Wrong Turn 5 DVD Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Directed by Declan O' Brien
Written by Declan O' Brien and Alan B. McElroy
2012, Region 2, 91 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 28th January 2013
Doug Bradley as Maynard
Camilla Arfwedson as Sheriff Angela
Simon Ginty as Billy
Roxanne McKee as Lita
Paul Luebke as Gus
Oliver Hoare as Julian
Remember the tagline to Rob Schmidt's Wrong Turn, way back in 2003? When the almighty Stan Winston was still with us and Desmond Harrington had yet to become angry Joe Quinn of Dexter fame? That now very ironic tagline proclaimed that this Wrong Turn would be 'the last you'll ever take.' Well, yeah, if you don't count the other four.
Even the film itself is aware that they're taking the piss a bit now. “I think I took a wrong turn,” one of the characters says to another in Wrong Turn 5. Get it, because that's the title of the film. “Another wrong turn, huh?” is the reply. Yes, another. Get used to it – I've a feeling that the Wrong Turn franchise is going nowhere. There have now been more Wrong Turns than Paranormal Activities or Texas Chainsaw Massacres (the remake and its sequel notwithstanding). I will never get over the series' popularity, but long may it live on.
Wrong Turn 5 is a sequel to last year's prequel, Bloody Beginnings. The three mutant brothers have fled their abandoned lunatic asylum and now reside in the woods near a small West Virginian town. As Halloween approaches, the town holds its legendary Mountain Man Festival - music and costume in celebration of inbred hillbillies everywhere. The joke being that when the real inbred hillbillies arrive, no-one bats an eyelid because they assume it's fancy dress.
Also in town are a gaggle of stupid and highly sexed college kids, their car rammed full of drugs, their driving skills in need of improvement. During an unfortunate encounter on the roads, they happen across the mutants' new adoptive father (Pinhead himself, Doug Bradley) and the town sheriff, Angela. Angela takes one look at the kids, the drugs and Pinhead, and throws the lot of them in jail. It's not long before the boys come looking for their pa. It's Wrong Turn does Assault on Precinct 13.
At this point, you'll either love the Wrong Turn franchise or loathe it. Number five does nothing to win the series any new fans. It looks cheaper than ever before, relying upon nudity and gory death sequences to hold the audience's interest. The plot is the flimsiest yet, the characters complete imbeciles and the script awful (one or two vaguely amusing puns aside). Honestly, Wrong Turn 5 is an atrocious film. Yet fans of the series will love it. It's gloriously offensive, brilliantly gory and shockingly cruel. There's nothing as inventive as the fourth film's fondue, but there's a great moment involving Three-Finger, some kids and a thresher. It's remarkably mean-spirited, with characters being forced to suffer in the most terrible ways. Through it all, Doug Bradley stands cackling behind bars, looking like a malicious cross between John Locke (of LOST, not the philosopher) and Bruce Willis in Die Hard 4. He doesn't have much to do, but then he doesn't need to do much. The rest of the characters in Wrong Turn 5 practically kill themselves.
The stupid youths are to be expected, but there's no excuse for Sheriff Angela's idiocy. This is a town sheriff who releases all but one of the criminals in her charge from their cells because they ask to be let go. The rest of the village, meanwhile, simply disappears once the hillbillies arrive. Angela and her alcoholic sidekick are actually quite sympathetic at times, but they don't make it easy for us. The monsters, meanwhile, are the least scary they've ever been. The make-up looks cheaper than usual (everything does), their appearances too badly lit and they giggle far too much. There's an impressive dust-up between Angela and Three-Finger, but otherwise they're an unscary lot. The whole bloody affair could have been avoided if everyone had just stayed put for the night. Nearly every scene seems to end with someone saying “wait there. I'll be right back” (spoiler: they never come back).
And yet, much as my critical faculties were screaming at me not to, I couldn't help but enjoy it. It's fast-paced, gory, ridiculous ultra-violence. The Wrong Turn films may be increasingly without artistic merit, but there's nothing wrong with a bit of commercialised junk every now and then, as long as you don't gorge yourself too much.
Speaking as an unashamed (well, maybe slightly ashamed) fan of the series, Wrong Turn 5 doesn't disappoint. It's bloody good fun. For everyone else, it's perhaps best avoided.
Video and Audio:
The video is very sharp, but that serves only to make the cheapness of the sets and make-up more apparent. It's also too dark in places. The Blackout City Kids provide the music again, but their 'Mercy' isn't as catchy as the previous film's theme tune.
There are some disposable short clips entitled A Day in the Death and Hillbilly Kills. There's also a commentary and director's die-ary (didn't they do that joke last time?) from O'Brien.