In case you are not familiar with the Final Destination horror franchise, the plots are all along a basic frame work that operates like this: a teen sees a flash back of a way that they and their friends will end up dying if they do not avoid a certain situation, the group avoids the situation successfully to survive another day, and finally, Death (traditionally played by Tony Todd of ‘Candyman’ cinematic fame) comes to make them all pay for cheating him on his soul quota.
The Final Destination, the fourth film in this series, does not mess about with diversions from the general formula and that is probably a smart move, even if it is going to disappoint a fairly substantial segment of the audience due to the fact that this is the last Final Destination film that will be made. That’s a promise from the directors, but keep in mind this was said about Rocky, Leprechaun and plenty of other movie series. Really, though, there are only so many variations of the basic premise of people avoiding deaths based on premonitions only to pay for it later. After a while, it’s a train ride that can pretty much stop.
This film is actually shot in HD 3-D so the special effects are a little bit more, but the impressive visuals only went so far for this reviewer. In essence, the film is about terrible accidents and fans of this series are likely to savor the death count and creativity of those fatal incidents rather than the high complexity of the story. Yes, there are clever twists and turns here, but this is designed to be more of a movie that you see and then end up discussing with your friends for hours on end because the terrible accidents that off the characters are often the sort of thing that genuinely terrifies most people.
The gore factor is incredibly high in this movie and you should definitely understand that going in. In fact, some critics have called the series little more than ‘death porn’ but there aren’t too many horror movies that an accusation like this couldn’t be leveled at. It’s the nature of the genre and the fact that we’re looking at people getting dismembered, crushed and annihilated in a wide variety of ways is pretty much the whole point of the movie so it would be a mistake to expect anything more than that from The Final Destination.
While visually impressive, the film did not offer much to celebrate in terms of interesting story twists and nearly anyone who has seen the rest of the series will agree that it was about as unpredictable as a Disneyland ride. If you love the series already then you will be able to get into this installment, but if you’re sitting on the fence about it then you won’t miss much if you go ahead and stay where you’re comfortable.
All in all, The Final Destination was no surprise and the journey to get there proved to be mildly interesting, at best.