I'm not really sure how I should start this review of the new Final Destination film. I was sitting next to another film critic in the section reserved for the reviewing press during an early screening of the film and as the credits rolled, I noticed him pull out his ipad and start typing his review. He used words like stunning and achievement during his opening lines. I'm not gonna do that here. I mean, it's a goddamn Final Destination movie, for Christ's sake.
However, I will say that it's biggest detriment is that it bears the Final Destination moniker, because it is a good horror film on its own merits. Now, don't get me wrong...I enjoy gory deaths like any other self respecting Film Deviant. But, the Final Destination films have hit a certain...how shall we say...well...a fuckin' brick wall after that last chapter. I really disliked The Final Destination. I even wrote an in-depth review of that film here. So, I pretty much wrote off any subsequent entries into the series to the "suck" category. This new installment kind of intrigued me, though. The free screening helped. But, when I saw Tony Todd's face (more on him later)...I felt the urge to check this one out.
The basic premise is simple. Opening premonition of an elaborate death sequence. Funeral scene. Lead characters start dying off with intricate Tom & Jerry style death scenes. Tony Todd shows up. The guy gets the girl. End credits. Nah...I'm just kidding...Tom & Jerry aren't in this movie. But, I will tell you that I...in no way shape or form...spoiled the film viewing experience for you by laying out a sort of color-by-numbers guide above. Because, that's just the surface of it all, my horror-loving Deviants. It actually attempts and succeeds in doing something no other Final Destination film has done. I goes deeper. I mean...sure the kills are hilarious at times. And sure Tony Todd is fucking wasted like a cheap Taiwanese whore...but, the twists are plentiful and the ending pulls a 360 on your ass.
Speaking of twists...I won't spoil any for you here. But, I will say that it doesn't take full advantage of the new elements that it introduces in this film. With the revelation that Mr. Todd spills for the young cast, it's a shame that they couldn't devote a chunk of the film to this new premise...instead leaving it for the finale of the film. Which is ok, I suppose...but, I think it would've challenged the film much more and given a sort of moral compass to the entire setting. Something the Final Destination films don't really know too much about...morality. But, I guess they might leave that stuff for any other sequel that might be down the road. I do hope that this is the "final" chapter, though. It's a really good place to walk away from.
Around this time...in our other film critic's review (remember the guy with the fancy ipad?)...I'm sure he'll be talking a bit about the actors. And why not? Emma Bell is great as always. Here she plays Molly, Sam's girl. Sam being played very well by relative newcomer, Nicholas D'Agosto. I hate saying newcomer, though...because the guy's been in so many things...you'll be scratching your head swearing that you've seen him in something else. It seriously helps to have great actors in your Final Destinaion movie.
You got your comic reliefs in the forms of P.J. Byrne and David Koechner. And Tony Todd. God, I wish they used Tony Todd more in this film. The man has so much presence when he's commanding a scene. You just feel like he's so much bigger than this movie. Kinda like Rutger Hauer when he does cameos. Instead, Todd is just reduced to a few revealing lines.
And death. Death plays the center role in the film...as usual. Here's were I'll say some rare nice words about 3D. This film needs to be watched in 3D with a big audience. I found myself laughing and wincing with the rest of the audience when those deaths came. Director Steven Quale does a fine job in his feature debut laying down the anticipation during those infamous death scenes. I have to say that it makes the 3D aspect all the more worth the ridiculous price of admission. Quale's worked alongside James Cameron, so the man is used to making good use of those expensive 3D cameras and bringing a nice subtle depth to the entire look of the film.
Final Destination 5 is a good film. I won't say things like stunning and achievement...because in the end...it's a Final Destination movie. But, I will say that it's my favorite in the series and easily one of the best 3D horror films of all time. Definitely gets the Film Deviant seal of approval and a must-see for the Final Destination lover. They do exist, you know. I actually saw a dude wearing a Final Destination t-shirt during the screening. But, I shouldn't be pointing fingers here. I mean...I hate it when people make fun of me when I walk out of a Britney Spears concert wearing my Oops I Did It Again t-shirt.
Note: Don't go anywhere when the film finishes. There's a nice little mixtape of all the Final Destination films thrown in for good measure.
Thanks for reading,