Night #14: Final Destination 5

Ah plans. There’s some saying about plans are the best way to make God laugh. And that’s what happened when I said I was going to view Jason Lives tonight. DVD problems prohibited that and for some reason all the films were taken off Netflix on the 1st October – great timing there.

So instead we’ll take a look at another long running franchise that reduces the slasher formula to it’s most base elements.

The Final Destination films are basically slasher movies that are stripped down and become something akin to a gory sideshow. Everyone is here for the same reason, and that’s the kills. The more inventive the better. People leave these movies having had 90 fun-filled minutes and then never think about it again until the next one rolls around.

I should be cynical about this, but when the films are as fun as this one – why should I?

If you don’t know the set-up to this by now then you should. There’s a group of people who, through the premonition of one of them, manage to avert a disaster before it happens. However, they were never meant to, so the omnipresent Death goes about setting things right – often as humorously as possible. The set-up here is really no different from the Friday movies. New group of teens go to a cabin and Jason stalks them, new group of people survive a disaster and Death stalks them.

Who would’ve thought that, like the Friday The 13th series, the sequels would’ve been better than the original. In this case, Parts 2 and this entry mark the best the films have to offer. They’re just the right side of tongue-in-cheek enough to pull it off, so you don’t feel so bad when the inevitable happens. Plus, this time they play around with the idea enough to wring some interesting scenarios from it (If you can get someone to take ‘your’ place in the order of death, then you get to live out their remaining years – the only way to do that is to kill them yourself) and it has a great twist at the end.

The Final Destination films are, at best, nothing more than a great example of buildup and release. They’re engineered that way. Everything else is superfluous and is only really there because it has to be, though I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before someone launches a web series in which we just watch people meet their end in grisly ways, then there won’t be any need for the films at all. You’re not meant to feel anything for these characters, there’s barely any effort to flesh them out anymore than the sketches they are. But it’s the kills that’s the fun and the film is always at its best when it throws you with some misdirection and the joy becomes in guessing just how someone is going to meet their end.

Actually, it’s pretty morbid when you put it like that. I need to lie down and think about things.

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