When it comes to horror movies I generally steer clear unless they’re clever. The first film in the “Final Destination” series was imaginative, frightening and decidedly clever. An enormous pileup on the interstate made the second film a must-see for fans of the first film. So when I saw a television advertisement for a third film I was reaching for the car keys. I’m giving this film 3 out of 5 dangerously-placed Slurpee cups over high voltage boxes.
If you haven’t seen this or any of the previous films, SPOILERS AHEAD.
The setup for all of these movies is the same. Someone has a vivid premonition that they are going to die in a horrific accident. When they find themselves in the situation leading to the events of their premonition they break the chain of events by freaking out and not doing whatever it was that lead to their death (getting off a plane, not driving down a highway, not riding on a rollercoaster). In every film the main character derails their fate (and the fate of a handful of people who were near them when they freaked out). After the dust settles the people who escaped with their lives begin to die, in the same order that they would have died if they hadn’t escaped the accident. It’s “death’s plan”.
The people who death comes back to claim die in freak accidents, but you get to watch as all the elements begin falling into place. A leaky sink wets a marble floor, a gust of wind blows a window open, it’s very Rube Goldberg-esque and it’s a lot of fun trying to guess what’s going to happen next. It also makes anyone who’s as clumsy as me leave the theater worrying that they’re going to manage to hurt themselves like the unfortunates in the movie.
This third installment seemed a lot gorier than the first two films, which I could have done without. When the movie ended and the audience groaned it made me wonder if there’s any reason to do a Final Destination 4 (not that I wouldn’t go see it).