Mike P. Nelson interview for Wrong Turn

Continuing our recent interviews with the cast and director of the recent Wrong Turn reboot we are now giving you our interview with Mike P. Nelson who was an absolute champ in this interview and gave us one helluva good time discussing his new film.

Hey Mike, So how did you get involved with the Wrong Turn reboot?

Well, uh, late, late 2017, uh, my manager, uh, Noah Rosen, who I also reps, uh, Alanthe, the writer, um, sent me the script. I think Mike, I know you’re looking for something new. What do you think about this? And I’m like, Oh my God. Wrong turn really? Okay. I’m like, okay, okay. Let’s do it. Let’s do it. I’ll look at it. And Holy crap, I, I read it and I’m just like, well, that is not your typical wrong turn. Holy buckets. Um, and you know, I think, you know, I had to sit with it a little bit because I, you know, I had to think about it and I was like, man, like, is this, is this even wrong turn? Like what, what, what, what, what could we do with this? And then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And, you know, I think, you know, I feel like I had a very similar experience to the way people are responding to the movie now, which is like, what is this?
Like, does this work? Why, why do I feel like, why can’t I get it out of my head? I felt that way. And I was like, gosh, I want to do this. Like, if this movie is like stuck in my brain this much, I, I feel like I got to do it. And then when I found out that, like, you know, both Allen, uh, the writer and Robert, the, the executive were both like, yeah, we really want to do something different and we’re sticking to it. I was like, well, then I’m in. I want to do this time. Um, and I think, you know, again, it’s, it’s, it’s a filmmaker’s dream to be, to, to work with a team of people who understand and want to do something unique and especially to re, to, to, to re re envision, uh, something that, you know, people feel like they know and do it fresh and unique.

Right. And kind of piggy backing on that idea that you were just talking about. How was it just kind of taking your own spin on long term, which is an intellectual property that’s been out for decades now? How was the pressure that being the director of this film, did that add any pressure to you knowing how much people love the brand size already and knowing that it’s a well known commodity in the horror genre as well?

Well, I mean, yes, there’s definitely, you got to, I got a little nervous because yeah. I mean, we didn’t have three finger in this movie and I knew how much, you know, how much of a beloved character he was for that franchise. Um, but there was, but, but I think having the original writer, having Alan behind this and being so, um, confident, uh, seeing his confidence and his unapologeticness of like, Nope, this is the script, this is what I want to do. This is the story I want to tell. These are the things I want to deal with. I was like, man, again, I want to be a part of that. And so, you know, going into it, you know, you, there was, there was great stuff in the script. There was stuff that, you know, you know, you, you got the, you got the violence, you got the Gore, it was maybe a little bit more grounded in reality then than, than some of the other wrong turn movies, which I appreciated because I like feeling, I like feeling off-put by the violence.

I don’t, you know, there’s some movies that I can make an exception for it. Like, I mean, yeah, like the original wrong turn, it’s fun to see people get caught in the barbed wire and like, you know, then the Hill guys are chopping them up in the house. And I mean, it’s a different kind of feeling like, you’re just kinda like, Ooh. Uh, but I like when, when I’m dealing with violence in a film in Goring, a feeling like I like to, like, I like to seal it. Like, I like to be like, Oh nah, Ooh, Ooh. You know what I mean? Like that. And, and I, I w I wanted that to be the case with this. So that meant, you know, we’re, we, weren’t going to be doing as goofy and traps. And, and we weren’t going to be spraying buckets of blood everywhere. We were just going to be having to witness people, go through some of the stuff. And to me, that’s, you know, again, that was sort of this new movies emo, um, you know, it was very evident in the script. It was very evident in the vision that I wanted to bring forth. And ultimately, you know, both of that and, you know, the ideas and how we wanted to film it. Um, I mean, that’s, that’s how I got the job.

Right. And, uh, how was it like working with the cast in the process? Cause you gotten this great young cast and great actors as well and this reboot.

It was fantastic. Um, you know, they, you know, the studio and the producers were very trusting of, you know, some of my choices, uh, you know, Charlotte Vega was somebody who was on the top of my list from the get go, um, and, you know, pushing for her who, you know, she’s really not that big of a name. And I know that the studio is, I was kind of like, Oh, we need somebody with a little bit more, give a name. And I’m like, dude, but Charlotte has chops. She can act, we need somebody who can carry this movie and based on how important that was. And so they say, okay, all right. And of course he got Modine who comes in the vet, the veteran, and who’s this like, you know, you just, he knows what he’s doing, you know? And, and, uh, and so that was a joy to work with him.

Uh, you know, the rest of the cast, you know, Aiden, Emma, uh, Adrian Vernon, uh, Dylan, they were all so like they were so in, you know what I mean? Like they didn’t, they, they, weren’t just there to like, Oh, we’re going to make a horror film. They were so invested in their characters and what they were doing and what was so cool about them is not only are they great actors, but they’re both, they’re all interesting people in real life. They all have their own things. They all, they’re not just actors. They do other things. And I love when I’m casting, if I can find out about somebody and what they’re like in reality, that to me echoes somebody who, you know, who who’s an actor who comes into their performance, you know what I mean? He was more grounded about that. So I always look for that when I’m casting, um, it’s somebody who’s not just like, Oh yeah.

Acting as everything. I just wanna, I just, this is, this is everything for me. I mean, Emma, what’s great about Emma is like, she’s going to school for like robotics or something like that is she plays that she plays the autoharp or the banjo or whatever. Like it’s just very, you know, unique things, you know? And I think that brought a lot to the table. And then of course you have bill Sage. Who’s just one of the greater character actors that we have. Um, you know, can take a role like John Venable and give it too much power and menace, but also something kind of soft and, and, uh, and something that you can relate to.

What were some of your favorite kills can kind of direct in the wrong turn and rebuild?

One of my favorite moments, uh, for the Kilz is when the, um, there’s two of my favorites are the, the, uh, the hunters who get killed by the booby traps that, uh, with the spikes that come from above, because to me, so that, that scene with a slight bit different in the, in the original draft of the script, but it still was about these two hunters that take Scott up the mountain. What was really cool about that sequence is you really build up this moment with these two hunters that like, this is going to be a big part of the story. You know, it was like, we’re going to get, these guys are going to go up there. They’re going to maybe, you know, have a skirmish or they’re going to fight their way in. And they’re going to get Jen out. Like you, you, you build this thing up in your mind and what’s great is like, within like a matter of three or four minutes, they’re just dead.

And that trap itself, what I love so much about it is that it’s, it’s sort of a, it’s kind of a psycho trap. It’s like dry it’s like somebody goes into a hole and then the buddy’s like, Oh my God, let me get you out. He runs over there, tries to pull them out steps on the tripwire. It takes out both of them. Yeah. And that was, that was a fun trap to kind of design and think about, because like, honestly, like that’s the kind of mindset you had to get into, like, you know what this foundation, these traps have to be deadly. Um, and then of course, the other moment is of course, the very, very end with, uh, with Jen and the RV. That was, that was a moment that I just really, really enjoyed creating and working on and, and letting it all happen in one shot. And that was just a blast.

AJ: Well Mike, thank you so much for joining us at Infamous Horrors it was really fun talking to you for Wrong Turn

Wrong Turn is available on VOD, Digital, DVD and Blu-ray February 23rd.

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