You got it: Wrong Turn 2: Dead End is the best movie ever. C'mon, Patton Oswalt even belts out the voice of Kim's agent on the other end of the phone. Patton, fifteen feet of intestines, and two rubbery halves of a corpse dragged across a West Virginia backroad by inbred cannibals: that's kind of the review right there. If so much as reading that makes you wince and cringe, then...y'know, that's okay. Plenty of other reviews here for you to tear into. On the other hand, if a bitchy, partially munched-on banana split sounds like money to you, then...congrats! Hope you dig your shiny new copy of Wrong Turn 2.
Anyway, I guess this is where I go back to spouting off the plot summary. Kimberly was on her way to shooting the pilot for Ultimate Survivalist: Apocalypse. Think Survivor meets On the Beach: a faux-reality game show that drops six contestants off in the middle of nowhere in West Virginia -- fifty miles from the nearest Starbucks -- to simulate a post-apocalyptic future. The looming threat of radiation poisoning, a gaggle of unhinged, irradiated mutants, having to forage for food with whatever they stumble upon in the dense forests around 'em...that whole thing. The last man (or woman!) standing scores a hundred-kay payday. Hey, and with Henry Rollins -- I mean, retired Marine Col. Dale Murphy -- as host...? I'd watch.
You've got your clean-scrubbed, multi-ethnic reality show cast -- the meek, mousy girl, the aloof bitchy type, the way-literal fame whore, the ass-kicking Private Vasquez stand-in, an obnoxiously douchey X-Games guy, and the morally upright kid with his heart in the right place -- and what do they all have in common...? They're all gunning for that hundred grand. What else...? They're all on the menu for a family of inbred cannibals. You thought these guys were kinda weepy when they're dragged in front of the cameras for an elimination challenge? Try being skewered, partially eaten alive, getting a limb or two lopped off, and then what's left being chucked in an oversized pot. Baby, you got a stew goin'!
So, here's a terrible analogy: if the original Wrong Turn were a zombie flick, it'd play something like Let Sleeping Corpses Lie. Sure, it's sopping with more than its share of blood, but the movie's much more interested in fleshing out an unsettling atmosphere...an inescapable sense of dread...than dumping another bucket of the red stuff in front of the
Wrong Turn 2 doesn't just push the envelope; it rips out the envelope's throat, skullfucks it while it's still flailing around in its death throes, then makes a casserole out of whatever's left...depraved and completely unrestrained. There's no hiding behind quick-cutting or dark, murky photography either; first-time director Lynch wants you to soak up every blood-spattered frame of it. The screenplay upends a lot of the usual clichés while it's at it too. Normally you can put on a slasher flick and within ten minutes nail who's gonna die and even in what order, but in Wrong Turn 2, anyone can wind up hacked to bits at any time. I can't say I was all that emotionally invested in the reality show concept or the contestants on the bill, exactly, but the script is still sharply written enough not to require 'em all to be stupid people doing stupid things just to keep the story limping along. It really does all make some sort of sense, and...hell, even the inbred cannibals wind up with a pretty compelling reason to be...y'know, inbred cannibals. I mean, I don't know what this says about me as a person, but I dug the hell out of Wrong Turn 2 -- a twisted splatterfest with nothing even close to a moral compass guiding the way -- and if you're still reading this write-up, I guess that means the smart money says you probably will too. Thank you, Joe Lynch, for making us laugh at love...again. Highly Recommended.
Well, I'll say this: even though it was churned out with a fraction of the budget, this sequel still looks a whole helluva lot better than the original Wrong Turn. There's a smattering of video tossed around here, but Wrong Turn 2: Dead End was shot primarily on gritty Super 16mm. This was kind of a run-and-gun shoot, so it's not as if each setup had been meticulously lit for two and a half hours or anything. That leaves more than a couple of shots looking extremely soft and murky, and the 1.78:1 image as a whole isn't exactly overflowing with rich, fine detail. Even though most of the flick was shot on film, Wrong Turn 2 can't really shrug off a very digital, video-like look to it, with even the pervasive gritty texture frequently looking more like video noise. Oh well. High-def eye candy it's not so much -- and this Blu-ray will probably be a tough sell to anyone who's already forked over a credit card to grab it on DVD -- but I'd bet it's close enough to what Joe Lynch originally envisioned in that demented mind of his.
The 24-bit, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track for Dead End isn't remotely as aggressive or overcaffeinated the way the original Wrong Turn is. The sound design's great, really -- especially the wet slosh to all those buckets of splatter -- but this is pretty much a stereo track. There's still some atmospheric color in the surrounds -- creaking planks of wood in the mutants' cabin, the light metallic rattle of whatever that is being knocked around by an afternoon wind, and flies buzzing around a shithole carved into a closet floor -- but it's kind of tame and doesn't ratchet up the intensity the way the lossless audio on the original flick does. Bass response is decent enough, especially the handful of explosions and the thundering toms in the score, although the audio overall rarely packs that full-bodied wallop I've kinda come to expect out of Blu-ray. This is an okay track but more routine than I waltzed in expecting.
The rest of the audio options are the same as they were the last time around too: a stereo surround track in Spanish, a lossy 5.1 French dub, and subtitles in English (SDH) and Spanish.
The Final Word
Sticky, depraved, and sopping with literally three hundred gallons of the red stuff, Wrong Turn 2 is a throwback to all those cacklingly demented horror sequels that were being churned out back in the '80s. I don't think it'd be much of an upgrade for anyone who'd already grabbed the DVD when it came out a couple years back, but for high-def gorehounds that never got around to picking this one up...? Pretty much essential viewing. Highly Recommended.
Yeah, I Took Too Many Screenshots Again