It's true. Those inbred, cannibalistic mutant brothers are up to their old sadistic tricks again in Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, due on DVD October 17th. A prequel to the 2003's horror film Wrong Turn, this frightening installment features a group of young friends on a seemingly carefree snowmobile trip. When a violent storm causes them to lose their way and go off the beaten path, the gang is forced to hole up in a run-down, Shining-esque building. That's not perhaps not the brightest idea, as unfortunately, it also happens to be the stomping grounds for the murderous Three Finger, Saw Tooth and One Eye.
Back in March, FEARnet braved some bitter minus-40 degree weather to visit the Wrong Turn 4 set, located two hours outside of Winnipeg, Canada, in an abandoned asylum, formerly known as the Brandon Mental Health Care Centre. There, the crew was busy prepping for one of the movie's more graphic scenes. This time around, director Declan O'Brien, who also helmed Wrong Turn 3, is going for the jugular with a franchise-record-breaking number of victims to dispatch.
"The hardest thing was pacing back and forth, thinking about how to kill people," he notes during a quick break. "'No, I can't do that! It's been done.' It's kinda hard to come up with something new at this point because there's been so many. I killed seven people last time and there's nine new ones. I had an egg slicer last time that didn't quite work practically, so we had to put lousy CGI in. In this one, the kills are 99 percent practical."
So far, mission accomplished. From the balcony above the asylum's auditorium, it was easy to observe today's shocking events unfold. The remaining characters - Daniel (Dean Armstrong), Sara (Tenika Davis), Claire (Samantha Kendrick), Kenia (Jennifer Pudavick), Jenna (Terra Vnesa), Bridget (Kaitlyn Wong), and Kyle (Victor Zinck Jr.) - have all piled into a large, open room to discuss the disappearance of a friend and some unsettling signs they may not be alone. Then.....BOOM! A jacket-wrapped object hurled from the shadows of the stage rolls across the floor until it stops a mere few feet away from them. Terrified, the group reluctantly inches towards the mysterious bundle, where a trembling Kenia kneels down to unwrap it. Needless to say, it's not a gift basket. As their missing friend's decapitated head and vacant eyes are exposed, Kenia's loud screams hit like a tidal wave.
After a few ear-splitting encores, we are invited to move onto the empty stage. From this vantage point, the stunned and horrified friends flinch and withdraw, but as one member stumbles backwards a little too much, the brutal brothers seize the opportunity to claim another target. As a barbed-wire noose is lowered around Claire's neck and she is violently yanked upwards, her boyfriend Kyle scrambles to grab her legs and pull her down to safety. Claire struggles in mid-air, with blood beginning to gush and yes, there's even more screaming, as well as choking sounds, as the sharp makeshift lariat tightens. According to the detailed storyboards at the side of the stage, it doesn't end well for the pretty blonde, but it's probably the most elaborate death sequence with stunt work this reporter has ever witnessed.
"This stuff freaks me out, like watching Claire being hung today," notes Zinck Jr. about the intense demise. "Mine was a bit easier because it was more CG, but seeing the head today was hard for me. They did such a good job in the prosthetics."
Shortly after, a grinning Zinck Jr. is being drenched from head to toe in scarlet, sticky "level three Carrie blood." It appears all of Claire's bodily fluids found a new home. Obviously, Wrong Turn 4 isn't skimping on the gore. Meanwhile, some of the Canadian cast is chit-chatting in another room, where they are only too happy to spill their guts.
"Lauren is the girl at the beginning of the movie who makes the decision of ‘I'm not staying here with these crazy people! I'm going to go search for help and get the police,'" reveals Ali Tataryn. "To do that, I have to go against the elements. In the movie, while you're watching everyone freak out and go through all of this, part of you wants to say ‘Well, just leave.' But you're in the middle of nowhere, so where are you going to go? Ultimately, I get very, very cold and have to camp out. My character is the reminder of why they are going through everything, because something else like this could happen."
There's plenty of those kinds of character tidbits, along with major spoilers about their messy deaths. Yet rather than simply contribute to the mounting body count, the gang desperately rally, snatch whatever is available, and eventually strike back against their deformed attackers.
"I hate horror movies where it's just slice and dice and nobody fights back," says O'Brien. "What would you do? You would fight back! You'd find weapons and try to fight back. We have them fight back and lock them up. Of course, the guys get out because they know where the hairpin from 1974 when they were children was."
The girls clearly outnumber the guys in Wrong Turn 4, so it's no shock the last man standing is actually a woman. That certainly isn't a bad thing, and one actress was extremely pleased they got to kick some ass.
"It's a sign of the times and where things are going," offers Davis. "We're not taking a back seat to men. We're picking up arms and shooting guns. If you look at movies right now, you have a lot of Angelina Jolies and Milla Jovoviches. There are a lot of characters out there doing the exact same thing we are doing in this movie. I think it's freaking awesome, just to be able to take that empowering role. I don't pick up a gun in this movie. I'm actually wielding a fire poker all throughout it. We're busting through tunnels and running down halls with the men. We're fighting the killers, so it's a great opportunity."
O'Brien also wanted to introduce a moral element. Once the brothers have been captured, should they be tortured and slaughtered like their prey were?
"Can somebody talk you into killing somebody?" asks O'Brien. "At a certain time and mental place where you are, you won't, and then later you will. That got interesting."
On top of the carnage, fans of the franchise will be treated to some back story on Three Finger, Saw Tooth and One Eye, including how they came about and where they lived. It's these details that excite the diehard viewers and why this family of ghouls has remained so endearing.
"It's strange," concludes O'Brien. "It's a brother story! My Three Sons! [People] can really relate to that! They love the characters that Stan Winston created. I'm really proud of [special makeup designer] Doug Morrow on this piece. He's taken us straight back to what Stan's work looked like. These guys look better than in 2 or 3."