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Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (Blu-ray Review)

Don’t ask me why, but I have just concluded reading some prose from William Shakespeare.  Anyone familiar with his writing knows that he liked to write in metaphors.  One such line I just read goes like this, “I cannot do it; yet I’ll hammer it out.”  That’s exactly how us, as reviewers, feel from time-to-time when we are forced with deadlines, an overwhelming amount of material to cover or simply the lack of desire to talk about a particular title we hate.  But Shakespeare is right.  Despite the adverse feeling that grinds mentally in your skull like the gears of your automatic transmission failing, you just have to bear the load, find the “strength to endure” and carry on.  You have to find that proverbial Thor’s hammer and just conquer with it.  And so ladies and gentlemen…that’s exactly what I’m doing here.  I’m laying waste to the land and conquering this review. I hope you all agree with everything I have to say.  Come on.  Let’s get started.  We have a vast amount of land to cover in such a small window of time, but if we work together…we can accomplish anything we put our minds to.

Film  

Just what the world needed.  Tell me.  Who woke up today and said you know what, the world would be a better place if we had a prequel to the Wrong Turn trilogy?  Who in their right mind would even think that?  Well ladies and gentlemen, that’s exactly why we are congregated here today.  Someone did just that.  All I can muster to say is why oh Lord, why?

At least someone took math classes when they were making this.  They spared us, the viewing audience, from a theatrical release.  There is a God!  Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings is the fourth installment in the Wrong Turn horror/slasher franchise.  It serves as a prequel to the previous three titles.  It also serves as an example of a movie that should never have been made, but I digress.  The movie comes straight to us via DVD/Blu-ray disc on October 25th, but I will leave it up to you whether or not it’s worth your effort to bother marking your calendars.

So yeah, Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings enables viewers to discover the disturbing origins and bloody beginnings of Three Finger and his family of hillbilly cannibals.  I read a review of Paranormal Activity 3 recently that made a really good point.  It said that when a movie is scary, is it really necessary that we know the origin of that evil, but instead just embrace in the celebration of being entertained?  I’m paraphrasing a bit, but you get the point.  The simple answer is no.  It is not always necessary or wise to tell your audience the origin of the villain unless you want to convey some sort of sympathy for them, but trust me, that is not the case here.  Some tales or origin stories are better left untold.

With the exception of actor Dean Armstrong, the cast consists of a bunch of unknowns, although some of them are really pretty.  Director Declan O’Brien helmed the project.  His credits consist of Wrong Turn 3 and Sharktopus.  Should I even say more?  Probably the absolute coolest thing about this movie is the fact that it was shot in an abandoned mental hospital near Winnipeg.  I’ll talk a little more about that in a few.

The film opens up in the best year that ever existed on this planet, 1974, and we are introduced to the patients of Glenville Sanatorium, most notably the three hideously deformed cannibal brothers.  Reluctantly, we even see how these patients got out.  If you should watch this, remember the escape scene as it produces just a wee bit of movie magic some years later.  You will understand after you suffer through it like I did.  Anyway, where were we?  Oh yeah!  So let’s fast-forward to 2003.  A group of college kids (consisting of two really go-at-it lesbians) are having the time of their lives when suddenly…SHRIEK…OH NO…they make a “wrong turn.”  Due to the harsh winter conditions, they seek refuge in this abandoned medical ward they come across.  Basically, they give the cannibal brothers new prey to eat because their curiosity got the best of them.  By that I mean…they had to explore.  Come on!  Really?  You are in an abandoned sanitarium and you want to explore the huge place by yourself?  You probably deserve to die.  So it all comes down to this.  The group of college kids must learn how to kill or be killed.  Who do you think wins?  Anyone smell a fifth installment?

Oh, let me count the ways in which I feel this movie was really bad.  Do you really want to hear?  Wow!  Where should I even begin?  I know, let’s begin with the ever-changing script on this film.  I will talk a little more about the ever-changing part later, but for now let’s focus on the story.  As I sat there to watch this I came to the realization that hey, my stories are not even this bad.  I must be doing something right.  Most of the time, the actors just stood there like wooden cutouts and when they spoke, well let’s just say I would have preferred them to just stand there and smile, especially the pretty ones.  This was your typical slasher film, nothing more and nothing less.  There was nothing original or genre breaking about this film. Thank God I love this genre or that film score above would have been a lot lower.  However, I will have to admit this, there were some gross-out moments to be found here so I applaud the filmmakers on that.  I just got done watching A Serbian Film before this and I can’t tell which one was worse, seeing cannibals eat and cook human flesh here or seeing Milos skull…oh okay…I need to keep this rated PG.  You know what I am saying.  Horror fans might eat this movie up, but for those looking for something with a little more substance, as I said in my Serbian Film review, there’s always Sean Ferguson’s Lion King over here.

