Directed by Declan O’Brien
Distributed by Fox Home Entertainment
When I popped in my screener of Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, I was prepared for the worst. After the abysmal Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead, which was also directed by Declan O’Brien, how could I not? That flick was a train wreck from start to finish. So is Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings. Bad acting? Check! Bad script? Check. The only surprise to be found here is that it is so very bad that it’s borderline genius!
As the title indicates, this is a prequel to the 2003 original, and it opens in 1974, where we find everyone’s favorite disfigured mutants Three-Finger, One-Eye, and Saw-Tooth as mere lads locked away in a sanitarium. Through a series of ludicrous events they escape, and the shit hits the proverbial fan. Fast forward to 2003 (which was obviously the era that birthed the Justin Bieber do), and we find a group of friends looking to party in the dead of winter at a cabin somewhere in West Virginia. Of course they take a wrong turn and end up caught in a raging blizzard and have to seek shelter at the very same sanitarium that the disfigured brothers had escaped from. As you would imagine, things go very badly for our troupe, much to the delight of this reviewer.
Let me be clear: This flick is light years better than Wrong Turn 3, but that’s not saying very much, is it? A better subtitle for this particular film would have been Wrong Turn 4: Mutants vs. a Band of Random Idiots because you’re not likely to find a dumber group of kids anywhere. The laundry list of stupid acts committed by them is the stuff of magic. Come upon a locked door made completely out of glass? Why not exclaim, “We’re trapped!” and run the other way? The door you’re counting on to keep you safe from cannibal psychos has a gaping hole in it? So what! Barricade it with a chair! That’ll keep the loonies at bay!
But wait! Said loonies aren’t exactly brain surgeons either. For instance … some of our victims are holed up in a room with a small piece of wood barring our cannibals from entering. Saw-Tooth, the beefiest of the three, is wielding the biggest damned drill you’ve ever seen, but does he use it on the door? No. Instead he shuts it off to try and shoulder block the thing open. After several unsuccessful attempts, he breaks through and then turns his drill back on. Really?
Then there’s the writing (also by Mr. O’Brien). Holy shit. Let me give you a few examples – Random chick wakes up looking for her boyfriend. Asks other chick if she’s seen him. Other chick replies, “No, I’ve been running for the last hour.” Running where? Around the room? There’s a friggin’ blizzard outside, remember? Our group is huddled together. “That’s Daniel screaming! We need to save him. What’re we waiting for?” Everyone stands still. There are so many of these instances that it’s actually hard to keep track of them all, and they lead straight to an ending that had me laughing so hard that tears literally welled up in my eyes!
Here’s the rub — Despite the silliness, plot holes, and inconsistencies, it still manages to get some stuff right. The kills are all good and mostly practical with slight CGI enhancements. Worthy of special mention is the fondue sequence that will have you grinning with guilty pleasure from ear-to-ear. The look of the mutants themselves is not only spot-on but pretty damned scary, and the snowy asylum setting is a refreshing step out of the woods. Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings hurls just about every horror cliche just short of a cat scare at you with gleefully reckless abandon. Our villains are here to cackle, maim, eat, and then cackle some more. Our victims are here to get naked, have sex, and die in horribly inventive ways. Simply put, the movie is young, dumb, and full of cum.
In terms of extras we get several things, starting off with a really dry but informative commentary from Declan O’Brien. Come on, dude! Where’s all the energy and silliness found in the film? This isn’t high art, man! Loosen up! From there we get several director’s diaries detailing the 19-day(!) shoot, your typical making-of, a featurette detailing the building the movie was shot in (which was of course haunted), and a decent music video by Saw-Tooth’s band The Blackout City Boys.
What we have here, kids, is one of those movies that’s so bad that it’s good. You can tell from watching the special features that everyone involved was having nothing short of a blast, and that translates onscreen. Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings is the Congo of slasher movies. A circus of ridiculousness! Yes, it’s bad. Yes it’s juvenile. Yes, it’s mindless, but I’d watch it again in a heartbeat.
2 1/2 out of 5
4 out of 5
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