Directed by Steven Quale
Written by Eric Heisserer & Jeffrey Reddick
Starring Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Arlen Escarpeta, Ellen Wroe, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, P.J. Byrne, Arlen Escarpeta, David Koechner & Tony Todd
Starts today in theaters!
Before I jump into this, I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of the FINAL DESTINATION franchise. I understand the appeal of the Rube Goldbergian scenarios. I loved seeing them in those TOM & JERRY cartoons as a kid. But after a discussion with @$$Hole co-editor Sleazy G after watching the film last night, I started understanding why the films are so popular. See, SAW and FINAL DESTINATION are the FRIDAY THE 13th’s and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET’s of this generation of young movie goers. I remember fanatically going having to see the latest F13 or NIGHTMARE every time they hit theaters, which back then was an annual thing just as FINAL DESTINATION and SAW have become. As much as I scoff as the popularity of those films, a part of me feels that by doing so I’m giving in to my inner old man and not understanding that, as vapid and one note as these movies are, there is an entertaining factor at play here.
With this understanding, I have to say I came out of FINAL DESTINATION 5 last night thoroughly entertained. Do we go to see rich character development played by Oscar worthy actors? Hellz no. We go because the kills are fun and cartoony. And you know what? The kills WERE fun and cartoony. Every kill was as complex as they come, but also had a factor of gallows black humor that made it a blast to experience, especially in 3-D, as chunks and body parts are tossed in your face at a rapid pace.
The plot of the story is paper thin and simply a different scenario in which a kid predicts the death by catastrophe (this time it’s a bridge collapse) then one by one, the survivors are killed off because as the series only returning character played by Tony Todd states, “Death cannot be cheated.” There’s also a subplot where the lead kid wants to be a gourmet chef and must decide whether to stay in the states with his girlfriend or go to France on an internship—blah, blah, blah. None of that shit matters though. FINAL DESTINATION 5 is just shit getting fucked up in graphic, complicated and anus puckering ways. Though he doesn’t get too deep or spend much time letting the audience get to know these characters, director Steven Quale takes full advantage of the 3rd Dimension and fills this movie with one wince inducing moment after another—be it a nail into a bare foot or a laser to an eyeball.
But who’s looking for character and subtext in a FINAL DESTINATION film? It’s a visual smorgasbord of easily digestible food. You can like your heady, Cronenbergian, foreign horror all you want. I love those films too. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for lowest common denominator, in your face schlock too. FINAL DESTINATION 5 slops around in the red stuff like a fat kid in a mud puddle. Even the opening credits, which is basically just five minutes of shit comin’ at you, most of the time on fire (I swear, there was a barbed wired log on fire slamming in your face for no reason whatsoever) goes for the cheap in your face thrill that was the reason 3D films were made in the first place. So even though it will never stack up to the thrill I had every Friday the 13th when a new Jason flick was released, I understand the appeal of films like FINAL DESTINATION 5 and recommend you go see it this weekend.