Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings


  The most impressive thing about Wrong Turn 4, besides it's great practical gore effects, is how it manages to make me despise a group of 20-something party brats more than the bunch of vicious convicts from the previous movie. They're almost as annoying as the 'rookie soldiers' from The Hills Have Eyes 2. They're nothing but obnoxious sex machines. I couldn't care less about who lived or died, save for maaaybe two characters. Also, just like The Hills Have Eyes 2, this is a movie that punishes intelligent thought. When a character suggests playing it safe, or being logical, everyone scoffs at him like he's an idiot. These aren't just college brats, these are stupid college brats. Imagine for a moment how fast a movie like this would be over if the characters were actually smart?

  In the first few movies, the scenarios were set up in a way that it didn't matter how smart the protagonists are, they only had one course of action available to them, ergo... But, this movie plays to almost every single cliche imaginable, at least for the first half. There's much more to like about this one than the previous one. It actually has an atmosphere, and a seriously creepy one at that. Due in no small part to the fact it takes place in a mostly-abandoned sanatorium. Firstly though, the movie has a fantastic opening. Lets just say the crazies get let loose in the crazy-house. It's freaky, creepy, disturbing, and properly gory. Even though there's a huge lull of uninteresting crap after that for a good lengthy third of the mood, the movie picks up soon enough and bodies start dropping left and right.

  There's one scene in here that seems to break people, a really really stupid part where all the characters make a collectively stupid decision which causes nothing but more inevitable death and mayhem. Yeah, it is a pretty dumb scene but these characters are poorly written to begin with. The scene was annoying, but the movie is full of predictable nonsense like this. This particular scene was just par for course. None of the characters really edge out as more interesting than any of the others, and overall they're all fairly boring. I did feel a twinge of sympathy for a few of them here and there, but that's because of the horrifically gruesome nature of their demises. Which are the highlights of the movie.

  If Freddy Krueger has his knife-glove and Jason has his machete, the hillbillies in the Wrong Turn movies have barbed wire. While nothing here is as creative as their spring/winch trap in the previous one, they still use plenty of barbed wire to slice, dice, rip and maim their victims in various ways. It's quite creative at times and perfectly gruesome. There's also a white-knuckle scene in which one of the protagonists is strapped to a table while the hillbillies slice chunks of his skin off, and eat pieces of him while he's forced to watch. There's also some graphic goriness at the hands of a massive industrial drill that one of the hillbilly's wields.

  The movie is rarely dull after the halfway point, and is full of enough action, gore, and general gruesomeness to keep an undemanding genre fan entertained. I enjoyed the setting and the story a lot more here than in the previous. Despite rolling my eyes at the retarded nature of the characters early on, though thankfully... they got a lot more bearable as the movie progressed. The opening, while short, actually provides a lot of interesting backstory to the three recurring cannibal hillbillies. It's enough to flesh them out a bit more without giving too much away. There's still a fair bit of mystery to them.

  The atmosphere, the fantastic gore effects, and a handful of creative scenes contribute to a fairly grisly and creepy vibe overall- which helps when all is said and done. I think this one had more potential than it cared to exploit, but for a direct to video effort, it wasn't bad. It's by no means a good movie, but it's better than the third one at least. It was entertaining in it's own basic way. As a guilty pleasure fan of the franchise thus far, I can safely say this was decent. It's not awful, but it is sometimes silly and stupid. If you can suffer that, and are still interested, you might find a decent little bloodbath here.

  It's not as good as 1 or 2, but those were exceptional flicks. Wrong Turn 4 is fun but not necessarily... good. It can qualify as a decent guilty pleasure if you're a fan of the genre, I can't imagine anyone else getting much enjoyment out of it. Recommended if you're making your way through the franchise, or are starving for more content from the genre.

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