Final Destination 5
The 5th (and probably not final) chapter in the repetitive death-by-numbers franchise follows the same premise as its predecessors. A group of teenagers set off on a trip, only for its male lead to experience a prophetic vision of the horrific accident that’s about to occur. He and his group freak out and run, cheating death and making it to safety. But, as we all know by now: Death doesn’t like to be cheated. And his revenge is always – always – delivered via an elaborate and comically timed blood fest.
What follows is a ridiculous menagerie of fatal accidents and innards as shamelessly tacky as you’d expect. The fairly decent 3D visuals add extra squeal factor to the lubricious gore, and fortunately this is less of a car wreck – both literally and figuratively: remember that opening scene? – than its immediate predecessor The Final Destination (also screened in 3D). This time, the tragic accident which kicks things off takes place on a collapsing bridge and features Death’s targets plummeting to their dooms in all manner of spectacle, with the aforementioned yacht tragedy being the most obscene.
include a head pulverised by a smiling Buddha statuette and a severed eyeball getting smushed under a car wheel. And perhaps you have to hand it to director Steven Quale and co. for defying some of horror’s most obvious conventions. The token black guy (briefly) outlives the gang members, and since there is no final girl (because there is no final anybody) both the ‘virgin’ and the ‘slut’ die. The latter, interestingly, perishes not through an act of vanity as punishment for her promiscuity (cf the infamous botched sun beds of Final Destination 3) but through laser eye surgery. Get ready to feel a whole lot more attached to your glasses…
Of course, despite the cast and crew’s best efforts, it’s clear that the charm of the original has now been completely dissipated. What should be a mindless horror popcorn frolic is instead predictable and somewhat exhausting to sit through, serving up so many cringeworthy moments you’re liable to leave with a migraine. And, sadly, no visual quite matches the gory notoriety of Piranha 3D’s floating severed dick. Nevertheless, the neat ending links nicely in to the original film and does at least give the series some closure as the credits roll and we are treated to a clip show of every death thus far.
Whether this will indeed be the final destination, we‘ll have to see. The advent of ’4D’ with the new Spy Kids film has introduced a further dimension to the cinema experience: Smell. Its ‘aromascope’ is certainly not a new idea: ‘Smell-O-Vision’ has been around since the early 1900s, and reached its a gloriously trashy peak in 1982 when John Waters released Polyester with ‘scratch and sniff cards’ for every audience member. Nevertheless, if Spy Kids: All the Time in the World rakes in the dough, you can be sure producers will start to jump on the trend – and none will leap higher than the shameless suits behind Final Destination. Perhaps viewers of Final Destination 6 will get the chance to smell the brains and guts as they fly out of the screen. What’s next, Taste in 5D? It’s certainly something that the Final Destination franchise is in need of.