Fox // 2012 // 91 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // December 18th, 2012
Fear will consume you.
When a group of pot smoking, sex loving, beer swilling teens set off for the Halloween Mountain Man festival, they get more than they bargained. Why? Because three backwoods cannibals show up for a weekend of killin' and mutilatin'. You see, the mutant's father, Maynard (Doug Bradley, Hellraiser), was inadvertently jailed when these partying kids almost ran him down. The kids get sprung from jail, but Maynard's bloodthirsty kin are on the loose and no one is safe from when they take one wrong turn...into terror!
Another year, another Wrong Turn movie.
Each installment has become increasingly worse than the last. The original Wrong Turn was a mildly effective backwoods monster picture that had a few talented actors (Eliza Dushku, Jeremy Sisto) and some fun gross out effects. The straight-to-DVD Wrong Turn 2: Dead End was a so-so follow-up that featured a lower budget and -- for no explicit reason -- Henry Rollins. Then came Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead, which was about...zombie hill people? Then the series apparently hit a creative wall, so Fox went back in time and offered up a prequel Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, exploring the origins of One-Eye, Saw-Tooth, and Three-Finger. Why? Because that's what these monsters needed: pathos.
Now comes Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, continuing the slow decent of a franchise that didn't start off very high to begin with. The formula remains the same: a bunch of teens or 20-somethings are out partying, screwing, and doing drugs when they end up running smack dab into the backwoods cannibals who enjoy torturing and mutilating unsuspecting out-of-towners. This plot has been a staple for dozens -- nay, hundreds -- of horror movies, so much so it's now collecting dust and mildew.
Wrong Turn 5's low budget shines about as brightly as the Rockefeller Christmas tree. The story takes place at a (supposedly) huge concert festival we never see. Instead, we get a lot of extras walking around a cityscape wearing mountain man masks, just so we know why they're here. The impressive make up for the first Wrong Turn was by Oscar winner Stan Winston (Jurassic Park, Predator). By this fifth sequel, the make up on each of the mutated hillbillies is about as impressive as a Halloween mask you can buy at Walmart.
The acting is...wait, there are actors in this movie? Actually, horror staple Doug Bradley (Pinhead from the long running Hellraiser series) moves center stage as the hillbillies' "normal" father, Maynard (played by Wayne Robson in the first two films). Bradley is the one bright spot in this cast. It's not that the actor is exceptional in his role, but compared to the community theatre talent playing the college kids, he's positively brilliant. They are all good looking guys with the charisma of a rock or women willing to take their tops off and show their breasts. I have the sneaking suspicion that's exactly how the audition call sheet read.
Writer/director Declan O'Brien, who helmed the previous two installments, guides Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines with all the nuance of a sledgehammer pulverizing a Faberge egg. The script gives us one-dimensional bimbos or lunkheaded males who spend an inordinate amount of time having sex. During a few scenes, the film skirts the line between being an R-rated studio film and a soft core porn flick. The three mountain men are just ugly, loud monsters without a hint of personality, unless you count "angry grunting" and "maniacal giggling" a personality trait. Oh, and by the way, I found nothing scary about alleged horror movie. Seeing a kid get buried up to his neck in a field or strung up in electrical wires then killed in a gruesome way may be terrifying to some people, but for me it's just redundant noise.
I'm not sure who Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines was made for. True horror fans will find it an insult to their intelligence. Casual viewers will have no interest, especially if they haven't seen the first four films. Everyone else will be wise enough to stay as far away as possible. Considering this is the fifth film in the franchise, someone somewhere somehow is watching these movies. Let's just hope they don't crawl out from whatever rock they're living under.
Presented in 1.78:1/1080p high definition widescreen, the image looks very good, even though it's a low budget affair. The transfer is crystal clear, which is bad news for the movie since you can see all the seams and imperfections in the shoddily done make up effects and middling CGI. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix features the requisite directional effects for a movie like this (squishy blood, hacking limbs), but it's nothing special. Also included are English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles.
Bonus features include an audio commentary by writer/director Declan O'Brien, a few behind-the-scenes featurettes ("A Day in the Death", "Hillbilly Kills", "Director's Die-aries"), and a bonus copy of the film on DVD.
This bloodline needs to be severed ASAP.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* DVD Copy