Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Does its job
In the world of horror, there are a few series that people see as cheesy, cliché, and just not worth the watch. I already reviewed The Saw Collection, which matched this description as well. I think the people that think that are mostly jaded from the quantity of films in the series, and just don’t give the series as a whole a shot. Sure, there is definitely some cheesy and cliché bits, but the Saw series definitely did things no other film had ever done before, or since. When these movies first came out, they weren’t seen as cliché, typical, or cheesy, people loved them, and hence, there were multiple sequels. Those sequels made money and more were made. Final Destination is also one of those horror films that people got tired of. I am more inclined to agree with them on this decision, but the first Final Destination was actually very well done, new, and interesting.
After having some sort of clairvoyance of a plane exploding with himself and his fellow students aboard, Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) screams bloody murder. He shouts to everyone that they have to get off the plane before it violently explodes. He was taken off the plane, obviously, and a few worried students follow him as well. Upon takeoff, the plane does in fact explode, and suddenly Alex is looking guilty. This is pre-9/11, so he’s not surrounded in the airport with hundreds of police, and he is released. However, people do believe he is some sort of freak. Death has a design, a plan that Alex thwarted, and it’s coming back for its sweet revenge. Can Alex find out the *design* in time to escape death again? Only time can tell.
What makes Final Destination so special and popular is quite a few things. First, it has just enough realism to make the audience feel that in an extremely unfortunate happenstance, this could possibly happen. People die from accidents all the time, all this movie did was explain a freak accident through the use of paranormal suggestion. Yeah, they were all improbable, but even if it was a one in a million chance, it was still possible if all the elements so happened to be in place. That’s important. Another thing that makes this film so great is anticipation. The Final Destination series is the king of fake-outs. Death is following these people around, that much we know, but we don’t know how it will really happen. So we cringe at something that ends up never even happens anyways…at least not yet. That’s a great tool that this series has over others.
Think about it this way, death really is all around us. There are an unlimited amount of ways we could do something stupid and get ourselves killed. Now, imagine if some “death” entity was after us, and unbeknownst to us, was gently pushing us in a direction that will ultimately get us killed. Everything is at death’s disposal, making the world a very dangerous world to live in. Suddenly, the movie has a completely different effect on the viewer. People look around in sheer curiosity at household items that could kill you if you say, tripped on the wrong thing at the wrong time. It gives you a whole new perspective, which is really important for this series. Any movie that makes you think and changes the way you look at things has done its job very well.
The acting was probably the most disappointing aspect of the entire film. Any movie with a small group of characters should be at least somewhat memorable, if not loveable. A small group allows for more character development in the writer’s room. Though, most of these characters seem to only exist…with no character development. You would think Seann William Scott would have a more memorable character, but even his performance was dull. Maybe the dullest of the bunch. Ali Larter’s character was the most memorable. She was the most unique and actually had a history. I’ll give her credit for her role, but the rest of the cast was plainly disappointing. It’s not that they were horrible, they were just so bland.
Final Destination is a horror film that hits home most for paranoid types; even more so for the paranoid schizophrenic. It is unbelievably improbable, but the sheer idea that any of this could happen made this movie effective. It succeeded in what it set out for. I don’t care what any of you say about how annoying the series as a whole is, it was effective.