If you’ve been watching the Wrong Turn movie series, you know the plotline is simple: it’s about rednecks who love red meat in the form of human flesh.
Yes, we’re talking West Virginian cannibals who look at human beings the same way you would look at chicken served with white rice matching Meghan Markel’s actual skin tone.
This time around, however, things are slightly different.
Sure, there are a bunch of inbred hicks on the loose in woods where “nature eats everything it catches, right down to the bone”.
And, yes. They are still unwashed and about as dateable as a missing calendar.
However the seventh installment of this classic slasher-horror series is a reboot which turns on the axle of political commentary.
Politics and Horror: aren’t you repeating yourself, you ask.
No, not exactly. The two aren’t the same if well-brought together; as they are in this movie.
Underlining such politics is a clash of civilizations between “god damn hipster freaks” and creepy backwoodsmen, no less.
It all starts when a diverse group of city slickers wander off the beaten path in search of a Civil War Fort in the Appalachian Mountains.
The city kids are led by Jen (Charlotte Vega) and her black boyfriend Darius (Adrian Bradley) who represents every liberal’s wet dream with his yen and yearning for a “just” world.
Then there’s app designer Adam (Dylan McTee), oncologist Milla (Emma Dumont), these two are dating. And then there’s bistro owners Luis (Adrian Favela) and Gary (Vardaan Arora), who are the movie’s token gay couple.
Together, these three couples represent the diversity and oneness Darius probably dreams of when he attends Bernie Sanders rallies or while he takes a protest dump in a “Make America Great Again” hat.
Anyway, as they look for the Civil War Fort, a tree trunk suddenly bursts out of nowhere and comes rolling down the hill like Donald Trump’s anti-environmentalism is chasing it.
Sadly, it crashes it one of the gay guys and kills him just he’s probably thinking about the next time he’ll get to paint his nails in non-Confederate Flag colors.
The locals of a nearby small Virginia town had warned these kids not go into the woods, but who’s going to listen to a bunch of rednecks that likely think Abe Lincoln is still US president?
This time the rednecks are right, however. Not about Abe Lincoln being president, but about the woods where you’d probably find his childhood log cabin.
Instead of Abe’s boyhood lodgings though, the woods are where a cult known as The Foundation is found.
Thankfully, this cult is well out of reach of the fashion police (and is thus Omigod-free) as folks wearing animal skulls enjoy a civilization untouched by civilization since 1859.
The Foundation, which sounds as sinister as a Bill and Melinda Gates non-profit, sets deadly traps which provoke Adam into killing one of its members.
Then, as Adam defends his homicidal act, he accuses the hicks of being less than We-Are-The-World friendly.
“These are clearly not good people!” he laments, after crushing a forest dweller’s skull.
After this, the whole group is captured by other members of The Foundation and shanghaied into a torch-lit cave where the cult ruler John (Bill Sage) subjects them to his brand of rough justice. As you might imagine, it is not a cup of warm milk.
Mercifully, it’s not cannibalistic either.
It seems “Wrong Turn” took a right turn in not turning The Foundation into fleshing devouring maniacs who would mistake the expression “eat someone for breakfast” for a bon appétit.
This “hicksploitation” reboot clearly had higher aspirations by making its bones not as a bone-chilling horror, but as a liberal versus conservative narrative.
In spite of its unfortunate fashion sense, The Foundation is actually more progressive than it first appears.
It thereby replaces the shock value of Wrong Turn’s previous installments with the curiosity value of where The Foundation is taking us with all its old-country ideals.
In screen tonality, Wrong Turn’s mood palettes are hued by colors whose degree of richness, intensity and grayness are reduced to enhance its murky feeling of dread.
The dialogue is tone-deaf, and always seems like an ‘uh oh’ away from the characters announcing their own grisly ends.
The political dimension added to this genre film gives it depth, but not much direction. When you think The Foundation could be more, it offers less. Almost like a meal at KFC.
All told, it’s a watchable film.
After all its inevitable death and gore, you will be surprised at who comes to the rescue.
No, it’s not the Ghostbusters.