DVD Review: Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011)
Review by Ben Bussey
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: fourth chapter means outer space! Come on, Wrong Turn producers, you should know this. Don’t tell me there was no way you could have got the inbred hillbilly cannibals onto a space station, rocket or flying saucer. Surely that’s a preferable option to going prequel, isn’t it? What with Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Exorcist: The Beginning (or Dominion, for that matter), there hasn’t exactly been a precedent set for great horror prequels of late.
Of course, the Wrong Turn franchise as a whole hasn’t exactly set itself an especially high standard to live up to. It’s not a series I’ve followed too closely: the first one bored me, the second was more fun but still largely forgettable, and the third – well, I still haven’t seen it, nor am I in any hurry to do so. This being the case, it should come as no surprise when I say Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings does very, very little you haven’t seen elsewhere. Why would it? These movies are not in the least bit interested in narrative or conceptual innovation; rather, they’re highly contrived attempts to tick all the boxes for your least demanding horror fan, and give them exactly what they want. And given that within the first twelve minutes we have a guy’s throat being eaten, a woman’s brains being fried and another guy being torn limb from limb, AND a back-to-back girl/girl and girl/boy sex scene, it’s clear the makers of Wrong Turn 4 aim to satisfy their demographic.
To set the scene, if it’s really necessary: we kick off in the mid-70s, when we meet the younger versions of those beloved flesh-eating hillbilly mother/father/brother/sisterfuckers locked up in a sanitorium. Unsurprisingly they don’t stay locked up long, and the lunatics are taking over the asylum, utilising some of the methods detailed a paragraph ago. Fast forward 30-odd years, to presumably just before the events of the first film (not that it matters too much), and we have a bunch of hot and horny college students bumping and grinding their gym-toned and in some instances probably surgically enhanced physiques, and revelling in how affluent they are as they head out on a winter weekend break to – where else – a cabin. But as they inevitably head in the incorrect direction (see, it’s not just a clever title) they find themselves at that very same sanitorium. With no other viable shelter from the freezing weather, they make themselves at home, which obviously involves smoking lots of weed and talking about sex all the time. But hey – could it possibly be they’re not alone? Could those bloodthirsty inbred fucknuts still be in the exact same place three full decades later? Does the Pope shit in the woods?
Now to more important matters. Lipstick lesbian sex scenes, giant drills, college boys skinned alive, and barbed wire utlised for hanging, garotting, beheading and dismemberment. Yes, we’re back to the days of yore, wherein literally the only parts of the film which feature any creativity whatsoever are the death scenes. Inevitably, much of the goodwill these scenes might have generated is all but scuppered by the amount of digital FX utilised, but to be fair there’s still a reasonable amount of good ol’ fashioned practical on show.
As for anything else… nah, there really is nothing else worth saying about Wrong Turn 4. It’s a film you’ve already seen dozens of times, and will doubtless see dozens of times again, with zero deviation from the formula. And if you can accept the film on those terms, then you may wind up having fun with it. However, you may also wind up struggling to see it as anything more than a cynical cash-grab, wearing its own complete lack of invention as a badge of honour. Myself: I’m a little from column A, a little from column B. Well, let’s just do like we always do, grumble for a little while then forget it ever happened. Of course, with Wrong Turn 5 less than two months away from its US release, we don’t have long to wait until the cycle begins again.
Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings is out now on Region 2 DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.