Fox // 2006 // 93 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 2nd, 2009
In the forest only they can hear you scream.
More blood. More gore. More deformed inbred murderers.
The first film found a group of stranded, attractive young people running for their lives in the woods of West Virginia from a trip of ghoulish cannibal rednecks. This go-round, an eclectic selection of characters are participating in a reality Survivor-like show...set in the same woods.
Of course it's not long before the freaks come out and start hacking the crap out of the fresh meat. And like that, it's chaos. The blood spills in gallons and it falls to the macho survivalist host (Henry Rollins) to fight back against this apparently indestructible inbred family of man-eating killers.
This is a sequel that is dramatically different from the original. Where Wrong Turn -- which I enjoyed a fair amount -- was a straight-arrow thriller featuring a dose of shock horror moments, Wrong Turn 2 is a full-blown splatter flick sporting some comedy elements. It's a jarring difference, but the completely different tone and atmosphere put forth works.
The first movie worked as a tense, brutal thrill ride with zero comic relief. The second works as a balls-out gore-a-thon that completely abandons any semblance of suspense. Wrong Turn 2 forgoes the usual slow, suspenseful buildup to the killer reveal and just puts the freaks right out there wreaking havoc. In fact, there's a modicum of character development, as the baddies are actually a family of cannibal hillbillies. You can detect the writers' desperate efforts to inject personality beneath the layers of prosthetic facial make-up.
Whatever. The thrust of this whole enterprise is to dispatch as many fools as possible in increasingly gruesome ways. Judging it by that merit, Wrong Turn 2 takes care of business in a big way. It's been a while since I recall seeing a mainstream Hollywood horror movie turn up the bloodletting meter so high. Bodies are split in two, entrails are dumped over the world, faces are ripped off, arrows are shot into faces, and some unfortunate folks end up going headfirst into a wood chipper. The resulting gore effects are well-done and hugely messy. Whatever the budget item was for fake colons and food coloring, it was most certainly robust because it shows on screen.
While the effects, make-up, and black comedy are appreciated, the story doesn't do a whole lot of trailblazing. It's just a straight up cannon fodder-fest. Kills and heavies aside, there's nothing you haven't seen before. The protagonists are one-dimensional, some requisite T&smp;A makes an appearance for no reason, and the source of the freaks' invulnerability is utterly ridiculous (Hint: it involves -- you guessed it -- toxic waste!)
This Blu-ray is comparable to its predecessor. The visual retooling is sharp, with the 1.78:1 widescreen putting forward a solid and distinguishable bump in fidelity. As was the case with the first film, the woodsy setting is well-matched for the Blu effect and the added amount of goop and guts look especially disgusting with the enhanced clarity. Audio (DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio) is clean and makes aggressive use of the speaker set-up to push out the hillbilly killin'. The extras are rehashed from the DVD release: a standard-issue making-of documentary, two commentary tracks with the cast and crew, and featurettes on the gore and location.
A derivative and stupid outing, yes, but there's no shortage of maxed-out kills and over-the-top effects. The Blu-ray has it where it counts, in the technical department.
Not Guilty. Cue the banjo encore.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated