Final Destination 5

Release date: August 12, 2011
Directed by: Steven Quale
Written by: Eric Heisserer
Cast: Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Arlen Escarpeta, Miles Fisher, Ellen Wroe, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, P.J. Byrne, Courtney B. Vance, Tony Todd

Everyone who has ever stepped foot into a Final Destination movie has been reminded of the unfortunate fact that you can’t cheat death. While we all know the inevitability of death, the films aren’t exactly gentle with their reminder that our time will come — regardless of how much we try to escape or postpone it. While Final Destination 5 escapes being as much of a joke as the fourth film, it still tells the same old story without realizing what the fine line between comedy and horror is.

Sam Lawton (D’Agosto) is about to embark on a retreat with his co-workers after an abrupt break-up with his girlfriend Molly (Bell). While on the bus ride to their retreat location, the bridge that they are crossing begins to collapse due to construction and chance winds. After what seems to be a reckless and unsuccessful attempt at escaping death, in which all but Molly die, Sam awakens to find that it was just a vision and they are seconds away from crossing the bridge. With a little bit of luck, seven of his co-workers join him in running off the bus and they escape the fatal incident for everyone on the bridge.

As with the other films in the Final Destination series, our young survivors now risk the fear of death coming back to get them because they cheated it. In the same order that Sam saw them die in his vision, his friends and co-workers begin to die in the strangest ways. With tensions already heightened from the lingering chance of death, Peter (Fisher) hears that if he takes the life of another he shall receive a reprieve from death and spreads the information between the other survivors. This leaves our remaining survivors to not only face death itself, but each other as well.

Final Destination 5 doesn’t take itself seriously. Most horror films lately have been delving into a world where comedy seems to be taking over, and this one is no exception. Even the opening credits — featuring a montage of murder objects smashing through glass toward the audience — falls into a ridiculous repetition within the first minute. The deaths, however original some might have been, also bordered on comedy more than once. Luckily enough, some of them did actually turn out to be surprisingly misleading and impressive — regardless of just how implausible they were.

When it comes to the performances in the film, there isn’t much to say — positive or negative. It is pretty much average acting all around, nearly jumping over that fine line between mediocre and bad acting. As previously mentioned, the deaths bounced back and forth between creative and downright stupid. When it comes to scares, not many existed unless you consider squirming in your chair at acupuncture needles or laser eye surgery gone wrong to be scary.

This is not to say that everything in the film was unappealing though. Anyone who has seen the first few Final Destination movies will be pleasantly surprised to find many small nods towards the previous films. But the most fantastic part of the film is without a doubt the finale — tying the fifth film in this series with the others in a marvelously unexpected way.

While Final Destination 5 comes nowhere near a good movie, it does have certain surprises and will appeal to anyone looking for some gruesome entertainment. For those looking for something better, you’ll have to wait and see what the rest of this year’s horror films have in store.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Juan Barquin

Just yer average twenty-something college student with no time on his hands who ends up watching (and writing) too many movies and shows for his own good.

6 Responses

  1. Mirella says:

    “in which all but Molly survive”… so only Molly dies in the vision?
    And well, I’ll watch it for the lulz and because I need my gore fix from time to time :P
    Although I remember the feeling of watching the original movie and thinking it was kinda original and fun… as much fun as a movie where Death itself tries to kill you through a series of unfortunate events :P

  2. ahhh i liked it. i don’t go into every movie with hopes of awards for it. i was really pleasantly surprised by it.

    • Juan Barquin says:

      @Candice Frederick, I know a ton of people loved it and it did have certain charms but I think my audience might have seriously brought down the experience for me and I wasn’t a fan of the 3D either. I just couldn’t take most of it seriously, but that finale was FANTASTIC.

      ~SPOILER ALERT~
      I mean, I had totally predicted the plane/trip being the end and all that, but the fact that it was that same exact flight was just SO IMPRESSIVE to me.
      ~END SPOILER~

  3. Dan says:

    Is it possible to keep making these movies? I suppose, as the Saw series has shown, that answer to that is yes!

    Having said that, the Final Destination films follow a formula that people, me included, go back for – namely, creatively killing off a bunch of annoying people. That will be the reason I’ll see this but I won’t be rushing to the cinema.

    • amy says:

      @Dan, but… I dunno – doesn’t the trailer show how the character die already? I think one of the few deaths in the series that has stuck with me (pretty sick, huh?) was in FD2 (?) where the car explodes and the spikey metal wire blows up and slices the dude… I remember being so shocked with that one. LOL

    • Juan Barquin says:

      @Dan, I understand the appeal of people creatively being put through terrible experiences – whether it be torture, abuse, or death – but the FD series has been kind of lacking in creativity for a while imho. I can honestly admit I was really surprised by one of them in this one, but the rest were fairly predictable. Plus, like Amy said, the trailers kind of give away just way too much in these movies.

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