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How Wrong Turn 2021 Was Originally Even Gorier

The "Wrong Turn" horror franchise began in 2003 with its first film, which was followed a few years later, in 2007, by its sequel, "Wrong Turn 2: Dead End." From there, four more numbered follow-up films were released, with "Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort" coming out in 2014.

The next film in the franchise, however, returned to the series' roots and was named, simply, "Wrong Turn." It is considered a reboot rather than another sequel. The reboot was written by Alan B. McElroy, who wrote the original film, and was directed by Mike P. Nelson. It follows a group of friends who set out to hike the Appalachian Trail and, ignoring warnings they've been given about sticking to the designated route, start exploring off the trail. They find themselves in the land of The Foundation, an isolated community that leads a primitive way of life. And as the dwellers of The Foundation turn out to be incredibly violent, the group of friends is suddenly fighting for their lives.

"Wrong Turn" is an extremely gory film — per Rotten Tomatoes, it has an R rating for reasons that include "strong bloody violence" and "grisly images." And, as it turns out, the film was originally planned to be even gorier than what viewers saw.

One death scene was originally more graphic

Those who watched the film surely remember the death of one of the friends, Adam (Dylan McTee). After killing one of The Foundation members in self-defense, Adam is put on trial by the other members; he's declared guilty by The Foundation's leader, Venable (Bill Sage), and sentenced to death. Then, Venable bludgeons Adam to death, using the same log that Adam had used to kill the other member in self-defense. During this scene, the focus is mostly on Adam's friends, who are forced to watch the brutal death and even have his blood splattered on them. Even without more of a close-up focus on the merciless act, it's still a very hard scene to watch.

Well, it was almost an ever gorier scene — to the point that an R rating wouldn't have been sufficient. According to Screen Rant, the film's director, Mike P. Nelson, reveals in the DVD audio commentary that the original cut of the scene actually showed Adam's smashed-in head, extending the focus on it after the gruesome bashing. It was so graphic, Nelson says, that the MPA (Motion Picture Association) gave the film the rare NC-17 rating. Wanting to get it back down to the R rating, Nelson decided to include the shots of the friends' reactions.

In the commentary, Nelson explains that because there hadn't been that much violence on screen until that moment, Adam's death was meant to be the first scene of violence shown to the viewer. Nelson continues, "That was sort of the moment where you are supposed to be confronted with the most brutal form of violence in the movie yet. It's probably still the most brutal piece of violence in the film, but the idea was to not cut away and to show it in its full glory."

We can only imagine how horrifying the original cut of the scene is.