Video  

Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings hits the Blu-ray format with a murky AVC MPEG-4 presentation framed in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  Unfortunately, there’s not too much to write home about here.  Although the image is clear and clean of any annoying artifacts or noise, extreme sharpness and clarity are two qualities it never exhibits.  Although it’s leaps and bounds above the botched transfer of the first film on the Blu-ray format, Wrong Turn 4 never gave me that Blu-ray wow factor at any time during its 93-minute runtime.  And for that I must find fault.  I want to fault the dark sequences throughout.  Because of the shadows, we never get that crisp digital attack, just ominous and gloom.  When we’re outside, it’s a completely different story, but inside the walls of the sanitarium, let’s just say I wish things were darker.  And by that I mean, deeper black levels.  Quite frankly, I say chalk this one up to the movie itself.  It’s not the greatest feature you have ever seen, so why would you want to see a stellar video package wasted here?  It’s a slasher film.  It’s supposed to be murky, right?

Audio  

When you read that Wrong Turn 4 touts a DTS 5.1 HD- Master Audio surround track your ears immediately imagine a loud sonic boom with bullets spraying all around you putting you in the middle of the feature’s soundstage.  I’m sorry to burst your bubble or daydreams of audio bliss, but that’s just not the case here.  When it comes to horror films and scaring viewers, effective use of the rear channels is a necessity and sadly, they are hardly ever deployed or called upon here.  I had to really struggle to hear anything coming from those rear channels.  I’m broken hearted in this category.  The only positive thing I really have to say is ra ra…I can hear the dialogue clearly throughout.  I’m not sure whom or what’s to blame here.   Perhaps, maybe someone should have kept a more watchful eye and ear on the sound mixer.  That’s my two cents.

Special Features  

Not that you need to know, but I probably got off more so by watching the special features on this Blu-ray disc, than the actual movie itself.  I have to admit, the filmmaker in me was quite curious about the behind-the-scenes making of this film, in particularly the kill scenes due in part to the ominous low budget they had to work with for this feature.  So instead of me telling you all my inner-geek thoughts regarding this production, let’s just dissect (a proper word to use when talking about the delicacy of cannibalism) all the extras you will find on this single layer Blu-ray disc before I lose your attention.  After all, I only have ten pages to make a good first impression.  I don’t want to waste them!

  • Feature Commentary – Director Declan O’Brien chimes in on the making of the film.  Ironically, I think this is the first time I will ever say this, but I think I actually enjoyed this film more while listening to this witty and engaging commentary than I did without it.  Wow!  I never thought I would ever say that before.
  • Director’s Die-aries (HD, 7:37) – These short clips capture the frigid temperatures the cast and crew endured in Winnipeg as well as some snow mobile fun.  And you know what?  That does look like fun!
  • Making Another Wrong Turn (HD, 12:36) – This little doc talked about the origins of the three cannibal brothers, the makeup and F/X, the cold temperatures again, the lack of production money they had, the fact that they had to wrap everything in an unheard of 19 days and that writing the script was very difficult because they were constantly challenged with having to find new ways to kill cast members off.
  • Lifestyles of the Sick and Infamous (HD, 5:13) – Although it’s only five minutes in length, this was probably the coolest special feature for me as it talked about the fact that they actually shot the movie in an abandoned mental institution built in the 1800’s.  How cool!  Everything from the shock therapy machines to the office supplies was authentic.  The cast reflected on how the spooky place enhanced their performances.   I don’t know about that one (insert wink), but it certainly makes things quite interesting as a spectator.  I also found the following point quite interesting as a screenwriter and have fallen prey to this before too.  Declan talked about how the script would change as they found new rooms to use during the production.  I guess the whole auditorium scene was completely unplanned.  Again…what a cool, but hazardous way to shoot!
  • Music Video (HD, 3:24) – Here we have a music video that features The Black Out City Kids playing along to clips of the movie.  I would suggest only watching if you are a fan of the ending credits song.  But depending on how much you liked the movie or not, you might be a big fan of the ending credits song.  Laugh out loud.
  • DVD Copy (SD) – Congratulations!  Here’s your drink coaster.

Final Thoughts  

So we have come to the shocking conclusion of this Blu-ray review where I’m supposed to tell you to either plop down your hard earned money for this title, go to your nearest rental kiosk or completely disregard the feature altogether.  Wow!  I’ll tell you.  That’s a lot of pressure on me.  Where’s my Thor hammer?  Oh, here it is.  And here’s my final judgment or decree I’m handing down.  If you are a fan of ALL three of the previous Wrong Turn titles, then by all means, click the pre-order link below and wait impatiently on your doorstep for it to be delivered.  However, if you are just a casual fan of the franchise, like me, or have never even seen of the previous installments, then please do yourself and Hollywood a big favor by screaming at the top of your lungs in synchronous with me when I exclaim…RENTAL ONLY.  Thanks guys!  It’s been real.

Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings debuts on Blu-ray October 25th!

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

4 Responses to “Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Instead of these Wrong Turn movies, people should see Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, the hilarious satire that’s a play on the hillbilly horror movie subgenre.

  2. Gerard Iribe

    I’d rather watch these Wrong Turn movies. Hillbilly humor is grating.

  3. Brian White

    I agree with Gerard. I don’t like horror spoofs like Twilight.

  4. Aaron Neuwirth

    It’s more clever than you think and really gorey.