Since the first Final Destination way back in 2000, the various sequels have varied in quality, each trying to replicate a winning formula without being a mere imitation. Final Destination 5 knows where it is coming from and gives knowing nods to all previous films while forging on ahead as a film better than all previous sequels.
In many ways FD5 follows the usual path, a group of young attractive people escape death due to the plucky lead’s premonition, only to get horrifically killed one by one as Death restores his plan. As with any film in this franchise the characters themselves take the situation very seriously and have their own internal dramas which are pretty inconsequential to the audience. There is also the obligatory new rule to Death’s plan: this time that killing someone else allows you to inherit their remaining years on this Earth. This idea is used to fill the gap between the elaborate death sequences, and as such is pretty unimportant.
The deaths are what Final Destination is all about. Watching as a series of random events culminate in an elaborate, and often bloody, death is what made Final Destination popular and why we return every few years to watch it all unfold again. When it comes to elaborate deaths FD5 is a real joy and contains plenty of surprises. None of the deaths I detailed in my trailer dissection happened exactly as expected, there are plenty of red herrings along the way. Most deaths left the audience laughing, murmurs of delight, and occasionally a ripple of applause.
It feels odd to say but the 3D is some of the best I’ve ever seen and there really is no better way to see a fun horror film. When they make the effort to utilise the 3D to the full in a gimmicky fashion then, and only then, will I bother to lower chunky plastic glasses over my own.
The ending of the film is fantastic and the opening credits are sublime. The film as a whole is ridiculous fun and had me giggling and grimacing, often at the same time. Final Destination 5 is out on 26th August and I cannot recommend it enough.
There’s a special joy in knowing that director Steven Quale cut his teeth working as second unit director on Avatar, therefore learning all about 3D from James Cameron before utilising it in a way which would horrify Cameron himself.