The Wrong Turn franchise has been constantly changing ever since the first installment from Rob Schmidt hit theaters in 2003. Ever since it became a franchise instead of a stand alone film, with Fox Entertainment picking it up as a straight-to-DVD series starting with Wrong Turn 2: Dead End in 2007, it received several “changing of the guards” with Joe Lynch, Declan O’Brien and Valeri Milev all taking a turn in the director’s chair. And let’s not forget the series’ knack for jumping around in an established timeline of events and its star villain, Three Finger. Even though Wrong Turn and all of its entries are torn to pieces by reviewers and horror movie fans, the films have somehow become a staple in straight-to-DVD horror and have developed a small, but loyal fan-base.
Aside from the four year gap between Wrong Turn and Wrong Turn 2, the movies featuring inbred cannibal hillbillies terrorizing young adults in the hills of West Virginia have typically been released every other year. With Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort having hit retailers in October 2014, I’m sure fans of the series are wondering if and when a new installment will be green-lit. Here’s a brief overview on the financial stability of the franchise, my opinion on the content and my opinion on whether or not we’ll see a Wrong Turn 7 in 2016.
Despite what others would like you to believe, all of the Wrong Turn movies have been financially lucrative for Fox Entertainment. The first Wrong Turn made $15,420,000 in ticket sales in America with $13,230,000 also made internationally, which ended up totaling an extra million or two in the pockets of producers after marketing is factored in. Wrong Turn 2: Dead End was produced for $4,000,000 and made $9,090,000 in DVD sales. Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead was produced for $2,000,000 and made $5,690,000 in DVD sales. Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings was produced for $2,000,000 and made $3,128,000 in DVD sales. No information is available for Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, but Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort was produced for $1,200,000 and has made $1,020,000 in DVD sales to date. Now, it should be taken into consideration that all of the straight-to-DVD installments – 2 through 6 – were also released as cable rentals and video streams, so there is an unspecified amount of revenue to be added to each title. What do all of these numbers mean? Every title in the franchise has either broke even or made the studio a couple hundred thousand to a few million extra bucks; hence why new installments always get the go-ahead.
This, of course, isn’t a fair assumption in regards to Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines because of the lack of data and it is unfair to grade Wrong Turn 6 as a failure due to its low sales. The film, starring Anthony Ilott, Sadie Katz, Aqueela Zoll and Chris Jarvis, sold a ton of copies during its first few weeks on shelves. Unfortunately, the production chose to use a REAL missing person’s bulletin board during filming and the family of one of the victims sued those involved with Wrong Turn 6 for using their relative’s photo and information without permission. The court proceedings caused all copies of Wrong Turn 6 to be pulled from the market until it was re-cut to exclude the scene in question. This has tremendously hurt sales of the movie.
In terms of content, I think that the Wrong Turn movies always have a terrific way of bouncing back from their lackluster plots. If I had to rank each movie in the series, I’d do it like this: 1, 2, 4, 6, 3, and 5. While there is always the same old hack and slash, same old progression to the climax, the story-lines are always at least clever enough to find new environments for the cannibals to attack in and a ton of stories to progress them further in terms of back-story and origins. These two elements are always the most appealing factors that make horror fans return to the franchise again and again and again.
Do I think we’ll see Wrong Turn 7 in 2016? Wrong Turn 6‘s writer Frank H. Woodward has been very vocal on Twitter that he’d love to return to write the next movie in the series. Personally, I hope that Wrong Turn returns with another movie, but I think that it should be the last one. I think it’s time to put this franchise to rest while it is still appealing to the fans and lucrative to the companies involved. If we do get a Wrong Turn 7, I hope that it’s a current movie, not a prequel, and sees a final resolution for the basis of the entire franchise. Does that mean Three Finger dies and that ends the family’s reign of terror? Does that mean Three Finger leaves his homeland and starts heading west for a better location? Whatever the plot may be, I hope it’s decent and gives the franchise the proper ending that it deserves.