Nairne’s review published on Letterboxd:
Note: Spoilers below for Wrong Turn (2003)
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End is the second film in the Wrong Turn series, and this time, a reality show is being filmed in the forest where the inbred hillbilly family stalk the trees, looking for their next meal. Survival horror once again, following the success of Wrong Turn, and released in 2007, four years after release.
After watching the first Wrong Turn film, I decided that I wanted to watch more of the series, and see how it played out. There didn't seem to be much to lead off within the ending of the first film, with the main villains all being killed off by Chris; there was hardly anything for Joe Lynch to direct the second film on.
However, he managed to come up with a generic plot line, much like the first, but with a different generic subplot. I actually quite enjoyed this, whereas many people that were fans of the first Wrong Turn film didn't. The plot of the reality television show was really enjoyable, and I found that I really liked it. A lot of the characters are strong; not as strong as Jessie and Chris in the first film, but strong none the less.
There were a few things that really turned me off about this film, and that was the crude remarks towards the lesbian character – I believe, Amber; it's been a while since I saw the film – and I found these to make me frown quite deeply, and zone out of the film for a few minutes at a time. However, the development that Jonesy had throughout the film, did make me smile. He began to become a character that I thought quite highly off, especially when the end of his story came.
Nina had a lot of character development as well, and it truly warmed my heart to see how well she became a much stronger character, and someone that the team could rely on, even with how panicked she was. Jake as well was a really strong character and I loved him, and Mara was a wonderful character. There were a lot of times where I found myself with a smile on my face, and a lot of these characters felt so real. There wasn't a single character that I didn't feel like I could bump into them in the real world, and it takes a lot of good acting for so many characters in a single film – especially just another horror film – to feel so real to the viewers.
The plot line, however, was pretty generic and the same as the previous film. Run through the forest, try and survive the cannibalistic murderers, don't get caught. There wasn't much substance to it, and that was a bit of a shame. I had hoped that Lynch would try and make the film a little more original than just being a basic carbon copy of the first film with a new plot, but unfortunately that hasn't happened.
Considering the film was shot in only twenty five days, there could have been some more added to this. Although a very good film, especially for survival horror, I felt that there was quite a bit lacking. More could have been added for sure to thicken the plot a little, and maybe even background as to how some of the cannibals escaped death at the end of the first film. Still a good film, just not as good as it could have been.