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Why Wrong Turn 7's New Threat Is More Interesting Than The Cannibals


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Wrong Turn 7 features a new threat called The Foundation, and it's shaping up to be more interesting than the cannibals of the franchise's original movies. The original premise of the Wrong Turn series is that a family of deformed cannibals terrorizes unsuspecting victims in rural West Virginia. Wrong Turn 7, a franchise reboot, promises to bring with it a new layer of political intrigue to the series, which has already provided more than 15 years of gore in six previous movies.

Based on what has been released so far, the mysterious group called The Foundation in Wrong Turn 7 seems to be an organized group with a political ideology. This is a departure from the original cannibals in the franchise, who don't seem to be a part of any political group nor do they seem to have any deeper motivation beyond their base instincts. They are simply a hungry family of inbred, mutant cannibals who expertly hunt the West Virginia countryside. Their story is a simple one and is rooted in "hillbilly" stereotypes, popularized by movies like Deliverance.

In the official trailer for Wrong Turn 7, The Foundation seems to be an Appalachian separatist group that considers itself to be "the foundation upon which a new nation would be built." This conjures up images of the Civil War as well as the reputation many Southern states like West Virginia have regarding their political relationship to the rest of the country. With this new concept, Wrong Turn 7 continues to play upon the franchise's conception of rural America, adding a political element to what was originally only a question of genealogy.

 

According to Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, the cannibals, aka the Hillicker brothers, are escapees from a sanatorium in rural West Virginia, where they now hunt anyone unlucky enough to cross their path. In comparison, The Foundation, whether they are cannibals or not, seem to be a society rather than a family and their killings seem to be motivated by an ideology rather than a desire to eat human flesh. That said, The Foundation may also be cannibals, though it's not explicit in the trailer. Like the Hillickers, however, The Foundation members certainly do seem menacing and potentially unstable, appearing in the trailer and poster art as wearing animal hides and skull masks.

Even if The Foundation aren't cannibals, the new threat they pose is more interesting than the original villains because it adds a political motivation to their evil deeds. It has the potential to take the typical cannibal hillbilly trope — which is admittedly problematic — to a level never achieved by subgenre stalwarts like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, and Rob Zombie's Firefly Trilogy. The new threat posed by The Foundation is also more interesting because they seem to be part of a political movement that has been passed down for generations, presumably by more than just an isolated cannibal family. This new, conspiratorial direction for the franchise's villains is not only more interesting but scarier as well. A sophisticated, politically motivated network of cannibal hillbillies is infinitely scarier than a solitary flesh-eating family.

It is unlikely that The Foundation will replace the cannibals completely, as fans have come to expect them as a basic element of the franchise. It is a possibility, however, as horror franchises often go in drastically different directions in reboots, remakes, and even sequels. Eliminating the cannibals from the story wouldn't necessarily be a mistake, but fans would most likely miss them. Though the details of The Foundation are not clear leading up to the movie's release, Wrong Turn 7's new threat is more interesting than the cannibals alone, and it even has the potential to set a new standard for the entire cannibal hillbilly subgenre.

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