Here’s a conundrum: if you’re in a movie called “Wrong Turn” and you come across a fork in the road… is it even possible to choose the correct turn? This is a problem that befalls the protagonists of Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings towards the (bloody) beginning of their movie. Half the group says they should turn left. The other half wants to commit to the right. Eventually they turn do turn right and die horribly as a result, but given the name of the movie I had to wonder if turning left would have turned out any better. Were these sexy young people destined to suffer gruesome indignities either way? Fatalism rarely seemed so… I dunno, “fatal” before.
Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings is the fourth installment in the Wrong Turn series, and the first I’ve ever seen. I don’t feel too bad about making that confession, but I’m forced to admit that after watching Wrong Turn 4 I have an unexpected desire to watch the other entries. This is a highly entertaining gory funhouse of a movie, filled with memorably creative murders, fun bad guys and boobs out the ass. (Metaphorically speaking.) It’s everything you want from a straight-to-video horror movie, and a lot of what you’d want from a theatrically released horror movie too, because they’re usually too busy classing up the joint.
The plot is almost laughably direct: a group of attractive young people are en route to a cabin in the woods but make a “wrong turn” (gasp!) which sends them to an abandoned sanitarium. (Ironic that a “cabin in the woods” would ever be a preferred option in a horror movie, but I digress.) In the prologue we see that the inmates had managed to take over that asylum and wreak extremely violent revenge on their keepers. In the “logue-logue” we discover that three of them had set up camp there in the decades that followed. The practicalities of this plot development are not explored. Did the three brothers – whom I have learned, through cultural osmosis, were the villains of the other Wrong Turn films – just hide in the basement until the authorities were done cleaning the place up, or did they go on vacation somewhere and come back years later, but were unable to find a more pleasant home after the economic collapse of the 1980s? I wonder…
So yes, before long all these pretty young people are attacked by mutant hillbilly cannibals and, in turns, decapitated with barbed wire, post-holed to death or eaten alive in a strangely endearing fondue ritual. I had to admit that I liked most of the characters in Wrong Turn 4, sometimes for the right reasons. The villains had a happily familial rapport with each other (difficult to convey, since they don’t speak any recognizable language), and half the good guys were kind of enough to introduce themselves in the middle of a fully naked session of happy group sex, so if nothing else I felt like we were on the same wavelength. Wrong Turn 4 is the kind of movie that knows exactly what it is and offers nothing less, and occasionally a little more. There are moments of utter cliché – in fact, I lost count of how many times our heroes said some variation of the phrase “Let’s check it out” – but by-and-large Wrong Turn 4 is just inventive enough to justify a rental or even a purchase by horror fans of just about any ilk.
Wrong Turn 4 turns on Blu-Ray with a pleasing digital transfer that doesn’t betray any visual problems beyond occasional low production values. (The locations are white, through and through, so don’t expect too much eye candy.) I noticed no problems with the audio presentation, but it’s not the most important part of the experience. There are also an impressive number of special features, including a very fun commentary track from director Declan O’Brien (who also gave you Sharktopus, so clearly he has a sense of humor), and deleted scenes and more.
There’s a line of dialogue in Wrong Turn 4 that tells you everything you need to know about the movie. It happens after a character named ‘Porter’ goes missing, forcing one of our heroes to exclaim, “They probably turned Porter into a porterhouse by now!” Wrong Turn 4 is just that kind of movie. It doesn’t take itself seriously, which is seriously smart.
CRAVEONLINE RATING (Film): 7.5/10
CRAVEONLINE RATING (Blu-Ray): 8.5/10