Wrong Turn is a bloody, grotesque horror franchise that’s reminiscent of other cannibal hillbilly horror films such as Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes. Though most of the film’s installments went direct-to-video, the franchise still has a popular cult following.
Created by Alan B. McElroy, all the films focus – in some capacity – on a backwoods tribe of deformed, often inbred cannibals who hunt down travelers and use them in various horrible ways for food, among other things. The plots never really need to be too in-depth; with Wrong Turn, simplicity and explicit sexuality, violence, interesting and shocking kills, and fresh-faced victims are the more important facets in the larger scheme.
With news of a seventh instalment in the works, titled The Foundation, the Wrong Turn franchise seems like it might be on an upswing and headed toward revitalization. Though fans tend to enjoy all the films in some capacity, there are certainly some that are better than others. Here’s the entire franchise (so far) ranked, worst to best.
6. WRONG TURN 5: BLOODLINES (2012)
Wrong Turn: Bloodlines was shot primarily in Bulgaria and utilized local talent as background extras; the woods and a small village were reformatted to make the set look like the West Virginia wilderness, where the franchise is traditionally set. The film cut some obvious corners, and suffered for it with a sloppy, half-finished seeming final product. Where the series has employed some excellent practical effects in the past, Bloodlines is poorly done in comparison and despite having a unique opportunity for a fan to be involved with production, there’s little value to be found here.
5. WRONG TURN 3: LEFT FOR DEAD (2009)
Featuring some really terrible CGI and hollow acting, Left for Dead is an exercise in how not to make a killer cannibal movie. Where the other two previous installments employed some truly brutal, unique kills, Left for Dead borrowed too much from them to feel like an original movie. Perhaps it suffered, partially, from the first two films raising the bar too high, but other installments after rose to the occasion by trying to reinvent itself, where this one seemed comfortable with just going along with what had worked before and caring very little about being unique.
4. WRONG TURN 4: BLOODY BEGINNINGS (2011)
Bloody Beginnings served as a prequel to the 2003 original, Wrong Turn, and attempted to tell the story of the Hillicker brothers (the deformed cannibals who act as the franchise’s cornerstone). While the concept of a prequel and origin story made sense given how unremarkable the third installment, but there was quite a bit that failed in this film, which balanced out the good. Bloody Beginnings didn’t overexploit the origin tale, which was likely for the best as there’s really so much to be explained, but the hollow acting, terrible characters, and over-the-top violence that bordered on excessive left it more in neutral standing.
3. WRONG TURN 6: LAST RESORT (2014)
One of the smartest decisions the franchise made was to completely separate the sixth installment from the rest of the Wrong Turn movies. Last Resort was mindless fun, with brutal kills that actually tried to set themselves apart and bring the splatter and gore fans wanted without doing tedious, lengthy torture scenes like other installments have attempted. The strongest aspect of Last Resort was its relatively cohesive plot. There are still plot holes and aspects that don’t work, but it’s clear some thought was put into making this sixth installment a little more streamlined. It pushes boundaries, which is a hallmark of the franchise on the whole, but the acting wasn’t bad and the characters were actually somewhat likable.
2. WRONG TURN 2: DEAD END (2007)
Joe Lynch’s sequel, Dead End, does a lot right. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is important for a franchise like Wrong Turn, and it’s just plain fun to watch. Lynch is clearly having fun with his audience by playing to over-the-top blood spatter and sheer mayhem, which is what a killer redneck cannibal movie really needs to be great. The acting was good, and featured a neat role for fan-favorite actor Henry Rollins along with an interesting premise that built steadily off the momentum of the first, which actually lacked, overall, in plot and banked on sheer simplicity instead.
1. WRONG TURN (2003)
Though Wrong Turn couldn’t have had a simpler plot – beautiful 20-somethings who get stranded in the wilderness and end up hunted and eaten by cannibals – the characters are genuinely likable, the acting is really good, and it features stars like Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and Jeremy Sisto. This film set the pace for the franchise, and set the bar extremely high. Stan Winston (Aliens, Jurassic Park), a genre legend, contributed some of the best practical effects that a slasher film from the early 2000s could have hoped for, which really lent to a clean final product that is watchable again and again and stayed good with age.
(Culled from Screen Rant)