Adrian Favela unravels Luis in ‘Wrong Turn’

Adrian Favela in 'Wrong Turn' courtesy of Saban Films

Adrian Favela shines as Luis in Saban Film’s new horror film Wrong Turn

Synopsis: Backwoods terror and never-jangling suspense meet when Jen (Charlotte Vega) and a group of friends set out to hike the Appalachian Trail. Despite warnings to stick to the trail, the hikers stray off course—and cross into land inhabited by The Foundation, a hidden community of mountain dwellers who use deadly means to protect their way of life. Suddenly under siege, Jen and her friends seem headed to the point of no return— unless Jen’s father (Matthew Modine) can reach them in time. 

This film, directed by Mike P. Nelson and written by Alan B. McElroy, is the seventh in the Wrong Turn series but according to the cast, this film holds its own.

“We’re really taking the skeleton of the original films, the people going out into the woods and then getting lost and then running into cannibals and we’re really stripping it down to the bare minimum of what Wrong Turn is and we’re flipping everything on its head. We’re inviting intelligent characters in. We’re bringing a really strong female lead into it and we’re also giving space for the male characters to emote too. So, it’s a really cool take on what the originals were but it’s a completely new experience. Horror films have extremely smart fans, so we took some things out and traded it with food for thought.”

Adrian says he hopes fans of the original 2003 film will be just as excited for this film as they were for that one.

“We did take a lot of the original things out. And that might be tough, some people don’t like change, but if you’re open to a new idea, to a fresh idea, to a new experience, I think you’ll find a really, really fun amazing film.”

Adrian plays Luis who is a part of the protagonist group that ultimately takes a wrong turn along the hiking path and gets lost.

“Luis is a strong but quiet type. He is a business owner in New York with his partner Gary, so he really just likes to stay in line, you know, he knows where he’s at. He knows that he’s an LGBTQ person, but he’s not trying to push anything. He’s just trying to keep it safe, keep it in line and as the story progresses, we see a little jabs to his character, of who he is, as a person and he really just guts everything which ultimately turns him into a ticking time bomb, almost. So, when he finally hits tragedy, you just see all of the horrible parts of a human just oozing out, a really tight wound person unraveling in front of everybody. And I think that was a really cool, really unique to an approach to horror.”

Adrian is not kidding about the amount of horrible things that happen to Luis. 

I would say the first real unraveling that we start to see is the log scene Luis is hitting all of these horrible things all at once, it’s like tragedy and heartbreak and he’s realizing he’s being hunted. Like everything horrible is starting to happen and he’s starting to fall apart. But I think everything kind of peaks when he decides to run from the Foundation. It’s like his last hurrah saying, ‘Get me out of here, this is insane.’ And, unfortunately, he is not able to. But in that whole approach to everything, I really wanted to pull people into the horrific moments that Luis was feeling. So many times we can brush over those emotions but I wanted you to feel what Luis was feeling. When the horrible things that were happening to Luis were happening, I wanted you to feel like, ‘Oh my god, should I be watching this?’ Should I be cringing and looking away?’ That was really my approach to that whole idea of building Luis.”

courtesy of Saban Films

“Initially, I had read the script and the first thing that I read, because it’s almost straight at the top, is the log scene and how big- I mean, I had tears in my eyes because it was so heavy. You know what I mean? The whole idea was just like, ‘Alright cool, let’s rock and roll.’ I’m gonna have to approach this and find anything within myself, big or small, and just magnify it onto a huge scale to match where Luis is at. I hope no one ever will go through anything that Luis is going through. We don’t have those kinds of horrors in our life, most of the time, but I really wanted to magnify anything that made me feel off to that grand scale, to bring Luis to life. So, that was the main challenge that I had seen. Then ultimately we see Luis going through some pretty heavy things, so, how do I keep the crescendo going when it already starts so high.”

With this being a horror movie, it’s natural to have some scary moments on set to help get into character. 

“We were really shooting in the middle of the night in Hocking Hills, [Ohio] which is a state park so there are no street lights, there’s nothing out there. So it’s just pitch dark, you can’t see anything. I remember being carted out to set and couldn’t see anything in front of me, it was just complete darkness and just trusting that we weren’t going to drive off of a cliff or something. It was crazy. There are also a couple of real falls that made the final cut of the film. It was definitely a tough terrain, but we survived.”

Hocking Hills is definitely scary at night, but Adrian did appreciate its beauty during the day. He got a chance to see the park’s famous waterfall and dubbed it “National Geographic amazing.” Who knew someplace too beautiful could be so scary, all at the same time. 

Despite telling this story, Adrian says he would definitely take a hike like this in real life, but that he’d follow the rules and not risk getting lost.

“I am definitely the adventurous type, even when I was younger. I used to live in Maryland and I would just take off on all these little trails and find little deer nesting areas and it was crazy. So, as an adult, I probably would, but I’m adventurous to a point. I gotta follow the rules. I like to be safe.”

In one word, Adrian describes this film as guttural.

“I think this film is an absolutely insane guttural experience. And if you’re open to it. Your mind will be blown.”

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