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Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines
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Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines (2012)

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Plot Summary:

"In the next chilling chapter of Wrong Turn, a small West Virginia town is hosting the legendary Mountain Man Festival on Halloween, where throngs of costumed partygoers gather for a wild night of music and mischief. But an inbred family of hillbilly cannibals kill the fun when they trick and treat themselves to a group of visiting college students who are dying for a good time..."

Reviewer: Ryan McDonald @horrorasylum
Location:Sydney, Australia
Reviewed: 23 September 2013 Rating: out of 5


Set, as always in Virginia, where there is a local Halloween festival where people dress up as inbred redneck mutant cannibals. As you do. Our young-ish protagonists (Roxanne McKee among them) have turned up to have a good time, but instead, one of them gets arrested and put in a jail cell. Also in the jail is the creepy Maynard (Doug Bradley), a dangerous and wanted man who seems to be in some way connected to everyone’s favourite inbred redneck mutant cannibal family. And what do you know, sheriff Camilla Arfwedson and our protagonists have a pickle on their hands when One Eye, Saw Tooth, and Three Finger show up to wreak havoc.

Each of the “Wrong Turn” films has taken the idea of pitting a cast of characters against mutant hillbilly cannibals into a different setting, which I admire. None of the films has been a disaster either. However, the first film is the only one really worth seeing and that trend isn’t broken by this 2012 from writer-director Declan O’Brien (who has helmed the previous two films). Essentially taking on a “Rio Bravo” jail/siege motif (town drunk included), it’s just not very good, and that extends all the way to the villainous work supplied by Doug “Hellraiser” Bradley, who frankly isn’t all that scary sans pins. In fact, he’s a subpar Anthony Hopkins, and frankly Anthony Hopkins himself has been a bit of a subpar Anthony Hopkins of late. I would’ve cast Brad Dourif or Bill Moseley in the part myself.

The film starts pretty damn poorly with your typical ‘horny campers knifed by crazy hillbillies’ idea which turns out to be a prank. Two horror clichés for the price of one. Then we get to the festival celebrating the local legend deal, which makes three giant clichés in the opening act alone. The film adopts a semi-spoof “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”-type of tone this time around (a fair bit of “Motel Hell” influence is evident too), and I’m not sure that was a particularly effective move and “TCM2” is definitely the better film. The masks are terrible and cartoony, and whilst that fits in with the festival thing (making it hard to tell the real killers from impersonators), it just looks silly and unconvincing, and the constant giggling is beyond absurd. I felt like I was watching “Ghoulies IV: Ghoulies Go to College” or something.

It’s a nice and bloody film, and it has good scenery. I wish I liked it, and it’s probably better than the previous film...but that one also had lesbians and lesbians are yummy. This one has lots of sex and the beautiful Roxanne McKee (“Lip Service”, “Game of Thrones”), however, which is something I guess but her character proves to be without question the dumbest horror movie character in horror movie history. Yes, including all of the “Friday the 13th” films. I also have to commend O’Brien for giving us the medicine cabinet scare scene cliché...but with the bad guy being the one who gets startled! I hate that cliché and was glad to see it done differently.

So if you want blood...and sex, you got it. If you want anything else, you won’t get it here. Nicely downbeat ending, though. I liked that. This film gives off a late 80s/early 90s horror sequel vibe (though it’s kind of a prequel actually), but not an especially good one.

Whilst I admire a series of horror films that hasn’t produced an absolute turkey yet, this just isn’t particularly worth your time. Only if you’re desperate.

Reviewer: John Townsend @CJohnTownsend
Location:Lancaster, UK
Reviewed: 29 January 2013 Rating: out of 5

It would be pretty difficult to dispute the fact that there are just too many sequels and remakes around these days, whatever genre they fall into. It would also be difficult to argue that the majority are poor and that some are just simply awful. With that in mind the odds of any film series reaching its fifth instalment and maintaining a high standard is slim, so Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines is up against it from the start.

This episode is written and directed by Declan O’Brien who has helmed the series since Wrong Turn 3 and also takes writing credits on Wrong Turn 4, which was an origins story. This film follows on from the events of 4 and is, chronologically speaking, a second prequel to the original production.

So is it any good? Every year on Halloween the town of Fairlake, which has a mysterious and macabre history, plays host to the Mountain Men music festival. Hundreds of teenagers descend upon this small West Virginian spot in fancy dress for sex, drugs and rock n’ roll and Billy (Simon Ginty) his girlfriend Cruz (Amy Lennox) are no different. Along with their friends Gus (Paul Luebke), Julian (Oliver Hoare) and Lita (Roxanne McKee) they are heading to the event when, and this all happens pretty quickly, they nearly run over a strange man in the road, crash their car, get into a fight and finally get arrested as Billy just happens to have in his possession enough drugs to cater the entire festival.

At the local jail Billy persuades the sheriff (Camilla Arfwedson) that the drugs are all his and to release his friends, which she agrees to as she now has a bigger fish to fry. The strange man in the road who was also arrested just happens to be wanted fugitive Maynard Odets (legendary Cenobite Doug Bradley) and all she needs to do is babysit him until the US Marshalls arrive the following morning. The problem is that Maynard’s “family” just happen to be the 3 inventively murderous and hideously deformed hillbillies of the previous instalments and they want to get him out. Cue horrible deaths, strange shrieking laughter and more blood and guts than you could possibly need to see.

I must confess right now that I have a soft spot for the series. The original film was a pretty good interpretation on the horrible hillbilly myth and while the second film was terrible, the others have carried the Wrong Turn torch reasonable well. O’Brien has proved he can create the seemingly endless number of gory deaths required in order to keep the franchise ticking over and isn’t at all afraid to push the boundaries of taste to their absolute limit. The problem with Wrong Turn 5 though is that it just felt a little too contrived.

The plot has more holes in it than one of the inbred family’s victims and the narrative that there is exists solely in order to move the action from one set piece to the next no matter how slightly preposterous that might be. The relatively unknown cast vary between slight blandness to ridiculous overacting and you just don’t care whether they live or die; although knowing that this is a prequel to the first film you already have a pretty good idea that the bad guys might make it. The strong point is Maynard who, in a nicely original touch, menacingly articulates the evil to the other characters rather than just chasing them with an axe. It is, however, difficult not to smile while watching Wrong Turn 5.

What O’Brien has created here is live action comic book horror. The film’s saving grace is that it just doesn’t take itself too seriously and you will find yourself forgiving its many flaws and focussing on its good points. The Wrong Turn franchise promises blood and gore; that’s here by the gallon. The Wrong Turn franchise promises original ways to kill off annoying teenagers; absolutely and more horrible than ever. The Wrong Turn franchise promises some exploitationesque sex; definitely, and much more so than in previous episodes!

So if it’s a Saturday night popcorn horror you’re looking for then you could do a lot worse than this. Whether you enjoy it or not one thing is certain, Wrong Turn 5 does exactly what you expect.

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