Final Destination 5

Final Destination 5 PosterRating: ★½☆☆☆

It’s fascinating to notice that the “Final Destination” movies don’t really contain a bloodthirsty villain. They all start out with a teenager’s premonition of an ill-timed freak accident that’ll potentially kill dozens of innocent people. None of the soon-to-be victims probably deserve to die that way, but things like that happen in reality. The premonition offers a last-minute escape, and a small group of fortunate individuals make it to safety. They have cheated Death itself. That’s where Death steps in. He, or she, or it, reclaims what destiny owes him by setting up new, improvised accidents that should be enough to kill the survivors. Death is just catching up with his job.

It is an original and exciting premise that sparked attention when it was first introduced back in 2000. Eleven years and four sequels later, and we’ve just about lost its point. Maybe there isn’t a point to begin with. The “Final Destination” movies exist exclusively to perform fatal experiments on the human body. Within its head is a sadistically curious brain that asks questions like: “What would happen to a perfectly healthy male Caucasian if he gets in the way of barbed wire that’s flying towards him at 70 miles per hour?” “And what would an 18-year-old’s face look like after it is repeatedly shot by a nail gun at point black range?” Where do the film’s writers get their inspiration? The deleted scenes of “Jackass”? The diary of Chuck Norris? Where?

Final Destination 5- Death by GymnasticsFinal Destination 5” remains faithful to its tradition by formulating a new set of life-ending scenarios. Against their will and schedule, a fresh batch of hopeless teenagers is drafted into the recycled story. The novelty of the idea is long gone, but at this point in the franchise, it’s just a matter of how creative the deaths are, and how good they are paced and set up. Compared to the superior first two installments, Part 5 is too redundant and anticlimactic – you get the feeling that there’s something wrong with a movie that starts with a spectacular bridge collapse and climaxes with a brawl in a kitchen – yet it inevitably improves upon the two horrendous sequels that came before it. The movie has one clever and suspenseful death, and the Signature Disaster Sequence at the beginning is the most terrifying disaster yet, but that’s about it.

Our group of survivors shrinks in number as they are “coincidenced” to death. As these booby traps align themselves into position, I would imagine Death calculatingly loosening all the screws and spilling all the liquids and knocking down all the remotes he can find. Things must be pretty boring in Hell for him to go through all this unnecessary effort. No offense to him but, I believe he may be losing his touch. Except for the incredibly gripping gymnasium scene, the death scenes are mostly composed of the same kinds of slipping, puncturing, and crushing we’ve endlessly witnessed in the first four films.

Final Destination 5 (Bridge Collapse Sequence)The problem with horror franchises that overstay their welcome is that they eventually stop being shocking. It happened to Freddy, Jason, and Michael. And now it’s happening to Death, too. A possible remedy for this self-inflicted curse would be to add in a little irony and humor. The only positive thing about the dreadful “House of Wax” remake was the prolonged and savored murder of the Paris Hilton character. For the next “Final Destination”, instead of casting a group of unknown teenage actors, why not send an invitation to Sarah Palin, M. Night Shyamalan, and the main cast of “Twilight”?

No joke. Think of the publicity. The faces on the poster would be the entire advertising campaign… like The Expendables! Imagine how the cast would greatly encourage the writers to come up with more exciting and gruesome deaths. Some of you might accuse me of meanness. Not true. There’s been a shortage of fun horror movies recently, and I’m trying to help here. Look how much popularity C.S.I. received after it decided to unload a firing squad on Justin Bieber.

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Final Destination 5