Things get off to their usual start in Wrong Turn 5, with youngsters getting jiggy in a tent (that is the official medical term for their actions. Honest.) when it looks like they’re about to be attacked by yet more hillbillies carrying axes and stuff. But surprise! It’s just their friends. It seems that the deformed hillbillies are something of a popular icon in the town of Fairlake, with a festival taking place to celebrate the fact some people went missing in the area many years ago. It gets much messier of course when it turns out that the hillbillies everyone in town is dressing up as are in fact real, and commence their own particular terror trail.
Incidentally, before you get your timelines mixed up, this is a sequel to the prequel – even though there was still at least one hillbilly left alive in Wrong Turn 3, we’ve just gone back to the pre-Wrong Turn era. But let’s not dwell on such brain twisting notions and just press on with the numbered sequels as if they’re all in the same continuity. When, in fact, they are not. Confused yet? I know I am. But then this is the fifth Wrong Turn film I’ve watched, so a certain level of confusion is probably understandable.
Put simply, you can watch the first three in order, then start again with 4 and 5. Film 6 is completely separate. That’s actually much easier now that I’ve said it that way. Anyhow, moving on!
Tonally thing seem to have taken a turn for the worse, bordering on self parody. In some instances this can work wonders (just take a look at Wolfcop), but here it never does any more than dip its toe into the realm of silliness. After the expansive woodland setting that the series has previously established, confining much of the action to a sheriff’s office and a couple of other town locations feels a bit odd at first, but it’s something easy to acclimate to.
We’re also in former UK soap star territory as Roxanne McKee shows up as one of the ill-fated teens. She is adequate in the role but there is nothing special or particularly outstanding about her performance. That can also be said about the rest of the young cast – there is little of note but they are at least serviceable.
Much more notable is the presence of Doug Bradley, aka Hellraiser’s Pinhead, as a normal-looking chap who, as you might have guessed, has a lot more going on under the surface than is apparent from his otherwise quite boring outward persona. Even then, his character doesn’t have much involvement beyond telling people that they are going to get killed.
The final act has a bit more going for it than the preceding 60 minutes, mostly because this is where the majority of the gore and violence takes place. It’s not as successful as previous entries in the series due to the urban setting it takes place in, but at the same time the deaths are quite inventive and that’s why we’re here really, isn’t it?