The fourth installment in the 'Wrong Turn' series is meant to take fans back to the beginning. An origins story of sorts, showing where the grotesquely inbred siblings, One-Eye, Saw-Tooth and everyone's favorite, Three Finger, came from and how they got their start luring and cannibalizing lost wanderers. What we're given instead is a very brief glimpse back to when they were youngins via a prologue. And they were quite the freak show, deemed the most dangerous in an asylum for the criminally insane, or as one character strangely labels it, a sanatorium as if there were an actual distinction with sanitarium. The need to explain their family history is easily brushed off in a couple of lines.
After displaying their keen intelligence for communication and picking locks, which leads to a quirky scene of intimates taking over the asylum, we suddenly jump thirty years ahead with the hillbilly brothers fully grown and doing what they do best. Frankly, this pretty much defeats the whole purpose of an origins story since we're left clueless as to how they've survived for so long without being caught like the rest of the crazies. By setting the story proper in the winter of 2003, there's also a hint that this takes place just prior to the events in the first film. But that doesn't make much sense since halfway into the movie, the remaining survivors discover the deformed trio have been killing for a while.
Nonetheless, the script takes the usual route — while ignoring some simple logic — of introducing a good-looking group of college kids vacationing and taking a wrong turn (obviously!) somewhere along the way. Adhering closely to the clichéd formula, being young, attractive and very sexually active, to the point of showing nudity simply for the sake of it, is not the best personality combo to have in any horror movie. If you feel you fit the bill, may I suggest staying home, locking your doors permanently and never coming out for any reason? Except for the brothers, everyone is fairly eye-catching, so how do you suppose this will bode for them? And if you think that deserves a spoiler alert, then you need to watch more horror movies.
One clever twist that breaks from stereotype is having a specific, somewhat unexpected character survive at the end, which could likely be an amusingly conscious choice on the part of the filmmakers. But sadly, watching the rest of these college dolts bicker about rescuing a friend from being part of a fondue banquet — one of the more disturbing scenes of the movie — essentially takes away from any potentially smart aspects of the production. The story hits an utterly aggravating, all-time low when, without warning, one character suddenly develops scruples and convinces the gang not to kill the three misshapen cannibals when the opportunity arises. It's always that one voice of morality that stupidly ruins all the fun.
About the only thing 'Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings' has going for it is that it's not nearly as bad as the third entry. In fact, it's not that bad for a low budget, straight-to-video horror flick, but the script could have used some fine tuning. Despite placing more emphasis on the gross-out, torture effects, the movie has its moments of entertainment. Director and writer Declan O'Brien, who also directed part three and is better known for 'Sharktopus,' wisely filmed his movie inside a real abandoned mental hospital, providing an eerie atmosphere to an otherwise dull sequel. Unless one is already a fan or has been following the series, there's little interest in watching this fourth installment because honestly, it offers nothing new.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment brings 'Wrong Turn 4' to Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack and dubbed as the Unrated version. Both discs — one a DVD-9 copy of the movie while the other a Region Free, BD25 — sit comfortably on opposite sides of a blue eco case. It also comes with a glossy cardboard slipcover with the same artwork as the cover. There are no trailers or promos before being greeted by a standard main menu selection with full-motion clips and creepy sounds in the background.
Shot with digital cameras, the hillbilly cannibals return to Blu-ray with a decently strong 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode (1.85:1) that has its good along with the bad.
Immediately apparent, contrast is bland and lifeless, giving the overall picture quality a dreary look. The entire presentation looks monotone and generic although whites are very dazzling and crisp from beginning to end. Black levels are weirdly not affected by the movie's lackluster appearance, instead providing the image with lots of deep, penetrating shadows that don't ruin much of the background info. Colors are hit and miss, sometimes appearing bright and accurate, while at other times coming off completely drained and almost gray. Several scenes with blood have reds looking digitized and noticeably artificial, which can be quite distracting. The transfer's best aspect is the fine object detailing. Though minor textures, even in close-up, leave viewers somewhat wanting, the rest of the video is nicely defined with strong lines and sharp clarity in the distance.
A decent debut for a low-budget straight-to-video sequel/prequel.
On the audio side, things seem about even with the video. The DTS-HD MA soundtrack is a front-heavy presentation, which for a modern horror flick is somewhat disappointing.
Aside from the occasional musical cue very lightly bleeding into the side speakers, rear activity is mostly non-existent. Strangely enough, there are a couple scenes which seem like creepy noises should come from behind the listener, but it's pretty much dead air. Again, if not for the score, we wouldn't even know the lossless mix came with much of a soundstage since most of the presentation feels restrained to the center channel. This affects dynamic range somewhat as action sequences generally fall flat and limited, and low bass is rather anemic, used very mildly from time to time. On a positive note, however, vocals are clear and intelligible, even the brothers' grunting sounds distinct.
This high-rez track is unexciting and quickly forgotten.
'Wrong Turn 4' arrives on Blu-ray day-and-date with its DVD counterpart and with the same set of bonus features.
The third sequel in the 'Wrong Turn' series is another low-budget, straight-to-video entry with little entertainment value, but it's still an improvement over part three. An attempt at providing an origins story to the inbred siblings, it fails to really add much to the overall series aside from a brief prologue. The Blu-ray comes with average audio and video and a small collection of supplements. Unless there's already a desire to see what happens next with the hillbilly cannibals and include it in your media collection, this installment is a rental at best.