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John’s Horror Corner: Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines (2012), not quite the worst of this hillbilly horror franchise.

September 7, 2017

MY CALL:  Not the worst of the franchise, but nearly so. Yet this remains watchable for those seeking some guilty pleasures in the form of boobs, gore and uninspired kills. Watch this for fun, not for “horror.”  MORE MOVIES LIKE Wrong Turn 5: BloodlinesWell, of course, you need to go back to Wrong Turn (2003; the best one), maybe Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007; more silly but fun), but probably skip Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009) and go straight to Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011; the best of the sequels).  More to try include The Hills Have Eyes 1-2 (1977, 1984, 2006, 2007), Just Before Dawn (1981), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Hatchet (2006) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) will all continue to satisfy the hillbilly horror subgenre, and then maybe Cabin Fever 1-3 (2002-2014) for the gore hounds.

Director Declan O’Brien (Cyclops, Sharktopus, Wrong Turn 3-5) returns for his third Wrong Turn sequel featuring our favorite inbred hillbilly cannibals: Three Finger (Borislav Iliev; Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead), One Eye (Radoslav Parvanov; Undisputed 2-3, Wrong Turn 6) and Sawtooth (George Karlukovski; El Gringo).  We open with wretched dialogue, a graphic sex scene, and an opening kill that just continues to never live up to that of Dead End (2007); basically, O’Brien’s sequel staples.

This time our cadre of horny vacationing college students are attending the Mountain Man Festival on Halloween in West Virginia. It’s quite like Burning Man, but with a bunch of buffoons dressed up as inbred, mutant, cannibal hillbillies.

The writing, story and dialogue were all pornishly bad.  And boasting 3-4 heavy-moaning sex scenes, the lecherousness makes the nudity from the Night of the Demons 1-2 (1988, 1994) almost feel classy.  Really feeling forced and rather out of nowhere is the new addition to the family.  Our cannibal brothers’ father Maynard is probably among Doug Bradley’s (Hellraiser 1-8) lesser roles.

The action/violence was terrible and the special effects were pretty weak, with most of the blood spurts being CGI.  The majority of death scenes were forgettably poor (even the electrocution, sigh), including some of the most lackluster disembowelments of the franchise—although, the Jigsaw-esque “car trap” disembowelment was pretty good, mostly for the humor of the victim’s lover trying to shove the bloody intestines back into him!  Credit would also be due for the leg-hammering scene—just brutal a la Misery (1990).  Lastly, the lawnmower death scene was okay; somewhat funny along with some good chunky-sloppy gore.

Were I to order the Wrong Turn movies from best to worst, I’d say 1-4-2-5-3, with a big gap between 4 and 2.  Somehow Declan O’Brien nailed it with part 4 (still smutty, but the best kills from parts 3-5) and just couldn’t reproduce it.  Perhaps an issue of budget…?  No clue.  I was especially disappointed by the stage-y town set design—the last third of the movie takes place in the sheriff’s office and the street outside.

The writing might be terrible, yet this sequel manages to entertain without much regret.  You’ll feel more fun (or tedium) than fear.  But this could make for a great Bad Movie Tuesday if you’re looking for some gory laughs.

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