Final Destination 5 – DVD Review

When I first saw this film it brought me nothing but joy, the deaths were sublime and the 3D cheesy enough to please. On second viewing, the film only lost a little of its sheen. The deaths were still amazing but less surprising, for obvious reasons, and without the 3D moments where objects are thrown at the screen have much less impact (pun intended). Watching with a group of friends it was easy to recreate the cinema experience of mass gasps and grimaces, and THAT final scene again served to be the moment that brought the film up a notch.

For a fun horror to watch on a night in with a group of friends you can’t go wrong with Final Destination 5, though it may be worth watching the predecessors it pays tribute to first.

The extras here are a little hit miss, but I suppose it depends on exactly what you are looking for in your bonus features, if you’re looking for anything at all. On the disappointing side are two alternative death scenes for the acupuncture and laser eye surgery related deaths. In the former the actual method of death is changed, but you are forced to sit through a repeat of ten minutes of the film first, and with the latter the death remains almost unchanged, but she suffers a lot more in the eye-popping build up. Alternatives deaths are (arguably) fun, but sitting through ten minutes of seemingly identical build up is not.

The Circle of Death featurette is your typical five-minute making-of documentary made up of talking head and behind the scenes footage that you can’t help but feel would have made a great extended version. Rather than race through all the stunts in a few minutes they could have taken the times to show us film nerds how it was all done. Though a lot of that is taken up in the final two extras…

The enormous bridge collapse scene at the film’s opening and the other accident which closes it are both treated to a side by side comparison of the raw footage alongside the finished film. These are a very nerd-friendly addition to the DVD allowing you to see precisely what was done with a practical effect, exactly how much of that bridge really existed, and how much jumping the cast had to actually do. These are the two extras you’re looking for so when you’re done with the film itself, and your non-nerd friends have left, jump right to these two features, an example of which is below:

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Final Destination 5 is released on DVD, Blu-ray Triple Play and 3D Blu-ray on December 26th and for a 3D horror film you could do much, much worse.

Final Destination 5 – Review

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.