuck a peek on HBO. It had about as much in common with the slow burn punctuated by incredible lapses in taste style that make up the pacing of actual eighties slasher film as it did with The Russian Ballet.

Wrong Turn 2 On the other hand does feel like Old School American Horror. It’s not perfect, there’s a long dead zone after the first kill, and are long stretches that assume an investment with the plot and character that simply doesn’t exist. And it serves up tasteless scenes with more vigor then John Waters. Does it include a fucked up Dinner Scene ripping off The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? What do you think?

But if those aren’t hallmarks of the old school slasher experience then I don’t know what is. Its detrements all work as boons. By paradoxically, by being a much more boring film than Hatchet, Wrong Turn 2 becomes a much more entertaining one.

Henry Rollin’s plays a retired Army Colonel who hosts a reality show. Which is a little like having Noam Chomsky play Michael Steele in a biopic. Still it doesn’t matter, as Henry Rollins is intrinsically awesome. And him doing his best impression of Arnie in Predator as he hunt's inbred mutant hillbillies is more so.

Rollins is leading a crew of spoiled twenty some things into the woods, to compete on the “ultimate survivor” (geddit?). Unfortunately as they have picked the one woods in Virginia that is also the territory of cannibalistic super mutants (presumably) and said cannibalistic super mutants don’t find location scouts tasty, the cast finds itself splattered all over the woods.

(Your reaction is the correct one)

What follows is surprisingly pretty good. Taking the time to include little grace notes that I forgot I missed in horror (No I didn’t) like having at least three characters other then Rollins who weren’t intentionally designed to be hateful fodder. A plot twist I didn't see coming. It contains expositional and character building scenes, that manage to not be even more grim and joyless then the kills. It even includes one scene, set during a “birthing” that breaks through the genial air of nostalgia to approach something like real fright.

The film mostly eschew’s the dread CGI gore shot, well except for the case of an egregiously bad “Ax To the head” shot and a fucking terrible “arrow to the head” shot. Which would have been a lot easier to ignore had it not occurred at the two most crucial scenes in the film.

You do get to watch a mutant masturbate though…

…It’s weird.

So yeah, Wrong Turn 2 might not be anyone’s idea of a masterpiece, but if modern films occasionally make you wonder why you like horror in the first place, Wrong Turn 2 might feature as a nice surprise.

It goes down smooth.

Almost as if it were simple undemanding “Old School American Horror” you might say.

(Special thanks to Emily, without whom I wouldn’t have seen the film)


Emily said...

I effin LOVE this movie. It's 100 minutes of pure joy, and Rollins adds about 76 extra points. Love the bait 'n switch with who your hero(ines) will be. Love it all.

Elwood Jones said...

Honestly I hated this film, which had alot to do with the absence of Dushku, but it's sole saving grace is by far Henry Rollins, whose scenes were by far the best in the whole darn movie, especially when he starts embodying Evil Dead's Ash and shooting off smart one liners while kicking some mutie ass.
Honestly it just didn't have anything on the original.

TheGirlWhoLovesHorror said...

Is everyone else who saw this movie on freaking CRACK??? I've read such good reviews about Wrong Turn 2 and I simply can't understand it. I turned it off without seeing the ending; don't regret it one bit. It was literally painful to watch!

Rob said...

Hmm...I'd probably flip the reviews of these two films. I could barely sit still for 2 on DVD and yet, every-effing-time the first Wrong Turn is on, I'm planted infront of the TV as panicky and excited as when I first saw it in the theater(my unseemly yet purely platonic crush on Eliza Dushku might be a factor though). And Jeremy Sisto is so damn classy that it's almost like "How did HE end up in this scenario"? which kinda makes it more real, to me.
On the plus side of part 2 is the almost Snake Plissken'ly Henry Rollins (I mean, seriously, this is the man that made Johnny Mnemonic much more bearable than it ever should have been). The first killing in 2 is shocking, so out of left field, that it sets up people for a much more intense experience than the one that follows.
It's all subjective though, and maybe I just wasn't in the right mood when I saw 2. But I looove 1.

Bryce Wilson said...

@ Emily: Like I said, many thanks.

@ Elwood: Yeah, like I said, if I took the original as anything particularly good, I might have felt different. But I didn't think the first was doing anything particularly great to justify me really being angry at the film for changing direction.

@ TGWLH: And copious amounts of it!

@ Rob: I think it definitely is a matter of preference and expectation. I expected a superior slasher expirience in 1 and didn't get it, I expected some goofy ass stuff in Wrong Turn 2 and did get it.

Had I been expecting something big out of Wrong Turn 2 , I can see how I'd be pissed off.

Neil Fulwood said...

I never bothered with either of the 'Wrong Turn' movies for all the reasons you stated in your review of the first film. This one actually sounds fairly decent. Any requirement to bother with part one, or should I just jump straight to the sequel?

Bryce Wilson said...

Not a blessed one. Lol.

There's Hillbillies, they're angry people are gonna die.

Neil Fulwood said...

Straight to part two it is, then.

Aaron said...

"Instead, Hatchet felt like some very new school horseshit."

Amen, brother. I feel the same way about WRONG TURN 2 as well. I don't understand why so many people love it... I think it sucks. Would much rather watch the first WRONG TURN over this one. At least Eliza Dushku is in it. And it's about time that Joe Lynch is finally directing something else instead of milking this movie for all he can and riding Adam Green's coattails. Yeah I said it! WHAT!?