Sorry for this being late. I just realized that I had scheduled it to be posted next Thursday, instead of on 5/24. Chalk it up to me not being very smart.
Anyway, it is another week and another Horror Movie Marathon. This week, I decided to watch The Final Destination movies. They are not strictly horror movies, but they still fit the idea of a horror movie, so they work. Final Destination is a franchise where, after narrowly avoiding death, a group of people start getting picked off in grizzly accidents. The deaths occur in Rube Goldberg machine-like fashion, with crazy circumstances coming together to lead to someone’s death. It is a franchise that has spawned five movies, with varying degrees of success. But we will be looking at the first three movies today.
Final Destination (2000)
The movie that started it all. The main character Alex boards a flight with his high school class heading to Paris for their senior trip. But mid-flight, something goes wrong, and the plane begins to crash, before exploding in the air. But, then Alex wakes up and the plane is still in the middle of the boarding process. He freaks out, and he along with several classmates and a teacher are thrown off the plane. They continue to bicker until they see the plane blow up.
From there, as per the Final Destination formula, everyone who got off the plane, and “cheated death” begin to die in gruesome fashion. They get strangled by a shower curtain, run over by a bus, blown up after a gas leak in their house, decapitated by a train crash, etc.
It is a semi-entertaining movie, but incredibly cheesy. It is the typical campy slasher movie, without a slasher. The acting is sub-par, the writing is sub-par. It has that annoying final death scene that bad slasher’s always had. Where we think everything is wrapped up, but then the final scene is one last character being killed. It serves no purpose, it just tells me they were not clever enough to write a real ending.
The characters are all cliches. There is the typical jock bully, who is all male aggression, with no other personality trait. There is his girlfriend, who has zero personality traits. There is the best friend character who dies before he ever has a chance to have a personality. And the main character himself is just a bundle of nerves with no real character. Again, something that is typical of the genre.
There is a whole side plot about the police thinking he is a terrorist, which doesn’t really work at all. it slows the movie down every time it pops up. I assume it is their way of trying to make it seem like they put thought into the movie. Because if someone got up in a plane and screamed it was going to blow up, and then got off, and it actually blows up, they would be investigated. But this is already a dumb movie, and they should have embraced that. Gone full camp, and focus on making the movie entertaining. Cut out the pointless scenes that only serve to make the movie boring.
It is a fine movie to pass the time, but nothing to write home about. Certainly not worthy of having four sequels, but hey, being mediocre has never stopped movies like this from becoming a franchise before.
Final Destination 2 (2003)
While still not good, this sequel is slightly better than the original, in that they actually bothered to make the characters distinct from each other. The character reacts in what I feel is a more reasonable and believable fashion to these instances.
This time, the movie follows the character, Kim. Kim is on a road trip with her friends when she witnesses a massive multi-car crash. She dies when her car is flipped over and catches on fire. But like in the first movie, she then wakes up and is able to stop a group of people from getting on the highway, and preventing them from dying. And again, after that, they all begin to die.
The first guy gets a ladder through his eye after escaping a series of other deaths. It is actually my favorite scene in the movie. A lot of the other deaths in the movie just seem so rushed and sudden, But here, is a great slow build. There are some issues in the scene, but overall, it is an entertaining scene to watch. The death itself has some pretty bad CGI. The hole in his eye looks super fake, but the set up is fantastic.
The movie is still super campy, and at times poorly written, but it at least feels like some thought went into it. One thing I kind of like is how every character here connects to a character from the previous movie. It shows the ripple effect that the original group of survivors had. These new characters all avoided death before because of the deaths of the characters in the last movie. These editions do not slow down the movie, but they add some story to it.
One thing that bothers me is that the movie thinks it is subtle. It tries to tease the way people will die. A guy is going to be pierced through the eye so the magnets on the fridge will say eye. The plane that blew up in the first movie was flight 180, and the number 10 appears a bunch. Pretty much everyone’s death is foreshadowed, but they put the focus on the foreshadowing, making it super obvious, instead of leaving it in the background to be subtle. When you draw attention to the foreshadowing, it stops being subtle, it just makes you look desperate to look clever.
The acting is still bad, and the dialogue is still cheesy, but again, it is slightly better than the first movie.
Final Destination 3 (2006)
It is hard to believe, but these movies actually managed to get even dumber in this entry. The first two movies were cliche, but at least things acted like they do in real life.
This time, instead of something reasonable, like a car crash or plane crash killing someone, it is a roller coaster accident. Which could be reasonable, but not in the way this movie decided for it to happen. A section of track randomly decides to break, and the coaster goes flying off the track. The seats randomly malfunction causing people to fall out. And even the deaths during the movie, just seem so unrealistic. There were some over the top deaths in the first two, but not to this extent. A car engine is ejected out of the front of a car, into the back of someone head. Two tanning beds malfunction is excessively over the top fashion, burning two women to a crisp. It is all just, way too dumb.
It somehow managed to be less subtle. Like I said, the first two movies were super obvious with the foreshadowing. Putting all the clues on how people will die right in your face, making it impossible to have any subtlety. But this movie takes it a step forward, and not only shows you but tells you how people will die. There is a whole story part about how the picture.
The acting went from mediocre, to overtly bad. In general, it is just a bad movie. There is not much to say about it, because there is not much to the movie.
The characters are even more uninteresting. The plot is even more annoying. It is just a frustrating movie to watch. With all the flaws the first two had, they were at the least fun to watch. This movie has all the flaws and none of the good parts.