Wrong Turn 5 Blu-Ray Review (Kirk Haviland)

Wrong Turn 5 Blu-Ray

Starring Doug Bradley, Camilla Arfwedson and Simon Ginty

Written and Directed by Declan O’Brien

New on Blu-Ray from our friends at Fox Home Entertainment is the newest entry in the mostly direct-to-video series Wrong Turn, Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines. The original Wrong Turn was a passable genre romp that has somehow managed to spawn four sequels, the last three being directed by O’Brien. But should the series have ended before it started?

In Wrong Turn 5 we begin in a small West Virginia town that is hosting the legendary Mountain Man Festival on Halloween. The concert is where throngs of costumed party goers, some in traditional Halloween Garb, others dressed as deformed hillbillies, gather for a wild night of music and mischief. But the inbred family of hillbilly cannibals, Three Finger, One Eye and Saw Tooth that are in all of these films, kill the fun by trying to abduct a group of vacationing College students. The plan goes awry when the group’s patriarch, Maynard (Bradley) is arrested by the local Sherriff (Arfwedson). The three ‘boys’ go on all out killing spree, decimating everyone in their path to recovering their Uncle Maynard.

Wrong Turn 5 is an utter disaster. The acting is porous and extremely amateurish, even Bradley, Pinhead himself, is a lame duck sitting here. In Bradley’s defence the script is poor and almost non-existent, the “plot” simply there to drive us from one kill scene to the next. In many ways this feels like a ten year old uneducated horror junkie’s idea of a masterpiece. I will say that the location was good, as somehow they found a convincing enough part of Bulgaria to play the West Virginia town the film takes place in.  But the actual sets are poorly constructed, the jail house and a particular store that are key locations to the plot both look very fake. In fact the jail cells do not appear to have locks on them all, prompting Arfwedson to laughably “airlock” and unlock the cells.

The kills, the main reason these films still get made, are lacklustre and unoriginal. We’ve seen these all before and done way better. The limited budget is most evident in the particularly low budget effects work. Most of the practical effects here, while I can admire their commitment to use practical effects, could be better realized and rendered by film school students. I have seen films with micro budgets, like indie comedy Manborg deliver much better practical work with a fraction of the tools available.

The entire cast is from the UK, filming in Bulgaria, pretending to have U.S. accents. Why this was not a warning light I do not know, as there is more than one actor here that cannot convince us they are faking an accent. And the constant cackling of one of our main killers here, especially in the last act of the film, is not fear inducing or tension building, but grating and downright painful.

The Blu-Ray includes a very uninspired couple of behind the scenes featurettes, an actually effective set of director diaries, and an audio commentary by the director. As fun as the director’s video diaries are, it is nowhere near enough to compensate for the rest.

Ultimately the last people in this process I can blame are those at Fox Home Entertainment. These films still sell and make the studio tons of money. That said Wrong Turn 5 is awful. I did not think I would give a harsher criticism to a film than I did for Inbred, but I was sorely wrong. Do not buy, rent or stream Wrong Turn 5, it is strongly, strongly not recommended.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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Toronto After Dark 2012: Inbred Review (Kirk Haviland)

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2012

Inbred (2012)

Starring Jo Hartley, Seamus O’Neill, James Doherty, James Burrows and Nadine Rose Mulkerrin

Written by Alex Chandon and Paul Shrimpton

Directed by Alex Chandon

From the UK we get our next Toronto After Dark 2012 selection, Inbred. Taking direct influence from films like Deliverance, Alex Chandon brings us one of the most un-repentantly, vile and crude films since perhaps A Serbian Film. But is there actual story worth watching amongst the blood splatter and septic tank contents?

Inbred starts with two social workers, the overly eager Jeff (Doherty) and the more jovial Kate (Hartley), along with their four charges arriving in the small town of Mortlake. The four young offenders have been taken out to the countryside for a weekend of character-building. After meeting the tavern owner Jim (O’Neill) and the eccentrically creepy townsfolk inside “The Dirty Hole,” the group decides the smarter move is to stick to themselves and ignore the people surrounding them. But after a minor incident with pack of particularly hostile locals, the group finds themselves in the middle of a rapidly escalating, blood-soaked, warped nightmare. It seems that the villagers of Mortlake like to amuse themselves by staging a circus-like performance in which the unwilling stars are bound, tortured and killed in ways involving farm equipment, animals and good old-fashioned blunt objects. But this time the prey fights back.

Inbred is a terrible mess from beginning to end. Not being able to decide if it wants to be a horror-comedy, thriller, deliverance style drama or torture porn, the film decides it will dabble in all of them and ends up a muddled disaster. The script is made up with familiar set pieces and generically stereotypical characters, especially in the young delinquents. The motivations and story arcs are lazy and uninspired. The only actor that manages to escape here is O’Neill as the maniacal Jim. His performance here screams and begs for a better movie to surround it. Outside of O’Neill, most of this cast is either passable at best, as in Hartley, or severely amateurish. The young group of locals that spin the story out of control are particularly uninspired. The film does manage to provide one fascinating setting in that of the bloody circus style show used to dispatch the outsiders who wander into town. The concept is excellent and the actualization is passable, but far from good enough to make the film work. I will also give kudos to some of the behind the scene crew because the set design and location work very well. But of course this film is all about the kill scenes which are so laughably over the top and ridiculously unrealistic that when the film still tries to return to a darker tone to deliver scares it does not work.

Ultimately Inbred is a anomaly, a film I dislike immensely at a festival I love. I know there is much praise out there for this film and this review may be in a minority, and if this film works for you I am truly happy. Inbred is a strong non-recommend.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

Make sure to keep up with what’s going on at Entertainment Maven by liking our Facebook page and having updates delivered right to your Facebook News Feed. It’s the only way to stay on top of all of our articles with the newest blockbusters and all the upcoming films, festivals and film related events in Toronto.

Follow me directly on twitter @moviejunkieto and by liking my Facebook page at Movie Junkie TO

Email me at moviejunkieto@gmail.com

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