What’s striking, and a little sloppy about this movie, is that it still humanizes everyone, albeit while honoring two different interpretations of what is considered barbaric. When the hiking hipsters attack one of the Foundation members – without any outright violence committed beforehand – the act of killing becomes a divisive choice between the group. Adam, the guy who does the act of smashing the skull with a tree branch, yells in defense, “These are clearly not good people! Hikers are judged when captured by other Foundation members. “Wrong Turn” then invests some of its operating time in a spooky courtyard scene, inside the cult’s torch-lit caves, overseen by its stern ruler John (Bill Sage), whose decisions involve darkness. or death. He is deeply insulted when Jen, pleading for his life, accuses the Foundation of being barbaric.
The Foundation is what particularly sets this film apart from its original, instead evoking memories of Ari Aster’s cult horror film “Midsommar”. “Wrong Turn” is practically emboldened by the horror that Aster popularized, of being doomed by a terror that is right out of your sight. And that’s certainly Aster with the amount of head trauma here, as Nelson’s often bumpy moments where skulls are crushed, shot, stabbed, etc. turn out to be just the kind of cold blooded beats you’d want to see. ‘a film filled with visceral emotional and physical pain. Nelson certainly has a lower and dirty approach than Aster, using desaturated colors with his abundant daylight (like Fede Álvarez’s “Evil Dead” remake), making the surrounding woods all the more claustrophobic, especially when he seems like trees have eyeballs.
But the intellectual ambitions of this “wrong turn” sometimes overwhelm him, and the ultimate meaning behind The Foundation shatters when you think about it. As a sneaky Frankenstein of Darius’ socialist dreams and the conservative ideology of the locals, the cult doesn’t make too much sense than the statement it clearly wants to be. This however leads to great thrills, as the traps set by the Foundation (for animals? For humans?) On the mountains are horrific and surprising in themselves.