Nearly ten years after the original Wrong Turn scared up modest box office returns, the franchise lurches forward with the fifth entry, Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines. This one, like its immediate predecessor, is a prequel—not that it really matters whether or not you’ve seen any of the others. All you need to know is that One Eye (Radoslav Parvanov), Saw Tooth (George Karlukovski), and Three Finger (Borislav Iliev)—the inbred hillbillies of Glenville Sanatorium—are roaming freely and leaving bodies in their wake.
Their benefactor is Maynard (Doug Bradley, Pinhead in eight Hellraiser films), a psychopathic serial killer who has been on the lam for three decades. He has given the hideous trio housing in exchange for their help in find fresh victims. They manage to wreak havoc virtually unnoticed in the small town of Fairlake, West Virginia, home of the annual Mountain Man Music Festival. Young adults from all over the country flock to the festival every Halloween, many of them in costume. All the twisted, gruesome costumes make it easier for One Eye and company to move throughout the town without attracting attention.
A group of friends arrive for the festival and almost immediately encounter Maynard, who pretends to be injured when struck by their car. The ensuring scuffle lands them all in the local jail, where Sheriff Angela (Camilla Arfwedson) is on duty. She’s unaccompanied due to extra security needed on the festival grounds. Before long, she determines that Maynard is the only real bad guy and sets all but one of the young friends free. Billy (Simon Ginty) was in possession of a significant quantity of various drugs, so he stays locked up. From that point on, Wrong Turn 5 becomes a series of increasingly gnarly murders as the inbred cannibals seek to free Maynard.
Sheriff Angela deputizes Billy and another inmate, the drunken Mose (Duncan Wisbey), in order to have at least a little backup once things really get out of hand. It’s all a bunch of relatively standard, so-bad-it’s-almost-fun cheesiness. The performances—with the exception of horror veteran Bradley—are amateurish. The only “wrong turn” made in this one is by a lovely female festival attendee (Borisa Tutundjieva) looking to get backstage. She consents to sex with a cop in the back of a squad car in order to achieve this goal, thus contributing one of the few bits of nudity in the entire film (Amy Lennox, as Cruz, shows a little skin in the film's opening shots). Shame on the luscious Roxanne McKee, who (as one of the main friends, Lita) teases us with the promise of a shower scene but never drops her towel.
Declan O’Brien wrote and directed Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, repeating the same duties he fulfilled on Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (he also directed, but didn’t write, Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead). Emil Topuzov’s cinematography and the work done by the makeup and effects teams are basically serviceable for this direct-to-video production. The Blu-ray offers a spotless 1080p, AVC-encoded transfer, framed at 1.78:1. Detail is impressive even in dark shadowy scenes (of which there are many, as most of the film takes place at night). The 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix is also top-notch, with a nicely immersive feel that does its best to goose viewers with rear speaker activity. There's never a problem hearing and understanding dialogue, which is always prominent. Claude Foisy's score is well-balanced throughout.
I enjoyed the casual commentary track by O'Brien and producer Brett Levinson. Although not listed as a participant on the Blu-ray case or menu, Levinson contributes quite a bit to the discussion. These two guys have fun bantering about the film and the Wrong Turn franchise in general. Beyond that, there is a trio of short featurettes. "Hillbilly Kills" is the best, as it shows us how the goriest, bloodiest effects were acheived. Bloodlines doesn't skimp on twisted kills (one victim is fed her own intestines), and this featurette gives us a quick inside look. "A Day in the Death" and "Director's Die-aries" both offer additional behind-the-scenes footage.
Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines on Blu-ray also comes with a standard DVD and Digital Copy of the film.