Directed by: Declan O’Brian
Tut, tut, tut… Twentieth Century Fox… You bastards. Tut, tut, tut, Declan O’Brian. Despite the fact that I every now and then can enjoy franchise fare –which in more than one way is the elevator muzak of horror cinema – it really rubs me the wrong way on occasions because of it’s predictability, ridicule and wafer thin plots. Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings is one such movie, and although I try not to trash movies here, I just have to give a few pointers as to why I feel this one didn’t’ really make it work.
Being part four in an on-going franchise, which basically rips off The Hills Have Eyes and sticks it in a slightly different context, naming this entry “Bloody Beginnings” is a goddamned joke. The movie opens with a short “way back in 1974” pre-title sequence where two doctors gawk the caged up freaks, and gives minimal insight into the three disfigured inbreeds known as the “Hilliker Brothers”. A hand full of dialogue lines are strewn about and then as through magic – or a stolen hair pin – the boogeymen break out, release the other freaks, and slaughter the Doctors… Then it’s rapidly back to 2000now, and I’m still waiting for the bloody beginnings as a few lines of dialogue, some gory effects and torture machines constructed by what I thought where inbred freaks, not rocket scientists, don’t’ really give any insight into the genesis of the Hilliker brothers at all. Hell, at least Platinum Dunes had the decency to try giving some insight into the tormented life of young Leatherface in their shit feast Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning - didn't work, but they tried. The main question is why the hell do we need to explain evil every goddamned time? Don't you think the horror would be even deeper if you didn't know WHY?
Then credits, and there’s a fast cut to not one, but two couples fucking. One heterosexual and the other, which is most likely supposed to shock us in the way it’s shot and edited, is a homosexual couple. Oh, lesbians, not gays, gays would be way too alienating for the conventional genre audience.
Guess what, they buzzing from post coital buzz when clueless Kenia [Jenny Pudavick] stomps into the room telling them to get ready for their weekend in the woods, without making a single remark about the four naked people or the rancid musky smell that must linger in that room.
Further ridicule is added to the “plot” when one of the gang members has a premonition that something bad will happen… or was he the only one to pay attention to the weather report that flagged for sudden shock snowstorms?
Following a shitty snow scooter sequence – which has the leading lady Pudavick – grinning moronically as if she’s in a Tampax commercial – the gang in an attempt to avoid the storm by taking the wrong trail – doh, never saw that one coming – and when they are midst white out, they bump into the abandoned – but strangely still heated – Glenville Sanatorium of the opening sequence. They bunk up for the night, find a couple of bottles of thirty year old whiskey and then oh my fucking god, the obligatory “do any of you guys have cell coverage” moment! I have to force myself from ramming my note pen right into my eye as to never have to sit through another by the book generic horror flick ever again. Why, oh why do we need to have cell coverage scenes in every fucking movie? You loose me completely at that point.
Stereotypical characters – such as the lesbian couple who despite what’s going on, make out and have it off at least three times during the ninety minute film, dorky pot smoking dudes, third base girlfriends, nerdy guy and quirky virginal heroine hardly create empathy for any of the characters what so ever, and make’s the movie feel agonisingly tedious for long times. When shit hit’s the fan – almost 40 minutes in – it becomes routinely run, run, run, chase, chase, chase, where ever second scene feels like a “Oh you go that way, I’ll go this way”, “If we split up we hold a better chance of finding blah, blah…” you get the picture. It’s as if the screenwriters never watched Wes Craven’s Scream, because all the jokes he was shooting off where aimed at the bullshit which had become generic horror!
There’s never a real moment where it lands and generates emotions for anyone at all, and something that really felt out of place was the melancholic music every time a character dies… strange, and totally out of place, as I still don’t give a fuck about them, and this far in they are merely lambs to the slaughter and I want to see them die terrifying deaths. At best it feels like a gory episode of Scooby Doo, and perhaps this is why the sudden quick-fix ending doesn’t really do anything for me either. The only thing missing is that the gang – the few left – round up the inbred monsters, rip off their masks and reveal Dr. McQuaid from the opening segment to be the real villain! Zoinks Scooby!
Special effects are pretty cool, the mutants look awesome, and even pass close-up in strong light scrutiny. In line with the Scooby-Doo referent, the blood flows almost cartoonish, and albeit being violent and supposedly sensitive scenes – thanks melancholic music cue! - many of them are right out funny, which I guess they should be. After all this is all about escapism in more than one-way.
Despite the pie-tossing above, and my annoyance of arrogant, insulting filmmaking, yeah, I find it arrogant, as said this is what gives genre films a bad rep, the cooperate hotdog factory of terror turds, I’m sure that Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings will find it’s prime audience. I’m not the target for generic horror anymore, it was way over two decades ago I was in that niche. After all if you want a few shots of tits’n’ass, water thin plot that plays by all the rules and conventions, shallow characters and a lot of cheap jump scares, some really cool and brutal special effects, then you know that this move is right up your street… which is why Wrong Turn 5: Bloodbath is already slated and Doug Bradley is supposed to star… "Jesus wept!"... wait, that's another franchise they took to hell already isn't it?