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John’s Horror Corner: Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011), the best cannibal hillbilly sequel in the franchise so far.

June 26, 2017

MY CALL:  This is an outstanding, bloody flick; just a great bad movie for horror lovers! It starts in uber-raunchy porn-script mode, but it finds its deliciously gory footing in due time and is well worth the wait.  MORE MOVIES LIKE Wrong Turn 4: Bloody BeginningsWell, of course, you need to go back to Wrong Turn (2003; the best one), maybe Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007; more silly but fun), but probably skip Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009).  More to try include The Hills Have Eyes 1-2 (1977, 1984, 2006, 2007), Just Before Dawn (1981), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) will all continue to satisfy the hillbilly horror subgenre, and then maybe Cabin Fever 1-3 (2002-2014) for the gore hounds.

Director Declan O’Brien (Cyclops, Sharktopus, Wrong Turn 3-5) returns for his second Wrong Turn sequel to reveal the origins of our favorite inbred hillbilly cannibals.  Everything started with Three Finger (Sean Skene; Channel Zero), One Eye (Tristan Carlucci; Channel Zero) and Sawtooth (Scott Johnson), whom we first met in Wrong Turn (2003) but now meet as kids in 1974.  Incarcerated residents of a Greenbriar, West Virginia sanitarium, these boys were born with advanced congenital analgesia, resulting in their inability to feel pain.  I guess that actually makes some sense of their superhuman behavior in these movies…and maybe Michael Myers as well.

Fast-forward to 2003.  Heading out for a winter retreat to a family cabin, nine college students take a wrong turn and snowmobile out of cell reception to the now abandoned mental hospital in the snowy mountains.  Oh, and of course, a blizzard abounds to maroon them in flesh-eating Deliverance.

Right off the bat, we know this is a “bad movie” for sure.  It might turn out to be a lot of fun, but it’s bad.  Meet our co-eds: Kenia (Jennifer Pudavick; Faces in the Crowd, Wishmaster 3-4), Sara (Tenika Davis; Saw VI), Bridget (Kaitlyn Leeb; Total Recall, Wolves, Bitten), Jenna (Terra Vnesa; 5ive Girls, Goosebumps), Lauren (Ali Tataryn; Curse of Chucky, Silent Night), Claire (Samantha Kendrick; The Exorcism of Molly Hartley), Kyle (Victor Zinck, Jr.; Grave Encounters 2), Vincent (Sean Skene; Channel Zero) and Daniel (Dean Armstrong; Heroes Reborn, Saw 3D, Joy Ride 3).  Of, course, they’re all good-looking like they were plucked from a J Crew catalog. As we get to know them, their dialogue is atrocious.  These twenty-somethings talk like they’re reading porn screenplays…and even act like it.  There’s a lot of nudity and some rather graphic sex scenes.

From the opening sequence I knew this would be better than Left for Dead (2009) and at least as fun as Dead End (2007; which was trashy but playfully gory).  The scenes exude a sophomoric atmosphere, as if Axe Body Spray produced this raunchy film that spot-lights its tropes with a “let’s explore” here to “great, we’re out of weed” there and throw in a “sex scene on an old mental hospital bed.”  The guys try to joke their way into partner swaps and threesomes until the body count starts to accumulate.

The gore is abundant and, despite a moderately low budget, quite entertaining.  The dismemberment in the opening sequence was a feisty little number, the delightfully gory barbed wire noose scene offers a solid mix of fun and tension, and then there was the butchering scene… yikes!  Our mutant rednecks engage in some skin-peeling torture, just slowly flaying and yanking his skin off while the dude was still alive.  It was legitimately tough to watch, but ooooooh did I adore it!  This was graphic, brutal, visceral…even a bit giggly—a solid cruelly playful nod to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986). Definitely in contention for best death scene of the franchise along with the epic Kelly Clarkson death scene in Dead End (2007), that poor guy from Left for Dead (2009) and Emmanuelle Chriqui’s death in Wrong Turn (2003).

Here are the best Wrong Turn kills (top to bottom) of 2003, 2007 and 2009…

The quality of the kills is high for the hillbilly horror subgenre.  The writing might be terrible, yet this sequel manages to do the franchise honor!  You’ll feel more fun than fear, but you’ll wince and reel about as often as you gasp with a smile.  I thought Declan O’Brien did a piss poor job with Left for Dead (2009), but he might have learned from some of his mistakes.  I’m putting this right up there with the original Wrong Turn (2003) in raw entertainment value.  It’s clearly a sillier approach, but it’s up there.  And even if you consider Wrong Turn (2003) a “bad movie,” this is a “badder movie.”  But it’s a really good “badder movie.”  LOL.  Enjoy.

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