“Wrong Turn 4” (a prequel this time) delivers absolutely no surprises whatsoever, and is mostly an exercise in which the filmmakers seem to be saying, “Hey, watch how we kill THIS uninteresting character.” I think that as sort-of a compliment, because in the gore department, this one delivers. Just don’t expect much in the way of originality or suspense.
It helps if you’re already a fan of the series (why else would you be reading?). Personally, I never cared for the first film, but was pleasantly surprised by “Wrong Turn 2: Dead End.” That one put a fun spin on the premise, featured a few spectacular death scenes and a terrific scenery-chewing performance by none-other than Henry Rollins. Admittedly, I never watched the third one, but do not feel my life is incomplete because of that.
And prior viewing isn’t really a prerequisite for “Wrong Turn 4,” which is yet-another ‘origin’ story. That’s usually a sign a franchise is out of ideas, and horror prequels are seldom very effective from a narrative standpoint, since the outcome is always a forgone conclusion. “Wrong Turn 4” is no exception. We already know these inbred hillbillies will live to kill again. This film offers a slightly different (though not very original) setting, a abandoned hospital. But other than that, it’s business as usual. The performances are adequate, but the only concern we have for the dumb college kids to wander into this hospital is how (not if) they meet their demise.
If carnage is what the viewer wants, mission accomplished. The death scenes are well-executed and extremely graphic. At the very least, the filmmakers (the FX artists in particular) earned their paychecks. And admittedly, for a film that has no real reason to exist (was anyone REALLY pining for a “Wrong Turn” origins story?), it’s reasonably fast-paced and seldom boring.
I think this series has run its course, but that probably won’t stop the inevitable “Wrong Turn 5” from oozing onto video shelves in a year or two. For that, I humbly suggest they launch these hillbillies into space. Hey, it worked for Jason Voorhees.
Blu-ray and DVD Extras:
* Fox trailers.
* 14 deleted scenes.
* “Wrong Turn 4” music video with The Blackout City Kids.
*”Director’s Die-Ary’s”- Nearly 8 minutes of director Declan O’Brien’s video diaries. He mainly just takes footage on set and interviews various cast and crew members.
* “Lifestyles Of The Sick And Infamous”- A featurette about the Brandon Mental Health Centre (where “Wrong Turn 4” was shot).
* “Making Another Wrong Turn”- Discussions about the origin of the 3 brothers, the script, the F/X, shooting in cold weather, etc.
* Commentary by director Declan O’Brien and producer Brett Levinson. Lots of chatter about directing, shooting locations, set stories, etc. Worth a listen if you dig the film.
Of course, MST3K is always fun, and this episode, featuring the 1964 stinker, “The Atomic Brain,” is no exception. But why is Shout! Factory is choosing to rerelease episodes that have been available on DVD for years?
Actually, I probably already know the answer to that. This episode was originally part of a boxed set (Volume 3) back when Rhino Home Video was still putting them out and is now out of print (a new copy currently costs $133 on Amazon). So I guess I kind of understand the rationale. But it is also very likely that only die-hard fans (are their any other kind?) would find MST3K episodes worth buying, and probably already own the original DVDs, anyway. I think most ‘misties’ would rather Shout! Factory work on putting out the episodes which have still never seen the light of day on home video.
Plus, this single disc (like other episodes recently released) contains no extras of any kind. Just the film, preceded by the hilarious short, “What About Juvenile Delinquency?”. So if you already have the Volume 3 Rhino set, there is absolutely no reason you’ll need this. Still, it is good disc for the budget-minded, and a very funny episode.