WRONG TURN 5: BLOODLINES (2012, USA, DECLAN O’BRIEN)
The Wrong Turn series, for me, has basically been the “Star Trek film series” of slasher movie franchises for quite a while, and it’s because so far, that whole “odd-numbered movies suck, even-numbered movies are awesome” has been applying to this series. The first film, the only one given a wide theatrical release, was a boring attempt to revive the mainstream slasher scene due to its watered-down mainstream roots and its clear pandering to the post-Scream slasher fans, and because it was such a pile of crap, its badass and gory Joe Lynch-directed sequel (someone give this guy another horror script that isn’t part of an anthology!) was unfortunately dumped into Blockbuster shelves. The third one, once again, was a major pile of crap, and I was pretty surprised to find out that Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings not only had a serviceable amount of gore, but its great atmosphere and suspense actually overshadows the moments where the CGI gore became too obvious. I wanted to see this movie to see if the Star Trek theory still held water, since this was directed by the same guy as Wrong Turn 4… and I really, REALLY should’ve figured that it would.
This time, we aren’t dealing with a prequel, but instead the film is about a Mountain Man music festival in the hills of West Virginia, where college students are showing up to dress like inbred hicks and play their guitars like douchebags trying to fingerbang sorority girls, when the real inbred hicks we’ve been following since the original are ready to chop these fuckers up and eat them. In their journeys, the three mutant cannibal rednecks are joined by their dad Maynard, who in this film is played by Doug Bradley after he finally managed to pull all of the nails out of his head, and it doesn’t take long before the local police get involved with trying to get rid of the cannibal family once and for all.
After how good Wrong Turn 4 was, you probably wouldn’t believe how good I wanted this movie to be, to disprove the Star Trek theory I had about this series but also, above all else, give me a fun and splattery time. Of course, I was never expecting this movie to give me Premutos-level splatter, or even the kind of splatter that Wrong Turn 2 gave me, but I was expecting a fair amount of gore to keep me happy. This, as well as Doug Bradley’s performance in the film, especially in the Silence Of The Lambs ripoff that encompasses the last twenty minutes of the movie, is where the film has its strongest moments, my personal favorite being scene in the middle of a soccer field where they run over a guy buried in sand and a guy chained by the leg with some heavy machinery to some beautifully bloody and practical results; of course, this movie has the same kind of garbage CGI gore effects that Wrong Turn 3 and 4 had, but the rest of the movie will overshadow that too, right?
You’d be dead fucking wrong to think that. This movie could have employed some kind of atmosphere like Wrong Turn 4’s to offset the stupid CGI gore, or even just had more scenes of practical splatter to counteract it, but then O’Brien had the brilliant idea to have absolutely nothing interesting or sleazy in between the cool gore scenes to reach its 91-minute runtime. About ten or fifteen minutes of this time is spent on sex scenes that could have at least made good enough timekillers if they were sleazy (or at least as funny as Tommy Wiseau’s sex scenes in The Room) and didn’t feel cleaned up by Fox for an audience of fraternity douchebags, or it just has the characters ramble on about jack shit before they become cannibal food. It is entirely possible to glorify scenes of nothing to the point where they feel atmospheric and cool, if such filler is done like a director like Lamberto Bava (A Blade In The Dark and The Ogre are excellent examples of this), but from the garbage that fills the first two acts of this movie, it’s clear that O’Brien isn’t one of those directors and should stick to attempting suspense instead.
Long story short: this sequel sucks major dick. After how badass Wrong Turn 4 was, I was really hoping that this guy would pull through and do something to completely make up for his garbage Wrong Turn 3, but he just ended up making a movie as bad as the third one, seemingly just to tack the Star Trek theory onto the franchise, or to make this sequel clean enough for the kind of college douchebag who pretends to like horror movies so he can get into the pants of the goth chick at his university. I really hope that Wrong Turn 6 conforms to the theory, and that Declan O’Brien puts his A-game into that one just like he did with 4, if he’s even going to be the one to get behind the camera, but if Fox puts the brakes on the franchise because of this pile of garbage, however, I guess renaming the theory to “the Wrong Turn theory” will be okay right now.
Check Out Instead: Teen Wolf, Leif Jonker’s Darkness, Hatchet, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings
For the curious, buy the DVD at Amazon: