Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011)
(18) Running time: 96 minutes
Director: Declan O’ Brien
Writer: Declan O’ Brien
Starring: Jennifer Pudavick, Tenika Davis, Kaitlyn Wong, Terra Vnesa, Ali Tataryn
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
It would seem that Declan O’ Brien has taken over the Wrong Turn franchise, and it a bold move, has made a fourth film which is indeed a prequel. As to whether this now kills the franchise, or allows it to go off in a new direction is probably based on how popular this fourth instalment turns out to be. There certainly appears to be plenty of love out there for this series of cannibal horrors, and after giving us some fresh ideas with Wrong Turn 3, O’ Brien continues to shake things up with ‘Bloody Beginnings’
The idea to go back to the beginning was a good move, as it gives us the chance to meet One-Eye, Sawtooth and Three Finger as young children locked up in a mental asylum, naturally. We learn of their issues, and how they got their names while a visiting Doctor, an attractive female, decides they should be her new test subjects. However, an inmate manages to pull her hair pin out and then the cannibals use it to break free, release the rest of the psychotic patients, and kill off the hospital staff in a rather cool opening, accompanied by classical music. The opening finishes superbly with the head Doctor being tied up, arms and legs, by barbed wire (a tool used a number of times throughout the film) and he literally gets lifted into the air and pulled apart. Bloody, sickening, violent and guaranteed to both offend and make real horror fans wave their fist in the air in enjoyment, it’s a glorious start.
In true tacky horror fashion, we then meet our collection of victims some year later at College, and low and behold we are treated to a guy and his girlfriend having sex, and just to give us a little something extra, lying in the bed next to them, also getting down to it, are their two lesbian friends, hurrah!! So far Wrong Turn 4 has played by the rules and is delivering the goods. The friends all head off on a skiing trip, well, they use those ski bikes, and head into the woods and get lost as a blizzard sweeps in. I forget how many friends their are, quite a few, so the film now has the expectation that they will all get killed off in glorious fashion as they take refuge in an abandoned hospital in the middle of the woods, the same hospital where the cannibals broke free, the same hospital the cannibals now call home. It takes a while to get moving now, as the friends read some books on the experiments and watch videos about what went on in the hospital, exploring the darkened halls, the settle in for the night, have some drinks and party, all under the watchful eyes of the cannibals…
The cannibals themselves, as youngsters, are a little unsettling but sadly they just didn’t gel with me, I actually found them a bit annoying. The older chaps are better, but don’t quite reach the creepiness of the rest of the films as they look a little too made up. That said, the actors playing them appear to be having way too much fun as the violence, eventually, gets going again. Before it all kicks off again, we are blessed with one more lesbian scene, just to tick all those horror cliche boxes, and then we can get down to some good, and hopefully (considering what he did in Wrong Turn 3) inventive kills. Now, the kills are good, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough of them, which is a real shame because O’ Brien shows some real flare and appears to get a lot of enjoyment out of killing off his cast. However, there are times when the cast do the most stupidest of things which end up making the kill look a bit forced. For instance, if your girlfriend was hanging by her neck with barbed wire wrapped round her throat, you wouldn’t really try to pull her down, would you? And he screams, worse than a girl and he suddenly becomes the character you can’t wait to see dead. The cannibals, considering they actually eat people, seem to take more pleasure in just killing people as they hunt the friends around the building, however we are shown one rather sickening cannibalistic scene which involves the three killers eating someone alive, and it is pretty darned disgusting and all credit due to O’ Brien for making both this, and the rest of his kills, look very good indeed.
The cast all do a good job, the music sounds like the same music you’ve been hearing in horrors for year, but sadly the film, even with a number of inventive and violent deaths, just falls flat. The setting promised some real nasty scenes, or Heaven forbid, some scares, and there is neither. The kills are more flamboyant than truly horrific, they are so incredibly wild that they take away any feeling of disgust, apart from the cannibal eating scene and a rather vicious stabbing scene. There is an awful lot of blood, and the kills are a lot of fun, but never truly disturbing. The setting of the old hospital is horribly wasted and some real scares could have been conjured up, but they aren’t. In fact, I don’t remember jumping once. A real shame as the potential was there for a really really great horror, and don’t get me wrong, ‘Bloody Beginnings’ is enjoyable, but it is nothing more than Friday night beer movie simple entertainment. Whether this opens the doors for more sequels is doubtful.
[pt-filmtitle]Wrong Turn 4[/pt-filmtitle]