8/29/09

My First Impressions Of The Final Destination

While many horror fans will flock to the opening of Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2, I have to admit that Michael Myers has just never been my cup of tea. For my horror fix this weekend, I headed out to the Cineplex to check out the new 3-D Bonanza The Final Destination. I’ve enjoyed the series ever since the first installment because I accepted what it is, a series of spectacularly imaginative death scenes. The plot is generally the same in all final destination films, and the newest entry is no different. However, just in case you were wondering, a group of teens escapes death at a race track because one of them has a premonition of the catastrophe. Death of course is not happy about being cheated, and it comes for each of the teens and the peripheral characters who also escaped their fate.

Sounds pretty familiar to anyone who’s seen a Final Destination film, I’m sure. So there’s no surprise there, but the deaths rendered in 3-D are a mighty impressive spot of gore. Each demise is cleverly set up by what seems like the Rube Goldberg machine of death, and the best use of 3-D is wisely saved for these moments. One particular death that stood out featured a fence, and I’ll never look at chain link the same way again. The Final Destination has the kind of gore you rarely see on the cinema screen these days, and it’s kind of refreshing.

At their core the Final Destination franchise is rooted in the exploitative desire to be voyeurs to our own human fragility. As so many accidental deaths occur, it only takes a series of seemingly random and unrelated events to turn a man into Manwich. After seeing the flick, the desire to stay in your home and live out your days in a foam rubber suit is strong, and if anyone needs one I know a guy. The Final Destination is exactly what you think it will be, but if that appeals to you like it did to me then you won’t be disappointed.

Just a moment to talk about the performances. Most of the cast is forgettable, but I will remember Shantel VanSanten as being quite the cutie throughout. It seems she might be a new scream queen with the horror flick Something Wicked slated for 2010. There was one performance worth mentioning, and that comes from Mykelti Williamson as the security guard. With a minor role, Williamson managed to round out the character, and he became the only one I gave two craps about. Most people will remember Williamson from Forest Gump, but as I’ve not seen that, I recognized him as Mike ’Baby-O’ O’Dell from Con Air and from the Lou Diamond Phillips thriller The First Power.

On a final note I will say that I saw it in Dolby Digital 3D, and when I saw My Bloody Valentine it was in Real3D. Of the two I have to give it up to Real3D as the more impressive technique. Yes, its kung fu is very good. The Dolby process is fine, but Real3D seemed to allow for a much crisper image. So I will you back here on Monday for a selection from The Grab Bag that you’re sure to enjoy. Until then, be careful. Very, very careful.

Bugg Rating

3 comments:

  1. Good review, but I don't have much desire to see this one, 3D or not. I saw the first movie, thought it was interesting and sometimes funny in its Rube Golbergian mania, but I didn't want to see it repeated. Or at least, not spend money to see it repeated. Plus, for weird accidental death scenes I have to give it up to The Omen and Damien: Omen II. Damien isn't a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but the seeing the unfunny guy from Mannequin die in a gruesome elevator accident is really cool.

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  2. Kudos, first of all, for your mention of the Lou Diamond Philips masterpiece The First Power!

    I loved FD, as I've loved the three before. My only complaint was actually the 3D, which, aside from the opening, seemed underused and underwhelming. Other than that, I had a huge smile all the way through the film. It's funny, gory, and creative, even if it did occasionally go for cheap thrills. Feel free to check out my take over on my blog.

    Oh, and as far as H2 goes, you definitely made the right choice!

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