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Wrong Turn 2: Dead End
cast: Erica Leershen, Henry Rollins, Texas Battle, Daniella Alonso, and Steve Braun

director: Joe Lynch

93 minutes (18) 2007
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
20th Century Fox DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 2/10
reviewed by Gary McMahon
Wrong Turn was a solid and stylish addition to the survival horror subgenre. It boasted some nice imaginative direction, several above-average performances, the tough beauty of Eliza Dushku, and superb Stan Winston creature makeup. In short, it was a surprisingly gruelling, scary and atmospheric little film. Unfortunately, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End isn't. In fact, it's anything but.

It's been a long time since I resented a film this much. It seems like the project was put together by stupid people with no empathy whatsoever for the horror genre. Watching this, it felt like the 1970s never happened, Wes Craven didn't invent the post-Vietnam hillbilly kill-em-off movie, and Gunnar Hansen decided not to pirouette with that chainsaw after all...

This woebegone film generates not a jot of tension; the script is dull and hackneyed. The storyline is too simple-minded to be absurd, and the acting borders on the abysmal. Even the special effects are tired and unimaginative - shiny-faced mutants with bulging foreheads, rubber intestines, and fake blood the consistency of water (it even foams as it flows).

The plot is stupidity itself. A bunch of grasping wannabes sign up for the pilot of a reality survival TV show set in the middle of the woods from the first film, and are subsequently picked off one by one by mutant cannibal hillbillies. And that's it. The characters are so unmemorable that despite having finished watching the thing only five minutes before I began this review, I can't recall a thing about them. I think there's a lesbian soldier. A jock. A surf-dude, or a skater-dude, some kind of dude, anyway... Oh, and a vegan, pseudo-goth, self-harming artist.

The only thing this has going for it is Henry Rollins, who gives a committed (and very funny) performance as an ex-army Rambo-style psycho who decides to take the fight to the monsters. But despite being as cool as an ice pop in an igloo in Coolville, Alaska, even Rollins can't save this abomination from being a bland and quite frankly unattractive mess.

Take my advice: instead of renting this title, go and watch Jeff Leiberman's infinitely superior 1981 film Just Before Dawn, if only to see how it should be done.

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