I am hardly a Wrong Turn aficionado. Although I have now seen all four in the horror/hillbilly/cannibal franchise, I can only remember bits and pieces of the first one, I remember not liking the second one, and I recall that the third one opened with a good kill but then slid into mediocrity.
So when Wrong Turn 4 was offered to me, I wasn’t exactly jumping up and down like a 6-year-old on Christmas morning. I prepared myself for a mindless romp of deformed inbred hillbillies hurting, hunting and hungering for some young cute fodder that happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the fun I actually had while watching the third sequel in an already weak franchise.
Wrong Turn 4 doesn’t have a story as much as it has a premise. A bunch of cannibalistic hillbillies have overrun the sanatorium that was their prison. The staff are grotesquely tortured and killed and the opening chapter offers an array of chaos in the hospital hallways all set to classical music.
Fade to black and then we meet a group of sexed-up friends who while on a skiing/snowmobiling trip take a wrong turn (wink wink nod nod) and end up taking refuge in the sanatorium while a major winter storm bares down on them.
If we need to tell you what happens next then you really must see more horror movies and you should stop reading this right now and go out and rent yourself any 5 to 10 slasher titles to get acquainted with the clichés that fill a plot while characters offer some of the dumbest solutions to ensuring their survival.
Wrong Turn 4 does nothing to elevate it above the clichés and borderline retarded decision making. But the surprise is, it really doesn’t matter.
Writer/director Declan O’Brien doesn’t try to reinvent the genre or even the franchise for that matter. But the director of Sharktopus knows what audiences who throw Wrong Turn 4 into their DVD players will be looking for. Boobs, blood and bodies. And Wrong Turn 4 offers much of each.
There is no CGI blood involved here (ok, one scene, but it was forgiveable). Just old fashioned red liquid that drowns your television in an arterial spray of bloodiness. An opening scene were a doctor gets his arms and legs pulled off with barbed wire through a decapitation of a particular blonde character that had us audibly yelling “fuck ya’” at the television screen, O’Brien knows his audience and caters nicely.
The same can be said for the film’s nudity. The women of the film are comprised of sexpots and lesbians and before the group even gets to sanatorium that will seal most of their fates, we get plenty of boobs and ass that give the average horror movie that extra ‘ummph’.
As aforementioned, there is nothing new to be found in Wrong Turn 4. People are picked off one by one and just when the good guys get the upper hand, they do something stupid to give back the advantage to the crazy homicidal ones.
Still, for reasons that we will likely regret in 2 years when someone revisits our review and reminds us that we gave favor to Wrong Turn 4, we enjoyed the experience for both its brutality and its simplicity. It won’t have us scouring the internet for news on any Wrong Turn 5 developments, but the experience was not one that had us wanting to gauge our own eyes out, and considering that’s what we felt with Saw 4, Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Hellraiser 4 and Halloween 4, that says something.