Sunday, 31 March 2013



It seems to be a rule of thumb that franchises never know when to stop. All the great horror cashcows have trundled on after they'd peaked, and generally went out in a whimper of whatever than a splattery blaze of glory. Friday The 13th should really have stopped at six, Halloween at two, Hellraiser at three or even two, Elm Street at four or five, and the Resident Evil series probably peaked with the third one. (The exception is the Saw series which did manage to maintain the standard pretty reasonably.) In the case of the Wrong Turn series, the level has been up and down throughout: an enjoyably nasty original heavily indebted to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, followed by Joe Lynch's hilariously grisly Wrong Turn 2. Then they relocated to Eastern Europe and Declan O'Brien directed the shoddy Wrong Turn 3, as well as the surprisingly entertaining prequel Wrong Turn 4. He's back again and he bows the series out on a definite low note.

Wrong Turn 5 begins badly with two shaghappy teenies at it like billyo in a tent when their douchebag friends burst in waving a rubber act in the kind of imbecile practical joke that was already boring thirty years ago in the early Friday The 13th sequels and sundry slasher ripoffs. They're all camping out en route to a music festival based in the same West Virginia town that's home to the series' resident family of homicidal mutant cannibals; by chance they and foul-mouthed backwoodsman Doug Bradley (who gets the word "pinheads" shoehorned into his dialogue as a Hellraiser injoke) get hauled off to jail. But the three mutants are Bradley's cousins and they're coming to get him out....

Why are the streets so deserted when there's a music festival in the area and an abundance of visitors to the town? Why does the sheriff only try to contact one of her deputies on one occasion? (Purely through script contrivance, said deputy happens to be having sex with a festivalgoer in the back of his patrol car at the time.) Is the sheriff named Angela Carter as a nod to the author of The Company Of Wolves? Why do the mutants leave one of their disembowelled victims in a back alley? Why are these machete-wielding inbreds bothering with elaborate Saw-style deathtraps anyway? Most importantly, yet again, why the hell are we expected to care about the teenage dumbasses? It's not enough that the deformed mutant sociopaths are the bad guys and we're rooting for the idiot teens as the least worst option. Wrong Turn 5 is cheap (most of the movie takes place in one set), stupid, illogical and nasty, but it isn't any fun even by dumb slasher sequel standards. Easily the least of the Wrong Turn series, here's hoping they leave it be.


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