Reviewed: Final Destination 5 [2011]

15 – 92mins – Horror/Thriller – 26th August 2011

The first Final Destination (the one with the plane) was a very original piece of work that had most of us enjoying some horror and gore in a novel and new way. By the time the second came out (the motorway pile up) in 2003 it could still be classed as a popcorn movie but they really raised the ingenuity of the death scenes making it a reasonable way to waste an hour and a half. By number 3 (roller coaster) and 4 (Nascar) I didn’t see the point in them anymore as you had to sit through an identical plot for 5/6/7 death scenes that, if truth be told, were not great. So when I heard the announcement of a fifth, I really didn’t get it. Perhaps they are jumping on the 3D bandwagon like everyone else?

As expected it duly delivered not a lot in the way of entertainment. In Final Destination 5, a group of co-workers set off for a weekend of team building exercises. However on the way to their destination, a bridge that they are crossing collapses and kills all of them. Unbeknownst to the audience this was just a premonition of the event (ironically I never saw it coming…) and after a commotion Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) manages to convince some of his fellow employees to get off of the bus. The bridge then collapses and their lives are saved. Over the next few days though the survivors start to die in strange circumstances as Death tries to restore order to the world.

The only way I thought it might work as a rehashed concept was if they immediately got into the story of the survivors trying to live but it is a good 20 minutes before the bridge collapse and even longer before they realise that Death is stalking them. The trailer also hints at if they kill someone else then they will steal the time their victim had left and balance out the books. Unfortunately although playing its part in the plot, so much more could have been done with this idea and it felt rather wasted.

The problem is that with no story to tell due to its appearance four times before (and lets face it if you are going to watch Final Destination 5 then there is a strong probability that you have already seen some or all of the prequels) the film is relying on the death scenes to drag it to above average movie status.

This film leaves me asking myself what’s the reason for watching it? I already know what’s going to happen and I basically know how it is going to end so the only reason to go and watch the film is purely for the death scenes which are a mixed bag. On the positive, they do remain a challenge to work out how the characters might die with Steven Quale throwing in many varied possibilities and it also leaves you with a bit of suspense and that cringe worthy ‘ooo that looked like it hurt’ feeling coursing through your body. However the scenes never live up to the standards set in previous films and I don’t think any would make my top 10 Final Destination death scenes list. Given that you have to sit through the writers setting up the movie and trying to make us care about the characters, it hardly seems worth it. Why not just give us a 10 minute film with all the deaths to save wasting more time than is necessary.

It is clear that the 3D factor was a large reason in the return of this movie and it certainly goes over the top during the film especially in the opening credits which are 3 minutes of things being throw at you. As a person who does not yet see the point in this 3D malarkey, the effects based around this concept are pointless when watching it in 2D which I think will be a large contingent of the audience so why do it?

It never captures the enjoyment or even black comedy (think BBQ death at the end of the second) factor that the first two had and when compared to 3 and 4 well, they are all as equally poor so the less said the better. If you feel like going to watch this then may I recommend choosing something else to save you from wasting your time.

PS. Has Death never heard of a heart attack?

Rating: D-

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