Night #27: Final Destination 2

A review coming up for this just as soon as I go to the Dentist…

Those sharp eyed readers may have noticed that I stated coming up next would be slasher films, and to that end I absolutely consider Final Destination 2 as a slasher film.

There’s no reason that Death can’t be Michael Myers or Jason Vorhees. He actively stalks his victims until it’s the right time to strike, and he certainly has a better sense of humour than they do. No Death is definitely a slasher, a maniacal, giggling and unseen slasher.

We all know the set up of these films by now, there’s a giant accident with mass casualties, but someone has a premonition and stops it. Death gets pissed and decides to make up for it, with hilarious consequences. What sets apart this film from the others is that it understands just how ridiculous the premise is, and decides to run all the way with it.

The first and third films of the series were handled by Glen Morgan and James Wong, the second and dire fourth part were handled by David Ellis, famed second unit Director and the man who later went on to helm Snakes on a Plane (Oddly not as good as it’s own rip-off Snakes on a Train). Ellis does a remarkable job here, ably abetted by his screenwriters (Who wrote the similarly dark The Butterfly Effect). They have great fun with the audience’s expectations here, and manage to play the scenes beautifully. Each death scene is build up and payoff, and when they do payoff there’s such a great cathartic moment. For an example just look at the Dentist scene, Ellis plays on a natural fear of things going wrong at the Dentist and then lulls us into a false sense of security before capping it off with a spectacular death.

There are some shenanigans about death’s plan etc, and they give the lead from Final Destination the most undignified off screen death when we learn that he was killed by a brick. It’s all played with the right amount of tongue in cheek, and Ellis manages to keep the film moving before it gets bogged down too much. Supposedly Morgan and Wong weren’t happy with the overly jokey tone that was taken with this film, so they came back with the overly serious and entirely too mean spirited Final Destination 3, which is sadly missing the humour of this one. You simply can’t treat this idea seriously, not when you show death actively toying with people like it’s the bloodiest game of ‘Mouse Trap’ ever.

We’re told time and time again that you can’t cheat death, and for once I’m glad.

 

Up Next: More slasher shenanigans.

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