Final Destination 5 Movie Review

Final Destination 5
by Michael Pickle,

Now in it's second week in theaters is the 5th installment in the Final Destination franchise. One of the very few horror franchises to churn out this many successful sequels in wide release. The secret is a tried and true formula that features a faceless killer (death itself) and a plethora of creative and complex death scenes.

Thanks to the staying power of these films; they are able to take full advantage of advancements in special effects technology. This entry is no different. The grand scale and quality of the opening disaster sequence followed by the laundry list of individual gruesome deaths make up for the paper thin characters. It also helps that it has a couple gratifying twists to breathe some life into a formula that is teetering on the edge of becoming tiresome.

The biggest draw to see this one in the theater is the use of 3D. Final Destination 5 was filmed in 3D instead of being converted and director Steven Quale knows when and where to use it. This is what tips the scales slightly to make it a brainless, but fun horror film worth checking out in large venue where the effects can be appreciated.

Final Destination films are first defined by their disasters. The original featured a plane crash. Then a magnificently shot freeway crash in part 2, roller coaster crash in 3, race track crash in 4 and finally a suspension bridge collapse. Before said disaster, we're introduced to the character who has a vision or daydream of it happening before it happens.

Part 5's futile hero is Sam Lawton (Nicholas D'Agosto). A young man heading to a company retreat with a bus full of co-workers including Molly Harper (Emma Bell) who just broke off their relationship before leaving. Sam tries frantically to rush everyone off the bus before the bridge comes crashing down, but only he and Molly and 6 others escape unharmed. Soon after; they all start dying in freak accidents that get progressively more freaky in, you guessed it, the order that they died in Sam's premonition.

The Coroner (once again played by the great Tony Todd) shows up to clean up the mess after each messy casualty and warns Sam and his friends that death doesn't like to be cheated. This time he offers a little extra tid-bit he forgot to mention before. Death might be appeased if they murdered someone who would take their place in death's plan. A concept that wasn't fleshed out as well as I would have liked, but damn the death scenes were cool!

Final Destination 5

You may think that if you've seen one of these films you've seen them all. This is true, for the most part, but they are successful for a reason. They take everyday situations and turn them deadly and use a supernatural twist to exploit our very real fears. From disasters to little mishaps that appear harmless enough, but end with someone in a bloody heap of broken bones. Part 5 carries on the tradition quite well.

The deaths have creative, often highly suspenseful set-ups and are well filmed and imaginative. The impressive visual effects provide the authenticity and the 3D effects are icing on the cake. It's a damn good thing because most of the characters don't give you a whole lot of reasons to care about them besides waiting to see how they will die. The few attempts at compelling interaction fall flat a lot of the time and leave the viewer looking for signs of the next death. The main characters played by Emma Bell and especially Nicholas D'Agosto run around with a look on their face that's a cross between being love struck and scared shitless and it's sometimes hard to tell which.

Oversold acting and borderline tired concept aside; FD5 is an enjoyable horror film that, all in all, is worth the price of admission and certainly the extra couple bucks to view in 3D. Let's face it. It's a hell of a lot better than the loathsome remake of My Bloody Valentine. You're not likely to be blown away, but you're not likely to crave that hour and a half of your life back either.

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