Final Destination brings death to life with bizarre but fun kills.
In the wake of all the young adult/teenage slashers from the nineties brought back to life by Scream in 1996, Final Destination gives a new original impulse to the genre. This time not a masked or crazed psycho or a revenge seeking killer is doing all the killing, but Death itself. Death has Its own design and doesn’t like to be cheated.
It’s a fun take on the genre which shines a whole new and fun light on the slasher genre with a supernatural hint. Death was never so clever or original and goes through great lengths to get Its way. This new and original take delivers a film with fun kills that make this young adult/teenager slasher stand out from the rest.
When Alex is about to go on a schooltrip to Paris he gets a strange feeling. Eventually resulting in a vision after he is seated on the plane. In a terrible premonition he sees the plane explode and his classmates incinerated and when the fire reaches him he wakes up.
Upset he tries to warn everybody and gets into a fight and is thrown off the plane with some other classmates and a teacher. But when the plane takes off without them and it explodes in midair, they seem to have escaped death. Except death can’t be cheated.
Why you should watch it
The fun and original take is the big feature of the film. With no real killer on the loose, Death finds his own mysterious ways to claim Its escaped victims. This leads to multiple really fun and almost unbelievable successive situations in which Death catches up with them. Supernatural liquid, electrical storms, a bus, bizarre household incidents which lead to deadly accidents, an approaching train and much more very normal situations turned bizarre and deadly. Death is truly everywhere and hides at every corner.
These situations and the pressing matter for Alex to solve Death’s Design so he and the other survivors can cheat death make this film a succes. Alex has to look for clues, and he has to read new visions and interpret them correctly in order to save their lives. Those visions, signs and the way Death is sometimes physically presented as an ominous shadow, give the film a little supernatural twist.
The film doesn’t need much more. It’s a joy to watch and to speculate how the next victim will die, and who will be the next victim. Of course there are some red herrings, highly tensed situations which end in relieve but surprise you after you have held your breath and finish off the victims with an unexpected kill. It makes it that more fun and although it is not a very complex plot, its originality and brutal unexpected kills make up for it.
A big surprise is Tony Todd as the mortician who explains Death’s Design to Alex and Clear with his charismatic presence. When he shows up you know you’re in for a fun popcorn horror.
My favorite part
Some kills are very bizarre and so original it’s almost laughable and unbelievable. The exploding plane is a very tense scene and the most relentless and realistic one of the film. But the most unexpected kills are by far the best.
The first kill by Death is funny and has a very well-done buildup which make you guess how Death will succeed and It almost doesn’t. But death is tenacious and takes no prisoners. It shows exactly what to expect the rest of the film. Although this first kill is a good predictor, you are in for some surprises. Two in fact. And those two sudden unexpected kills are short but sweet and a welcome change in kills. I am not going to tell whom this is about, I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but you’ll know which ones I mean when you see it. Seen it? It’s a blast, right?
In the meantime this film has become a franchise with four more films and lot’s more original bizarre kills by death.
Thrill factor: ★★★☆☆
Popcorn factor: ★★★★☆
Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆
Cast and crew
Final Destination is directed by James Wong and written by Glen Morgan, James Wong and Jeffrey Reddick. It stars Devon Sawa (Alex), Ali Larter (Clear), Kerr Smith (Carter), Kristen Cloke (Mrs Lewton), Chad Donella (Tod), Sean Wiliam Scott (Billy) and Tony Todd (Budworth).
Duration: 98 minutes. Music: Adam Hamilton, Shirley Walker. Cinematography: Robert McLachlan. Edited by: James Coblentz. Produced by: Glen Morgan, Craig Perry, Warren Zide. Production companies: New Line Cinema, Zide-Perry Productions, Hard Eight Pictures. Distributed by: New Line Cinema.