I recently got the chance to talk to director Declan O’Brien about his new film, ‘Wrong Turn 4’. Here, Declan talks about the latest instalment in the ‘Wrong Turn’ franchise and what it was like working with the cast and crew in an abandoned mental hospital…
Hey Declan. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about the newest instalment in the ‘Wrong Turn’ franchise, ‘Wrong Turn 4’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
‘Wrong Turn 4’ starts out back in 1974 where we learn the back-story of Three Finger, Saw Tooth and One Eye. They are kids and have killed their parents and are now locked up in a hospital for the deformed and deranged. They break out of the hospital and cause a bloody riot. We then cut to 2003 where we pick up the film with modern-day kids on winter break. They snowmobile to a cabin in the woods but of course take a wrong turn winding up in this abandoned hospital in the middle of a blizzard. Unfortunately for them, they are not alone.
You both wrote and directed the piece – how did the idea come about in the first place?
Well I had to hit a October release deadline for the film and I knew I was going to be shooting in the winter. Selfishly I didn’t want to spend the entire shoot outdoors in the cold so I invented the abandoned hospital idea so I could feel my toes at the end of the day. It was inspired a bit by ‘The Shining’.
How would you say this film is different and unique to the film‘s predecessors?
The winter environment for sure and that we are now inside, (instead of out in the woods). I thought it was refreshing to change things up.
What’s the reception been like to the film so far?
So far so good! We have been getting some really positive reviews and sales have been wonderful!
The film stars Sean Skene, Blane Cypurda, Dan Skene, Tristan Carlucci, Scott Johnson, Bryan Verot – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
We were shooting in a real abandoned mental hospital that was built in 1910. There were tons of the original equipment around including real electroshock machines which we used. We disconnected the current of course. But shooting nights in this giant facility it gets a little creepy so the cast and crew were constantly trying to scare each other and succeeded many times!
I’ve heard you’ve just completed work on ‘Wrong Turn 5’ – what can you tell us about this instalment?
Yes, ‘Wrong Turn 5’ takes place around a music festival which the entire town goes to. It leaves the town empty for the cannibals to come in and wreak havoc. It’s the cannibals come to town story.
Let’s talk a bit about you Declan. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
It was the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do since I was a kid. I worked at it, went to school, studied and worked my way up through the ranks.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Never take no for an answer and move to Los Angeles. This is where films are made, this is the best place to get your start.
What films have inspired you as a director? Any favourites?
My favourite film is ‘The Man Who Would Be King’. Connery, Caine and Huston. It doesn’t get any better than that.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
- John Lennon – because he was an amazing artist and intellectual.
- Genghis Kahn – because he was incredibly savage and the psychosis of that is interesting.
- Lastly I would say Freud, can you imagine the dinner conversation with that man?
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
‘Wrong Turn 5’ is being released in the states on October 23, 2012, so more hillbilly adventures are in store.
Thanks for the interview!