Fox // 2011 // 93 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // October 25th, 2011
See how it all began.
Here comes the most clichéd statement I'll be using in this review: If you've seen one "backwoods redneck inbreeding" horror show (e.g. The Hills Have Eyes series), you've seen them all. Of course, that hasn't stopped Fox from churning out not one but four movies about cannibal hicks from Hell, starting back in 2003 with the original (and far, far superior) Wrong Turn. Now here comes Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, a prequel to the original story that fills in a lot of gaps no one was clamoring to know.
See if you can solve this relatively easy math equation:
Horny College Kids -- Brain Cells + Winter Vacation + Marijuana + Booze/Snowmobiles -- Good Luck + Cannibals Named Saw Tooth, One Eye, and Three Finger + Power Tools -- Personality/Drooling & Grunting + Guts & Grizzle = (your answer here)
What kind of movie is Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings? The film can be summed up around the ten minute mark, when one character is dismembered limb from limb in a barb wire winch before the scene transitions to four buck naked people humping like wild hogs (three women, one man). Boobs and brutality. That's what this movie is all about. Make no mistake that the producers knew exactly the sort of empty, vapid, C-level flick they were making when this production began. The question is: Did they do it with flare, style, and wit?
No, sir. No they did not.
Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings creaks along with a screenplay that feels like it was churned out by blind monkeys without a single rewrite. Eschewing any characterization or the casting of interesting actors, the movie features men with Justin Bieber hairstyles and women who aren't afraid to be emotionally open for the camera (emotionally open = showing their ta-tas). If this is supposed to be a launching pad for any of these actor's careers, it's about as successful as working in midget porn to become an Oscar-winning actor. There isn't one actor or actress here who shows the least amount of talent, unless you consider talent to mean "rosy pink nipples." Jennifer Pudavick, Tenika Davis, Dean Armstrong, and Kaitlyn Wong are your leads, but the only reason I list their names is because they'll need some footnoted proof they were on this earth. Considering how bad the movie is, this review may be the last time they receive critical mention.
Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings's only slim deviation from the standard horror movie clichés is setting the film during a blizzard. Since the movie takes place mostly at night, the winter setting doesn't do much to set it apart from any other horror flick about crazy hillbillies on a murderous rampage. The asylum setting was apparently real -- the producers found an abandoned hospital to shoot in -- but the filmmakers don't do much to make it a truly outstanding set piece. Most of it is characters running around, hiding, screwing, smoking pot, or yelling inane dialogue at each other. In one of the film's worst/best moments, four characters hide in a room and try to decide if they are going to help one of their screaming friends who is being tortured by the cannibals. Their discussion hilariously lacks any and all immediacy, as if they're trying to decide if they should order mild or spicy fried chicken from KFC. Welcome to Acting 101, folks.
Switching gears, I'm drawing a line in the sand with horror movies. Filmmakers are forgetting that while the point of a horror movie is to scare, there's a distinct difference between being frightened and so grossed out that you want to turn the movie off. Maybe maturity and age are finally catching up to me (*sigh*), but I just don't enjoy watching a man being carved, flayed, and cooked up fondue-style in graphic detail. This scene seems go on endlessly. It's just painful and icky to watch. While I'm sure the FX people are doubly proud of their gag-inducing achievement, as a viewer I wish they'd have shown a little more restraint for the sake of their audience. If you are going to show these kinds of things, at least make sure to put as much effort into the characters and the tension. Without those crucial elements, all you're left with is gore for gore's sake, and that isn't a lot of fun.
From its mediocre prologue (where the three teenage cannibals look like...three teenagers in monster make-up), to its numbing middle passages and bloody flaccid "shock" ending (which would be cool if the rest of the movie had been halfway decent), Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings is just another by-the-numbers horror sequel that brings nothing new to the table except raw liver and unhappiness.
Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings is presented in 1.78:1/1080p high definition. Although I wouldn't consider this to be a reference quality transfer, the image looks a lot better than it needs to. Colors are saturated nicely and the black levels are sold. The picture looks crystal clear, which is a bit of a hindrance to the make-up (you can actually see some of the seams and blends).
The soundtrack is 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and sufficiently bombastic when needed (usually when the crazy hillbillies go on a rampage), filled with creepy music cues, squishy effects, and some of the worst dialogue this side of Uwe Boll. Also included are English, Spanish, and French subtitles.
How is it that so many classic films are bare bones releases and yet these terrible straight-to-DVD titles are jam packed with extra features? Life just isn't fair. Anyway, if you are a fan of Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings you'll be just thrilled to know there are about eighteen minutes worth of deleted scenes (none of which would have made the movie any better), a short featurette titled "Director's Die-arys," an even fluffier making-of featurette titled "Making Another Wrong Turn," a featurette about shooting in an actual abandoned asylum ("Lifestyles of the Sick and Famous"), an audio commentary with director Declan O'Brien (for fans only), and a music video by The Blackout City Kids. We also get a DVD copy of the film.
If I have any faint praise for Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, it's
that the movie is leaps and bounds better than the terribly dull Wrong Turn
3: Left for Dead. That's not saying much, so I'll end by saying nothing at
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Deleted Scenes
* Music Video
* DVD Copy