Starting way back in 2000, the first Final Destination film introduced the audience to the idea that death had a design and a plan, and if you cheated that plan not only would death come for you, it would make sure you died in the most gruesome and horrible way possible.
The Final Destination series, unlike many other horror series has stuck strongly to the same themes, ideas, structure and narrative while remaining fresh and original within that framework as well as delivering some of the most amazing accidental deaths ever imagined.
Like a horror health and safety warning video, we have been witness to all sorts of extravagant and extraordinary deaths from motorway pile-ups to runaway roller coasters and speedway smashes – every episode delivering bigger and better than the last. This fifth instalment manages to push things even further revitalising the series and proving that 3D horror has a bright and bloody future.
As a bunch of work colleagues gather to go on a company retreat Sam Lawton (Nicholas D’Agosto) is oblivious to the fact that his life is about to take a twisted turn into the terrifying. Whilst on the bus they stop at roadworks taking place on a suspension bridge and Sam has a petrifying premonition of an epic disaster. The accident will kill all his friends except the love of his life Molly (Emma Bell from The Walking Dead and Frozen) who he manages to save.
Finding himself back on the bus suddenly with a second chance, he hurriedly drags Molly away along with several other workmates including his best friend Peter (Miles Fisher) and Peter’s girlfriend Candice (Ellen Wroe). Confused and believing Sam to be insane the gang soon see otherwise when the bridge does indeed collapse killing all their colleagues in the process.
As life returns to something like normal the remaining survivors attempt to continue their lives. However, as before death will not be cheated and after a gory gymnasium accident claims the life of Candice, Peter and the Police turn to Sam for answers he cannot supply. As the survivors start to fall one by one Sam must work out a way to once again save Molly and himself before fate and his impending doom catch up and claim them.
The Final Destination films have al been brilliant and although the series dipped somewhat with the fourth instalment, Final Destination 5 is a triumphant and terrifyingly tremendous return to form made all the more enjoyable by the excellent 3D effects.
From the opening credits where a series of bodies and blunt objects crash through the screen in slow motion, to the suspension bridge set piece and the many other brutal and brilliant deaths the 3D increases the enjoyment, providing plenty of pop out impalements and visceral thrills. Unlike The Final Destination where the 3D felt like an afterthought, here it is integrated and intelligent – used as much for shocks and jumps as it is to add depth and draw you into the doomed drama unfolding before you.
The set-piece deaths are one of the things that set the Final Destination series apart from other horror movies and here they do not disappoint. There’s lots of amazingly original ideas, including one of the worst eye scenes since Clockwork Orange or Zombie Flesh Eaters, horror heads will have plenty of fun trying to work out how each individual will die and covering their eyes when they see how it finally happens.
What is most impressive about Final Destination 5 however is not the spectacle but the story and script, which manages to stay true to the other films in the series while also introducing some new ideas. Themes of ‘how much control we really have over the course of our own lives’, ‘survivors guilt’ and the very nature of the randomness of death are discussed, with the relatively unknown cast doing a brilliant job, particularly Miles Fisher who crafts Peter into an interesting and complex character not seen in previous movies.
Giving Final Destination fans everything they could have ever wanted in a sequel (including the return of Tony Todd) Final Destination 5 is one of the best horror films of the year so far. It’s the kind of horror movie that 3D was made for, giving final proof that 3D can work well when used properly and intelligently.
Guaranteed to make you wince, laugh and scream it’s a thrilling ride of a movie that entertains all the way through to its amazing ending.