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>> Monday, August 15, 2011

I will say despite the Final Destination series' many faults - one thing it never fails at is it's countless ways to build up suspense and make you cringe. Even when it comes down to something as simple as the potential to step on a screw - you may find yourself on the edge of your seat. That is, until you witness the most ridiculous death you've ever seen. Then you find yourself asking 'Really?!' - that and 'Why did I come to Final Destination 5?'.

The biggest error in the Final Desination films is unfortunately also it's biggest gimmick and plot point. The fact that right before this big event happens the main character gets a disturbing vision of the future. Be it a plane crash, a highway pile-up or a bridge collapsing, for some reason a vision always precedes the actual events. By the time I found myself watching the fifth one I began to wonder less about who was going to die and more about where the hell these visions were coming from. This idea has increasingly become more of plot hole that just doesn't make any sense. This is forgivable enough if you have characters and story you care about - but when the film even lacks that, all bets are off when death comes knocking at the door.

The expert in this film (every horror movie usually has one) states in inexplicable detail how to beat death. Previous ways include using new life to rewrite your 'contact' and beating your near-death experience to earn a place amongst the living. In Final 5, the coroner explains you have to kill somebody else to take their life force. Once again - really?! Not only that, but he says it in passing and the kids eat it up like crack. At no point do they question it - they simply go along with it.

But these are all things consistent throughout the entire series. Something that's not is the one piece of originality Final 5 had going for it - it's a surprise prequel. Now, knowing this information won't ruin the film for you, I promise. However, that's the biggest problem in this film. If you didn't like the last three films, you'll generally still admit the first one was original in it's attitude and execution. So, the idea that this film could potentially bring back the original feel was an intriguing idea when I thought back upon it. As a prequel there's potential to answer a lot of questions and introduce a new way of thinking about this whole 'death as an antagonist' thing. However, in Final 5 it seemed more like an afterthought for the filmmakers rather than a springboard for a reason this film needed to exist. Also, the fact this film is called Final Destination 5 and not The Final Destination like it's predecessor speaks volumes about the lack of thought and foreplanning that went into this series.

Final Destination 5 gets a big ol' closed door. As I said with the last one, I truly hope this is the final destination. Unlike a horror franchise like Saw, Final Destination is sloppy gore that doesn't connect well. It's unimaginative and predictable at this point and it might be time to put this series to rest - especially with it coming full circle as it now has. Besides, when it comes to using common deaths such as falling as a 'freak' accident - you're clearly running out of ideas.

*Stills courtesy of Newline Cinema


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