I was trepidatious about seeing Final Destination 5. The original is no more than OK and each subsequent film has gotten worse. Adding to my doubt was that this is 3D, a format that simply doesn’t work. So I was thrown out of my stride to find that this film, much like the first one, is watchable and even occasionally exciting.
There are two types of 3D; immersive, which simply gives the film some depth; and popping things out at the audience. Advocates of 3D say that immersive is the way forward, fully involving people in the movie, but this simply isn’t the case; the annoying glasses, the colour loss and the headache inducing blurring combine to alienate us. In the past 3D was always used for B-Movies with things popping out to scare or wow the audience. In both the 50s and the 80s there was a boom in 3D, and thankfully it always disappeared. There are a few films from those periods that have some novelty, such 1953’s House of Wax or the hilarious Flesh for Frankenstein. 3D is made for B-Movies and (thankfully) Final Destination 5 definitely falls into that category.
It doesn’t stop throwing things at you. The opening credits are surprisingly beautiful, where endless things are hurled at the audience, breaking through glass until we are surrounded by broken shards and random objects such as prosthetic limbs and spanners. The opening disaster, a bridge collapsing, is a lot of fun. We follow people falling to their deaths and being impaled; it shouldn’t be funny but it is, for it does not take itself too seriously. The 3D itself does not put us in the film, but the ridiculous deaths and endless sharp objects poking out connects the audience together in laughter and gasps. The hysterical laughing at young people’s deaths is quite disturbing when analysed but thankfully this does not deserve deep thought.
It follows the same formula as the previous four in the franchise; a group of young people avoid a disaster when one of them has a vision predicting their deaths. The survivors are then killed in bizarre accidents as Death catches up with them. There has been little change from film to film, so the only way to distinguish them is by the accidents that they avoid in the beginning. The first film was simply a plane exploding, the second was a rather spectacular motorway crash (the only good thing in it) and the last two films were a ridiculous roller coaster disaster and ludicrous racing smash-up. This time the bridge collapse proves to be the best opening disaster since the second film. This said though, the plot is predictable and you are simply waiting for the next grotesque death. It has no repeat value and outside of a cinema experience it is astonishingly empty.
The cast all look like they are straight from One Tree Hill. They are unmemorable, being just pretty mannequins to massacre. The 3D makes this film very dark, and personally I am getting fed up of watching films as if always wearing sunglasses. The production values outside of the effects are fine but is a shame that nothing aside from the gore stands out. You could say that the deaths are the real stars.
There should never have been five of these films but with this offering comes the third half way decent experience. If you’re a fan of the franchise then this, of course, is a must see. If you’re not a fan you might be pleasantly surprised.
Final Destination 5 does require a drink or two to really enjoy; there simply isn’t enough here to completely entertain. There are however some terrific humorous sequences and this is a film that uses the B-Movie technology of 3D perfectly.
Final Destination 5: Circle of Death
Blu Ray Features:
Final Destination 5: Circle of Death
Alternate Death Scenes
Visual Effects of Death: Collapsing Bridge
Visual Effects of Death: Airplane Crash