Final Destination 5
When the last episode of a horror series is called THE Final Destination, you’ve got to admire a franchise that actually has the chutzpah to follow it up with another entry. The story, such as it is, concerns a new group of young adults that work for a paper company. They’re about to go on a business retreat. Our protagonist Sam Lawton has been offered a cooking internship in Paris and he doesn‘t know whether to take it or remain in the U.S. with his girlfriend. Actor Miles Fisher, who bears more than a passing resembles to a young Tom Cruise, plays his best friend and co-worker. There are several other characters too, but honestly it isn’t even worth your time getting to know them. Anyone who has ever seen just one of these films will understand our relationship with them will be short lived.
Fifth installment in the Final Destination canon is a solid effort of frights and chills. By now, the workmanlike approach to eliminating teens in creative ways is predictable. The audience knows THAT they’re going to die. But the entertainment rests on anticipation. The plot becomes a guessing game in just exactly HOW someone is going to perish. The deaths unfold like a Rube Goldberg contraption. There is something almost Zen in the clever method with which each person is eliminated, often in situations where death seems impossible. A massage parlor? Really?! A scene involving LASIK surgery in an ophthalmologist’s office, visually recalls both the 1929 short film Un Chien Andalou and 1971’s A Clockwork Orange. There are a few additional inspired touches for fans. Chapter number 5 brings back actor Tony Todd as the creepy mortician who appears to know a little too much about death’s grand plan. You may remember him as the Candyman in that other horror movie anthology of the same name. The ending also will have special meaning for people who have seen the original. I don’t purport to claim the script is deep or innovative in any way. It’s essentially the Mouse Trap of terror movies. I admit it’s a guilty pleasure. But I am ok with that.