It’s time for a somewhat negative review. I’m afraid that Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, just didn’t do it for me in the way that the other installments in this franchise have. I’m not completely surprised by this. We are on part 5 here, and with few exceptions the fifth entry into any movie hasn’t been my favorite. Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child… least favorite Nightmare even though I will admit that there are some very creative kills. Halloween 5: I know some people have an absolute orgiastic love affair with this flick and no, it has nothing to do with Danielle Harris! I do not hate Halloween 5 at all, but it is my least favorite sequel in the franchise. Friday the 13th part 5 actually makes me a happy horror fan though I understand why some folks shy away from it. I’m not going to pretend that it has the power of The Final Chapter or 3-D. Hell, it may not be superior to any of the films in the top six of the Friday the 13th series, but I love it and understand why many don’t. If you thought you’d be in for anything truly groundbreaking in Bloodlines, well, maybe the faith of a child you experience on a daily basis needs some testing.
Synopsis (from Fox):
The cutting-edge terror continues when a small mining town hosts the legendary Mountain Man Festival on Halloween, where crowds of costumed partygoers gather for a wild night of music and mischief. But a killer celebration soon gives way to a blood-soaked feeding frenzy when an inbred family of hillbilly cannibals trick and treat themselves to a group of visiting college students who are just dying for a good time...
What is there not to like about Wrong Turn 5? It looks polished. It doesn’t have that filthy, dirty hillbilly horror that was present in the previous installments especially in the first two entries in the series. You can tell that it has been shot on a set. The town looks absolutely fake. The jail where a fair amount of the film takes place looks like it might as well have been the drunk tank in a sitcom. If there is one thing I cannot abide on a sequel that is sure to make its budget back, its laziness and lack of attention to detail. Wrong Turn 5 begins to suffer from the same blight that the Saw sequels encountered; the filmmakers just don’t seem to give a fuck about what made the original work. Backwoods redneck, lunatics are dirty and even though we are playing a little “country mouse/city mouse” game with the plot device, that doesn’t mean we need to forget that there needs to be some grit. Less polish. The reason we watch hillbilly horror is because it’s funny and it’s filthy and maybe somewhere in the back of our minds we think of it as a potentially real horror; a horror that COULD happen. The set design and even the make up of our beloved antagonists just don’t feel real. The film suffers.
Doug Bradley is just great, and that’s all I’m going to say about the cast. I truly don’t like to be an asshole or troll the shit out a movie in the Wrong Turn series, but I’m not surprised to see that the casting isn’t top notch beyond Bradley’s name draw. Bradley reminds me very much of the instructor in the Farmer’s Insurance school in all those rather humorous commercials, J.K Simmons. That is not to say his character, Maynard Odets acts anything like Simmons, but I found it distracting. That’s all me though. I don’t expect anyone else to have a problem with Bradley’s performance or with finding the connection to Simmons humorous. It doesn't help when another one of our hillbillies looks like the caveman from the fucking Geico commercials (I hate those fucking commercials). So two insurance company icons in one horror movie? Too much late night TV on the casting couch?
Declan O’Brien is responsible as the director for the last three entries into the series and has slowly painted a unique picture of the modern face of hillbilly horror. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I like the painting. He’s homogenized it; learned how to use CGI beyond practical effects (blame Sharktopus… his other directorial effort). That’s not to say your looking at high brow, big budget redneck horror, but maybe it’s time to get dirty, get off the lot and turn the quality down. I’d like to see a sixth entry in the series; a redo. I want O’Brien to go back, take a look at the makeup job used on his core character, hillbillies and say, “wow, look how phony they are. I can do better.”
What you’re going to like about Wrong Turn 5 are the kills. Some of them are fairly creative, gushing blood and violent. You may disapprove of the CGI usage as I do, but you’ll appreciate the attempt at a few original murders or at least the original setup to the kill. Doug Bradley fans will be happy to see plenty of screen time and a solid effort from this Hellraiser veteran. You’ll find nothing of Pinhead in this performance, but that wont’ stop you from getting a little creeped out by him. If you’re a diehard fan of the Wrong Turn series you’ll be happy. This falls in line with many of the same themes and looks of the previous two sequels, and although I find this to be lackluster and in need of a serious makeover, it has the attributes you’ve come to love.
You can pick up Wrong Turn 5 HERE. Please weigh in below in the comment section. I’d love to know what horror fans think of this latest installment and what you might do to improve the series. I don’t think it needs to end with part 5. Hillbilly horror needs an anchor franchise to keep it in the public eye and needs to give other filmmakers a benchmark for comparison as well as a challenge… who can top the Wrong Turn series? In my mind I’m just happy that the series is Direct To Video at this point. A theatrical offering could definitely hurt horror on the big screen.
Try again! Do better! We deserve a better class of hillbilly psychopath!
And for fuck's sake does anyone think it's completely insane that Doug Bradley stars in a second sequel to a popular franchise with the name Bloodlines as the subtitle? Really think about how he must be feeling about his career when he made Bloodlines in the mid-90's. Regurgitate!