Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Final Destination

The Final Destination 2009
Director: David R. Ellis
Writer: Eric Bress
Starring Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano, Haley Webb, Mykelti Williamson, Krista Allen, Andrew Fiscella, Justin Welborn, Stephanie Honore, Lara Grice and Jackson Walker

The Final Destination franchise has always been one of my favorite horror series of recent years, but they really seemed to drop the ball with this one. Overall the film was just meh. The deaths were rather cheesy and some were just outright copies from the other films. The film was also way too short to be able to give the film the proper suspense that was needed for the elaborate deaths. There was little to no characterization in the films, so when a character died you could have given a rat's ass. Another element that screwed the film is that all the major deaths were given away in the previews and that killed any suspense on what was going to happen. Really the only thing that saved the film from being a total disaster was the excellent 3 D effects. This film by far has the best 3 D effects that I have seen in any 3 D film to this date. This is a film that fans of the series will see, but it is definitely not representative of what is best that the series has to offer, for that I would point them towards Final Destination 2. This film was amateurish at best.
The plot basics are this, Nick (Campos) and his friends are taking a much needed break from studying by hanging out at a NASCAR race. Nick has a premonition of a horrible accident happening and he gets his friends and a few other patrons to leave the race before his prediction becomes reality. They all leave unharmed but it soon becomes apparent that Death has a plan for them and the survivors begin to die in bizarre and mysterious ways. Nick begins to have visions of what is to come next, but in cryptic ways. He tries to figure it out and save the ones who are marked. It seems Death is unstoppable though. If Nick does not find a way to cheat death though, all their numbers will be up, including his own.
This was really a poorly done film. I am surprised it did so well at the box office. Ellis who did a superb job of directing Final Destination 2 really drops the ball here. The suspense is almost non existent due to the fact that you see all the kills coming from a mile away. The kills while pulled off decently, are not very creative and unlike the other films are not memorable at all. The script does not fare much better. There is little to no characterization, so you have no empathy for any of the characters. It seems that the only character that gets any details is George, the security guard and that still is not enough to warrant a memorable character. The cast is mediocre at best. The film is mostly filled with young people who look good in little clothing, and while that may distract you, it does not substitute for genuine acting skill. Williamson as George is really the only decent actor in the bunch. The SFX and effects are done very well, specifically the 3 D effects. The opening car crash carnage is great, but it never reaches that level again. One effect that I thought was done better in another horror film was the escalator death, that was far more well done and suspenseful in the 80's horror film The Kiss. This was just a mediocre horror film that is raised up some by some excellent 3 D effects.
This one gets 3 out of 5

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