Aside from gorier kills and some decent production values, Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings has all the hallmarks of a Slasher film made in 1985. For those of you not familiar with the first Slasher film cycle, that’s not a good thing. By 1984, the first Slasher film cycle was essentially over and the only Slasher films being made were subpar imitators of earlier, better movies, and equally subpar sequels to earlier, better movies.
These films were by-the-numbers, including all the required elements while offering nothing new. Now, this is to be expected, but you also expect these late entries to at least conform to the Slasher cycle to which its predecessors belonged. In other words, you’d expect Wrong Turn 4 to imitate the original Wrong Turn; instead, its influence seems twenty rather than five years old.
A bunch of completely forgettable characters get lost in a snow storm, stumble upon an abandoned sanitarium, party, and get killed. There is a brief prologue meant to tie this film to the earlier Wrong Turn movies, but honestly this could be absolutely any Slasher film. Replace Three Finger, One Eye and Saw Tooth with three random mental patients and the movie doesn’t change in the least.
Generic isn’t always bad, of course, as long as the characters are interesting and fun to hang out with, the tension and scares are well constructed, and the kills are creative. So how does Wrong Turn 4 fare on those three fronts?
Actually, Wrong Turn 4 features some of the most spectacularly forgettable characters I have ever seen. These people are so generic that I couldn’t even tell you exactly how many of them there were without looking it up on IMDB. With the exception of the Asian chick and the Black chick, the characters are so interchangeable that, if given a series of character images and a list of character deaths, I wouldn’t be able to match the faces to the kills.
Given that, it’s hard to care about characters with all the personality and distinction of an average American Eagle fashion spread. But even with characters to care about, there’s little to no tension here. Rather than spending their time on building tension or constructing effective chase sequences (as was done in the first Wrong Turn), the filmmakers devote precious minutes—many precious minutes—to drawn-out kills that, in one case at least, devolve into little more than torture porn.
That said, the kills are well made; the gore effects are excellent. But they’re not sudden enough to be shocking and they’re not original enough to be memorable.
Wrong Turn 4 is just this side of better than Wrong Turn 2 and 3, but that’s not saying much; it simply looks a little better, the kills were better, and I liked the winter setting. All in all, Wrong Turn 4 isn’t terrible; it’s just entirely unnecessary.
Let’s put it this way: If ever you’re in the mood for a Wrong Turn movie, watch the original again instead of this one.
There’s really no reason to watch Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings.
Length: 93 min