The fifth film in the Wrong Turn series changes setting again, moving from a mental hospital in the Bloody Beginnings to a small town in the middle of a music festival. Bloodlines introduces a genuine antagonist –named Maynard – with substantially more intelligence than the gibbering inbred psychopaths rampaging through the earlier films (though they’re here too). Maynard’s trapped behind bars for the majority of the film, but carries a quiet sense of menace much scarier than the cackling hillbillies – no surprise, given he’s played by Doug Bradley, best known for playing Pinhead in Hellraiser.
It also feels more like an exploitation film – earlier sequels had some token nudity to satisfy teenage boys, whereas this film has difficulty going twenty minutes before busting out some (totally gratuitous) boobs. There’s a continued drive to find new ways to portray violence, torture and mutilation – I guess everyone needs a creative outlet! All that aside, there’s a return to the intelligent protagonists of Wrong Turn, with characters acting logically in trying circumstances …at least for a while.
Bloodlines turns out to be the strongest film in the franchise since Dead End, purely thanks to Bradley’s commanding, creepily charismatic performance and a remarkably grim ending.