Final Destination 5

Final Destination 5

**

Reviewed by: Helen Beaumont

For those who are unaware, the basic premise of all the Final Destination films sees the cast introduced and before long one of them has a vision of a horrific accident that kills them all. Waking up to see the exact events begin to unfold in real life, they warn their friends and rush everyone to safety, just in time to save them from the crash/explosion/falling anvil. The rest of the film tracks these survivors as Death, who has been cheated, reclaims them one by one in elaborate, complicated and incredibly violent ways. Panic ensues, blood goes everywhere, the crowd goes wild – in theory.

With the ending essentially revealed at the beginning, the fun (if you are into this sort of thing) is not in guessing who’s going to die but how. This film, as with every other one in the series, sets up each oncoming gore-fest with ominous music and close-up shots of various hazards before a chain reaction is sparked and hell breaks loose. How these hazards come into play is often not how one would expect, and therein lays the suspense. Occasionally a character will appear to cheat death again, leaving the audience to wonder if they might survive after all.

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For someone who has seen a lot of films like this, however, there is little attraction. The cast, though the acting is fairly good, comprises a lot of characters that most won’t really care about, and attempts to add humour with ‘the wacky racist sexist ugly guy!’ fall flat - as they always do. The two lovers one is expected to really care about are just dull – the man who thinks he has to choose between love and work but doesn’t and the woman who is always vaguely upset-looking.

The deaths are gory and elaborate, certainly, and the effects aren’t bad, but it’s nothing new – even if you haven’t seen the FD films before. Bloody spikes and shattered glass flying in your face, that sort of thing – 3D is abused a lot here. In fact, you already get a feel for what sort of accidents will happen by watching the explosive opening credits, further numbing the viewer. Comedy – an important part of these films – is present but uninspired, eliciting one or two chuckles if you’re lucky.

So, if you’ve seen all the others, why see this one if it’s just more of the same? Well, it’s definitely one that’s more for the fans, though it doesn't depend on one having background knowledge. The film, despite initially appearing to be separate, does tie in with the other four films in a rather neat little twist, and though you’ve seen deaths like this a hundred times before they are entertaining enough to watch. For those who haven’t seen any FD film, it’s possibly worth a look if you have 90 minutes to kill and are looking for something mindless to ridicule or zone out to. I’d probably have picked up something like this for sleepovers back in the day when everyone would talk over the movie and obscure any dialogue.

Don’t bother if you like your horror clever and subtle but, if you like Final Destination, you’ll find this adequate.

Reviewed on: 24 Aug 2011
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Final Destination 5 packshot
Death tries to correct the balance after a premonition saves a group of workers from a bridge collapse.
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Director: Steven Quale

Writer: Eric Heisserer, Jeffrey Reddick

Starring: Nicholas D'Agosto, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Tony Todd, Emma Bell, David Koechner, P.J. Byrne, Courtney B. Vance, Ellen Wroe, Miles Fisher, Arlen Escarpeta, Tanya Hubbard, Tim Fellingham, Andy Nez, Ian Thompson

Year: 2011

Runtime: 95 minutes

Country: US

Festivals:

Frightfest 2011

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