FrightFest 2012: ‘Wrong Turn 4’ review


Released in 2003, the inaugural Wrong Turn was an average slasher/horror that left no real impression on the genre and grossed a healthy, yet far from exemplary amount at the box office. Somehow, that film has now spawned three sequels (four by the end of this year), the latest entitled Bloody Beginnings (2012). Declan O’Brien’s entry is apparently a prequel, despite following a near-identical format that sees a bunch of handsome twenty-somethings inadvertently falling foul of a troop of misshapen oddities.

The antagonists in question are a bunch of ‘inbred freaks’ (that’s the genuine terminology) who emerge from the Southern, red-neck states of America with cannibalistic tendencies and a taste for murder. Imagine if Tobe Hooper’s original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) had intercourse with its modern remake, producing a child that was so warped by the incestuous act that it could barely function – that offspring would be Wrong Turn 4.

This latest franchise entry is consistently and utterly nonsensical from start to finish. The only moments that serve any function are the tried-and-tested genre tropes, which are delivered without the slightest sense of nostalgia or awareness. The film occasionally seems self-aware, but instead of being meta it almost feels apologetic. The whole movie feels like one long shrug of the shoulders. It’s as if the filmmakers are hoping you’ll turn off halfway through – after you’ve paid your rental, of course.

It would be harsh to poke fun at the actors on show because – let’s face it – what have they got to work with? It is worth noting, however, that in terms of acting there is no single trace. The laughable characters spend more time shedding their clothes than delivering lines. You could watch the whole sordid ordeal on mute and you’d still lose virtually nothing. Even if all you’re after is tits ‘n’ terror, you can still do a lot better than Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings.

From 23-27 August, CineVue will be reporting back from this year’s Film4 FrightFest with a bucket-load of gruesome reviews. For more of our festival coverage, simply follow this link.  

Tom Grater