Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Wrong Turn 4, the latest installment in the now eight year old franchise, is a prequel. The prelude starts with three deformed inbred brothers that have been institutionalized in a sanitarium in 1974. After being let in on how dangerous they are by the head doctor, they immediately escape and kill their captors in horrendous ways. This leads to 2003, where in a West Virginia dorm room two couples are getting down; with one couple being lesbians (gore, nudity and sex – what more could you ask for?). Once finished they join their group and ride snowmobiles out into the wilderness for winter break. They get turned around during a storm and are forced to take refuge at the old sanitarium. Murder, mayhem and cannibalism ensue as the brothers still inhabit the old rundown (yet looking exactly as it was 25 years ago) sanitarium. Obviously we know that the inbred brothers survive, even though the advertisements for this film stress that the stranded college students fight back or die trying (my bet’s on die trying).

Declan O’Brien’s direction and script for Wrong Turn 4 does a surprisingly good job at being suspenseful at times. By allowing the college kids the time to turn the sanitarium into a place of their own it was almost like watching a different and happier movie. This is short lived as the cannibals soon return to their home, but that divide helped in creating something more terrifying than it normally would be. I’m not sure why so many horror film these days see the need to turn stereotypes on their heads instead of focusing on frights. Here we have the boys with low IQs and the females being smarter and more in-charge. Regardless of how smart they are though, girls seem to always want to get naked and have sex when impending doom is just around the corner.

My biggest complaint here is the pacing. To say this movie gets off to a slow start is an understatement. The last opening credit fades from the screen seventeen minutes in. The meat of the movie doesn’t really get going until after half an hour, but once it starts it doesn’t slow down.

The gore is decent, but there’s a lot of crap digital effects that take it down a notch here and there. Watch for heads popping off and a death by snowmobile that look particularly bad. The dialogue is also run of the mill, with people remembering the story of the cannibal deformed brothers after being in the sanitarium for awhile (seems people have bad recall for things like this, I’d remember the minute I saw the sanitarium). The acting is good, and one thing this movie’s not short on is actors. There are nine of these college kids.

Since this is a prequel you know how it will end. Then again I could also state, since this is a horror movie you know how it will end. You needn’t have seen the others to make sense of anything here, there are very few touches (the truck at the end) that tie this in with the rest anyhow. If you’re not already tired with this genre then Wrong Turn 4 is worth watching, the production values are much better than most straight-to-DVD flicks and it’s a funner ride than most as well.

Director: Declan O’Brien
Stars: Jennifer Pudavick, Tenika Davis, Kaitlyn Wong

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