Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings

After three previous Wrong Turn movies, the primary villain — the leader of the inbred cannibals who terrorized our protagonists — was finally killed. The series should have ended with the third film, but it made money and was almost kind of decent, so now we’re getting a prequel, Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings. This one shows us, well, the “bloody beginnings” of our favorite inbred hillbilly cannibals, by which the film means it shows us one scene in the opening detailing their origins, and then basically becomes a generic slasher flick with three villains killing a bunch of young adults.

After the opening, which shows them in a psychiatric hospital, breaking out, and killing everyone else there, our film fast forwards something like thirty years to the present day, when a whole bunch of university students are taking a trip up to a cabin in the hills. They have snowmobiles, skis, and are ready to have a good time. A snowstorm blows in, they get lost, and — gasp! — take a wrong turn. They wind up at this very same hospital, and decide to take shelter there, completely unaware of the horrors that went on.

I’d tell you who they all are, but their names aren’t important, they don’t have distinct personalities, and they’re all here to be murdered. The same setup was used in the second Wrong Turn film, except there were fewer of them and they were given characterization. Shallow characterization, sure, but at least you could tell them apart. The only thing I could tell about two of the characters in this film is that they were lesbians, and I only knew that because of how much of a point the filmmakers make of it.

Everyone here is cannon fodder. The cannibals will kill them, one by one, and eventually we will come down to the last couple, who either will or will not survive. Along the way, there will be a jump scare or two, lots of blood, some bad special effects, terrible dialogue, and characters who make stupid decisions, because they’re in a slasher movie and that negatively impacts the cognitive abilities of anyone involved. This more often than not includes the audience.

I figured out the most enjoyable way to watch these movies — particularly when there isn’t a designated “lead.” What you need to do is find some friends, or pretend they exist, if you don’t have any (like me), and then place bets on who you think, or hope, will survive until the end. I picked two favorites for myself, and they were two of the final three. I think I did pretty well. I didn’t care about the characters, but I cared about being right. That’s how I became invested in Wrong Turn 4.

The deaths weren’t particularly bad, either, I guess. I was being a little too jokey earlier in this review. There’s plenty of blood, at least, which I know is all a lot of people look for in these things. Some of us aspire to more of that, but then some of us also watched three previous Wrong Turn movies before this one and really shouldn’t be judging anyone else for their reasoning behind doing the same. Yes, I’m talking about myself.

I wish I could tell you that the actors were amazing, or even that they were terrible, but the truth of the matter is that the acting was perfectly serviceable and that’s about all that I can say. You won’t recognize any of them, you’re unlikely to see them in any other projects, and they’re not given a chance to stand out here. There are too many to focus on an individual, and given the genre you’re not going to get good acting anyway. But … they’re all fine, I guess.

There’s nothing particularly distinctive about Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, except to say that it’s the fourth film in this franchise, and it isn’t very good. It’s tough to tell each of the characters apart, as there’s no characterization that allows us to differentiate them from one another. The murders are … okay, I guess, so there’s that. And the acting isn’t painfully bad. But, really, there’s no point for this film to exist, except to revive the main cannibals and set them loose on another group of people.

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