Review: ‘WRONG TURN’ is an incredibly smart reboot you won’t see coming.


SYNOPSIS: Backwoods terror and never-jangling suspense meet when Jen (Charlotte Vega) and a group of friends set out to hike the Appalachian Trail. Despite warnings to stick to the trail, the hikers stray off course—and cross into land inhabited by The Foundation, a hidden community of mountain dwellers who use deadly means to protect their way of life. Suddenly under siege, Jen and her friends seem headed to the point of no return— unless Jen’s father (Golden Globe® nominee Matthew Modine) can reach them in time.

The reboot (and the seventh installment of the franchise) of Wrong Turn starts with another group of successful 20 somethings hiking the Appalachian Trail. When the local Virginians get aggravated by their presence, and they veer from the trail, things get deadly but not for the reasons you think. This script is completely different than the original, which is the greatest bait and switch from the clever set-up in the beginning. That’s the difference between a remake and a reboot. This cast is diverse and cool. They get to take their initial instigators to task, at least verbally. All the tropes are there but they’re used smartly. The first kill is so brutal you’ll both gasp and respect the decision to go all-in so early. From that moment on, the violence and gore are used for shock value that is carefully intentional in forwarding the plot.

Matthew Modine plays Jennifer’s father who comes searching for her 6 weeks after she goes missing. He is great. He walks this fantastic balance between modern man and totally self-sufficient badass that just feels incredibly believable. This is the updated father figure that will resonate with a large genre audience. It’s yet another successful aspect of screenwriter Alan B. McElroy’s reboot of the franchise. Bill Sage is a nice familiar face. He always lives in whatever role he tackles. This is no exception. Even with a runtime of one hour and fifty minutes, I would have been pleased to see more of him on screen. Charlotte Vega as Jen is outstanding. She has a genuine presence that grows stronger with each scene. There is an unexplainable accessibility to her character. Hollywood should continue to take note of this talent. Also, audiences should keep an ear open for Modine’s daughter Ruby as she sings the film’s final song. Stunning performance.

The score is classic staccato string work. Combined with the handheld camerawork and quick-cut editing, the terror is firmly in high gear. This is a totally fresh take of new world versus the old. The complexity of the script will throw you off-kilter. It challenges the viewers’ sense of morality. Who are the true villains? It’s about intrusion and disrespect of cultural differences on a multitude of levels. It’s quite brilliant in a time a faux “wokeness”. The nuance will knock you off your feet. You will not know where this plot is going. It’s twist after twist. That. Ending. Pure perfection.

Saban Films will release the horror film On-Demand, Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD on February 23, 2021. 

THEATRICAL RELEASE: January 26, 2021

ON DEMAND, DIGITAL, DVD, and BLU-RAY: February 23, 2021

DIRECTOR: Mike P. Nelson

WRITER: Alan B. McElroy

CAST: Charlotte Vega, Adain Bradley, Bill Sage, Emma Dumont, Dylan McTee, Daisy Head, Tim DeZarn, and Matthew Modine.

RUN TIME: 109 minutes

RATING: R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, and pervasive language.

GENRE: Horror


Review: Norwegian disaster film, THE WAVE, hits you like a ton of bricks… or a giant ass tsunami.

The wave posterMother Nature is not one to be trifled with. The Earth is going to do as it sees fit, no matter what our plans may be as humans. THE WAVE is based on a very real “what-if” scenario. Not all too different from the horrors that will most certainly be coming our way in the future, if we don’t get out proverbial shit together. And very much like The Wave, this is not a matter of if, but whenThe wave cast still

The Wave is an epic thriller that takes place in the majestic village of Geiranger, one of the most spectacular tourist locations on the planet. There are more than 300 unstable mountainsides in Norway, one of the largest being “Åkerneset.” When – not if – the mountain collapses due to widening cracks, the rock will crash into the fjord below, creating a massive tsunami that will hit the community. All inhabitants will have just 10 minutes to reach higher ground before tragedy strikes.

The wave mom, son, extra stillThe film centers around geologist, Kristian and his family. Leaving his current position as safety gatekeeper for the village, Kristian has a tough time letting go on his final day on the job, and for good reason. Testing fate is not something that comes easily when an entire population is at stake. When the alarms sound and the what-if becomes a reality, Kristian will do whatever it takes to save anyone he can from impending doom.
The wave still
The film has incredible effects. This is Norway’s Deep Impact. If you replaced the cast with big budget Hollywood A-listers, this could have easily been a film made in the US. THE WAVE is Scandinavia’s first-ever disaster movie. It has broken box office records in Norway and was their official entry for the Academy Awards. Hollywood is taking notice of director Roar Uthaug (Cold Prey). He just signed on to direct the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot. The cast is incredibly solid, especially our leading man, Kristoffer Joner (The Revenant). I came to care deeply for each character. The script makes an interesting statement about survival and the human condition. If you had only minutes to escape a fire, flood, or tornado, who/what would you take with you? Do you lend a hand to those outside your intimate circle? I was truly impressed with The Wave. Don’t let the language barrier stop you from checking out this well made film. (There are English subtitles) THE WAVE will bowl you over with action and remind you to respect the hell out of the environment.

THE WAVE comes to theaters and VOD today, March 4th.