It's astounding to think that the Wrong Turn series has made it to number four, with a fifth film already in production, especially considering that only the second one - which focused on comedy and exaggerated gore - was really any good. While it doesn't take itself too seriously - evident from an opening flashback in which the cannibalistic hillbillies violently escape from a mental asylum, set to the Blue Danube Waltz - Wrong Turn 4 is another braindead sequel peppered with horrendous dialogue and dreadful performances. As a group of beautiful youngsters retreat to the confines of said mental asylum when beset by a blizzard, they unwittingly place themselves on the hillbillies' dinner menu, but we have to sit through a good half-hour of predictable jump scares, dull preambles and juvenile clowning around before the antagonists even show up and start munching away. Particularly surprising this time is the general lack of gore, and when it does appear, it's most often accentuated with terrible CGI, as was true of the last film. The script is the worst offender, showing absolute contempt for the audience, having the characters split up, and express idiotic morals, notably as the protagonist suggests that killing the cannibals would only bring them down to their level of debasement. Of course, moments later, she abandons this ideal as services the plot - for an extremely contrived bait-and-switch - and the whole thing just feels poorly smattered together without much thought. Given that this film is a prequel to the others, this character's asinine actions - in not killing the hillbillies when they have the chance - also sets up every pour soul to get slaughtered in the subsequent films. There is perhaps one inspired moment, as the hillbillies slowly cut away and cook one of the teens, even cooking some potatoes and onions for human kebabs, but the thoroughly dumb characters make it difficult to sympathise with anyone at all; they frequently wait while the enemy approaches, run back into danger to grab weapons, and director Declan O'Brien appears to have little grasp on where his various characters end up. At the end of the day, though, one has to wonder why Frightfest bothered subjecting us to this at all when it's released on DVD this coming Monday anyway... Wrong Turn 4 is among the worst and most insultingly asinine horror films ever made. Check back tomorrow when we'll have reviews for a selection of films from day four, including co-director Jaume Balaguero's latest, Sleep Tight, as well as the much-hyped Berberian Sound Studio, and the Ethan Hawke-starring Sinister.
Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.