Director: Steven Quale (2011)
Starring: Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell, Tony Todd
Find it: IMDB
The least final of all the destinations. Final Destination 5 ignores the previous movie's title reboot (surely this should have been called The Final Destination 2?) and continues the franchise as it's always been - this time with Tony Todd back whispering weird warnings at the film's ill-fated friends.
Where the previous films were all about the school/college kids getting themselves killed in stupid accidents, this fourth sequel has grown up a little. Final Destination 5 is a works' outing gone terribly wrong. It makes a nice difference to see young professionals getting themselves killed instead of just another bunch of obnoxious kids. The cast of Final Destination 5 are still pretty obnoxious, but at least they can hold down a job. Which is more than we can say for headless Stifler or Mary Elizabeth Winstead when she got killed on a train. David Koechner offers welcome respite from all the prettiness, playing the hunky young things' boss.
The opening disaster is possibly the best ever seen in a Final Destination movie. It feels positively apocalyptic; a giant bridge collapsing whilst laden with screaming idiots and traffic. It's still business as usual though, and the movie progresses in much the same manner as its four predecessors. There a few new ideas here and there, but nothing revolutionary. Tony Todd offers the soon-to-be-dead a tip hitherto unmentioned in any other Final Destination. Given how well it works, you'd think he'd have mentioned it at some point to Ali Larter or headless Stifler.
The first half of Final Destination 5 is the hardest to watch of all the films. A gymnastic set, an acupuncturist and laser eye surgery set the stage for some truly grisly scenes of carnage. Anyone who's ever stood on a pin or upturned plug will sympathise. The eyeball squeamish (like myself) will not enjoy the laser eye bit (which actually ends up like a replay of the Final Destination 2 dentist sequence). Next to the elaborate set-pieces come the more throwaway surprise deaths. Both really work, despite an over-reliance on wet plug sockets and bad CGI gore.
Alas, the final quarter tries to do something semi-new, and the film flounders. Instead of Death trying to kill the Pretty Young Things, there's a subplot with a confused cop and a stupid shootout in a restaurant. Not to sound smug (well okay, maybe a little bit) but I saw the 'twist' coming from the start. It's cute though.
Of all the horror franchises out there, Final Destination might be the most consistent. For one thing, every film is exactly the same. But most importantly, it's guaranteed to entertain (if, that is, you're the sort of person who finds other peoples' misfortune hilarious. Me, I piss myself with LOLs every time those injury claims adverts come on TV). It's like a Faces of Death version of You've Been Framed.