After the fourth entry to this horror franchise “The Final Destination”, it didn’t seem like there would be any more sequels to this highly successful horror-juggernaut. However, with Final Destination 5, we see that the fickle finger of death isn’t quite done with dispatching attractive young urbanites. Shot for 3D, FD5 makes the most of this, featuring more scenes of things flying towards the camera than anything previous seen in the series.
Once again the story involves a young man who experiences a premonition of him and his colleagues being killed in a freak accident. Acting on this vision, he narrowly saves a handful of people from plunging to their deaths. But as we know from the previous films as well as the ominous intonations of the county coroner (played by former Candyman and series regular Tony Todd) death doesn’t like being cheated. In order to restore survivors of the accident are in due course subjected to horrific demises, each more elaborate than the last.
The cast of characters seem almost intentionally shallow, complete with horror movie standards like the ambitious young buck, the nerdy creep, the officious boss and the vapid babe. Established as employees of a paper company, (who later seen working incongruously as chefs and gymnasts) they are largely tasked with staring at appalling accidents and uttering classic lines like “how did this happen?” and “this can’t be an accident!” However, the real stars of the movie are the gory set pieces.
Director Steven Quale -whose previous credits include second unit on a few of James Cameron’s films- shoots the death scenes with an acute awareness that the audience has seen this happen in the four earlier Final Destination movies. The set-ups involving a deadly gymnastic routine, a Lasik operation gone wrong and a particularly uncomfortable acupuncture session, are peppered with enough misdirection to keep punters on their toes. My only complaint would perhaps be that there are too many bits where characters are in danger of slipping on things left on the floor: perhaps the script was developed by a team of mothers tired of their kids leaving stuff lying around. Regardless, there is a strong vein of very black humour running throughout that distinguishes FD5 from recent torture-porn flicks like Hostel 2, whose only purpose appears to be grossing out teenagers.
This review is based on the 2D version, so no real comment can be made on the effectiveness of the 3D. However, schlocky horror movies seem to be the spiritual home of the third dimension, providing the eye-poking visuals that will both delight fans and provide some small distraction from the constant sound of snapping spines.
Final Destination 5 is pretty much a remake of its predecessors, but there’s something about the premise and the endless possibilities for killing people in implausible ways that has allowed the series to thrive. It’s not particularly original, but it’s still a lot of fun.
Rating: 3 1/2 impaled skulls out of 5