Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Repetitious, but stimulating
Horror films that have multiple sequels commonly have people shaking their heads out of annoyance. It’s repetitious, it’s exhausting, it’s predictable…I’ve heard it all. Critics typically don’t like horror films past the first film, because they just can’t see past the blatantly identical plot in each film. I can totally understand their point, but at the same time, I’m able to look past the repetition and report on what was actually different about the story. No matter how similar a movie can be to the other, there’s just no way would it be able to get away with doing the exact same thing again. The story changes, either by a lot or a little. In my opinion, change can help the series out, but of course there are times when change is actually worse for the series. For The Final Destination Collection the story changed only a little, which did make it feel like bad attempts at horror in order to collect a hefty paycheck from the box office.
Here are the individual reviews:
The Final Destination films all have the same basic structure. Some young man or young woman has a premonition that a dangerous, life threatening catastrophe will immediately transpire. They use this premonition as reason to escape the area and live, along with a few friends. After they survive, it appears they thwarted death’s original design for their lives. They cheated death, and death is coming back to pick them off one by one, unless they can find a way around it.
This structure exists for every one of the movie, and most critics just see it as reusing that plot and just throwing in disposable actors and actresses into the roles while changing up the manner in which they die in their own freak accident. I understand this outlook, and for the most part I agree about the disposable actors, almost none of the cast in any of the films are the least bit memorable or loveable. What I don’t agree is it being the exact same plot.
Each story differs slightly. The first film focused a lot on the pattern, how each person would have originally died. This same concept is pretty much used in each film, but they introduce new ideas each time on how to escape. Final Destination 2 introduced the idea that you can live through the phrase, “only new life can defeat death”. Final Destination 3 introduced paranormal photography, which is, photographs that give the viewer clues on how the next person would die. Final Destination 4 had numerous different premonitions (in blatant 3D) about how the next person would die. Finally, Final Destination 5 introduced another idea, which was you can live if you kill someone else in your place.
These changes are minimal though, and they are there seemingly just to change it enough to be something different. A few of these changes I actually liked seeing, but they weren’t efficient enough to actually change how the movie played out, or the ultimate outcome. What made the series good, instead, were minute details that a frightened audience member could connect with. They did this through the idea of unpredictability and anticipation. A puddle of water someone could slip on, a rattling pipe that could burst any second. No one knows if these thing will actually happen or not, and that’s the beauty of what made this film series so popular. The only films in the series that were unpredictable were part 1, 2, and 5. 3 and 4 were the films that introduced clues on how a person would die, which while interesting, ruined what made the movie so special in the first place.
Final Destination is a fun series to see when you’re bored. The first film was the best, as it just kept things simple, which ultimately affected the viewer on a separate level than the sequels. If there was any film in the series that I would suggest skimming over, it would be the fourth one. That one just focused and depended too much on the 3D element.