Surprisingly, though it veers off from the first movie quite a bit, the fourth Wrong Turn film is an improvement over the third. Strange as it may seem and for whatever reason, the third sequel of the franchise managed to up its game a little and end up being somewhat more entertaining than Dead End could ever be. Given the title, one would naturally think that this was an origin film for that first family of mutated people that started the series off, but in fact that would not turn out to be the case. Instead, while there was an origin for the villains in the film, it was for an entirely different set of deformed killers, this group taking residence in a sanatorium up in West Virginia after killing the rest of the staff and assumedly, most of the patients. Also, it would not be a Wrong Turn film without some hapless bystanders wandering in and making themselves look like a delicious meal to which the aforementioned monsters decide to avail themselves of.
It is hard to say just what it is that makes this movie so much better than the last. Perhaps it was a change of setting that was needed, for it takes place primarily indoors and because of that, ends up being slightly claustrophobic as everyone is confined within the sanatorium with no way to escape. Another reason could be chalked up to the increased amount of nudity by a plethora of guys and gals or the way the kills seemed to be slightly crueler and a little more vicious. There was still a lack of characterization present, the film venturing further into slasher territory than ever before and thus the characters being fodder for the killers who had more personality than any of the protagonists. Interestingly enough, the backstory was decent and it would have been nice to see it expanded upon and a movie made out of that instead of just more of the same. As it is, the producers must have thought the old adage, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ applied to this film and the series in general, as long as they keep pulling in dollars that is.
All in all though, a good time was to be had watching this horror flick. Sure, the acting was not the greatest and the makeup/effects were not as good as previous films, but it had a certain something that kept a person watching despite there being better things to do with one’s life. A surprising effort in the franchise which gets the imagination wondering what could be next, though more than likely, it will be more of the same.
2.5 out of 5