Death is at it again with the latest Final Destination film. Final Destination 5 marks the return of the popular horror series and with its return brings 3D, unique deaths and horrible dialogue. The series hasn’t been known for its elaborate stories or intriguing characters and director Steven Quale understands that. With Final Destination 5 he attempts to recreate the suspenseful moments leading to the deaths and he also takes full advantage of the extra dimension with a constant flow of blood and body parts flying off the screen in every direction. Fans of the series will fall in the middle with this film because it does offer better kills than the previous two films, but it doesn’t further the concept of cheating death.
Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) is the latest teen hit with premonitions of death and carnage. While riding on a bus with fellow employees for a company retreat he sees into the future. In a panic he quickly exits the bus and takes a few co-workers with him. His girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell) and his buddy Peter (Miles Fisher) are the first to follow, but a few other stragglers come with for what I like to call “filler kills”.
Overwhelmed with emotions Sam tries to figure out how he saw into the future and how he prevented the deaths of himself and friends. With each new day of life comes death for one of the survivors and slowly they start to realize that death is after all of them. That is until the trusty old coroner Bludworth (Tony Todd) reminds them of the balance. If you kill someone that isn’t meant to die then they replace you in death and you get to live their life. It’s a way of death balancing out the world.
The rest of Final Destination 5 follows the footsteps of every other Final Destination film. They waste 20 to 30 minutes on emotional dialogue about fearing death and finally coming to terms with facing it. The attempted dialogue is followed up with death and lots of it. People get impaled, laser zapped, thrown out of windows, hooked, stabbed and broken into tiny pieces of human fragment. If you’ve seen any of the previous Final Destination films then you know the drill and you’re either going to come along for the ride or sit in disgust.
Final Destination 5 is one of the stronger entries because it finally understands what the audience wants. It amps up the violence and really uses the 3D correctly. From the get go you’ll realize how horrible the dialogue is and then you’ll start to chuckle at it while waiting for your gore fix. Once the killing starts it kicks into autopilot and coasts the rest of the film. I found the characters laughably bad when compared to previous cast members, but I almost think that was intentional this time.
One thing that Final Destination 5 really captures is that initial feeling of suspense and surprise. The first two films did a great job at faking you out. You’d have a bathroom as the room of death, but you spent the entire time guessing how the poor soul would die. Would he crack his head on the sink or get caught in the curtain wire? Just when you think you know it the film would dash in the opposite direction and fool you. There’s one good death scene in Final Destination 5 that rekindles that feeling, but the rest of the kills after that start to feel repetitive.
The idea of killing someone to replace your spot in line is also brought up and poorly touched up on. They discuss it, but never really utilize it.
The ending is a nice surprise for fans of the series because even though it can be seen from a mile away if you’re paying attention, it still feels like closure. The series comes full circle and I wouldn’t be mad if they stopped making these films tomorrow. If they do continue to make more Final Destination films then I really hope they try something different. It wouldn’t be that hard to expand on the reasoning as to why death chooses specific people for the premonitions. A little more story would really help the series, but most will probably be satisfied as long as the kills keep coming in strong.
The film looks sharp on Blu-Ray. There are rarely any spots of dull or unfocused detail. Everything is rich in color and detail and the CGI blood looks cheesier than ever. If you’ve been with the series this long then CGI blood should be the least of your worries. Final Destination 5 looks clean and is about what you’d expect.
I had a blast with the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. The opening dialogue is quiet and centered on the front channels, but once the killing kicks in it becomes an all at war. Poles impale flesh on the front right channel and come out the back left. The track is full of active surround effects that bring you this much closer to the action.
Warner Bros. caps off the disc with a very small amount of lifeless special features. The alternate death scenes are actually the exact same minus the last 10 seconds and the Circle of Death feature actually spoils the movie, so don’t watch it before the film. Check out the full list below.
- Alternate Death Scenes (HD)
- Circle of Death (HD)
- Visual Effects of Death (HD)
- DVD Copy
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
Final Destination 5 is a good entry in the series, but you can’t help but feel that the series is becoming tired and stale. It’s in need of a massive re-haul in terms of story and approach. I doubt the folks at New Line Cinema really care about that sort of thing, so if we see more of these films expect the same thing recycled with new deaths. If you’re a fan of the series then by all means check this one out. It’s better than two and three, but not as good as one or two. Everyone else will want to avoid this film because it offers nothing new.
The Blu-Ray disc looks clean and sounds great. The special features are a waste, but at least you can take the film with you anywhere you want with the UltraViolet digital copy and DVD copy.