Final Destination 5 (2011)

Final Destination 5(2011) – In know all the stuff about “sequels suck” and blah blah blah but the slasher genre isn’t exactly one that was overly sophisticated to begin with. The value in the sequels (and why slasher flicks are that rare genre where many sequels wind up being more entertaining than the original) is in finding new and varied ways to dispatch your cast of disposable characters (usually with a decent dose a gratuitous nudity thrown in). The Final Destination series has got it made in this sense. The deaths all come about from elaborate freak accidents as a result of Death trying to right the wrong of people surviving some large-scale accident early on in the movie. Seriously, do you know many different ways people can die? It’s a wonder any of us make it to the end of the day. Therefore the possibilities are endless for this series. (I have an idea for a scene in a future sequel being in a Benihana-type restaurant…) Final Destination is now on its fifth installment… but hey the Friday the 13th series is at 12 now so who’s to begrudge this series a little bit of longevity?

Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto of the comedy Fired Up! which I enjoy far more than any grown man should) is an aspiring chef who works at a paper company. Sam’s having a shitty day because his girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell of Frozen and The Walking Dead) has dumped him. Oh yeah, and he also had a violent premonition of a suspension bridge collapse that kills him and several of his coworkers. Freaking out and convincing Molly, his friend Peter (Miles Fisher), Peter’s girlfriend Candace (Ellen Wroe), boss Dennis (David Koechner), and co-workers Olivia (Jacqueline McInnes Wood), Nathan (Arlen Escarpeta), and Isaac (P.J. Byrne) to get off the doomed bridge their lives are spared. For a while. Naturally people start dying in freak accidents and it’s only a matter of time before everyone’s favorite creepy coroner William Bludworth (Tony Todd) let’s everyone know what the score is. Bludworth also puts forth a new theory not mentioned in previous installments: if you can get someone to take your place in Death’s design, you get to live their remaining years. Given this revelation, one of the biggest threats to the survivors might be each other (dun Dun DUN!)…

Realistically I think I covered everything that there is to say about this movie in my previous article on the entire series. The kills are good. Gratuitous nudity is unfortunately absent. The opening bridge collapse is pretty epic, rivaling the highway pile-up from Final Destination 2.The movie makes great use of 3D, though this last time I watched it on plain old 2D HBO and it was still a lot of fun. There’s also a kind of nifty plot twist foreshadowed by an Everclear song, a cell phone, and a massage coupon. The screenwriter also carried on the tradition of named characters after horror icons like William Castle, Tobe Hooper, and William Friedkin. As usual for these movies, Death is a total dick. Instead of sending a sudden embolism or whatever, it draws out the kills into excruciating detail. This movie does up the cringe-factor with things like acupuncture and laser eye surgery that even the gore-fans among us get kind of squeamish about. There is one scene with a gymnast does a routine with a screw on her balance beam and the whole time there’s a load of suspense of “holy shit is she going to step on that or what?” Not as much is done with the “kill someone to live” plot device as could be done, but it’s still a nifty wrinkle. Final Destination 5 is not great cinema, but it is really fun cinema. You probably already know if you’ll like it or not from the trailer (but thanks for reading my review anyway!) but if you like the blood-and-guts and occasional suspense, check it out.

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