No accidents. No coincidences. No escapes. You cant cheat Death.
Running Time: 98 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
Theres nothing like a brainless teen horror to fill a Friday night, particularly on the rare occasion you find one as enjoyable as this.
Directed and co-written by regular X-Files pensmith James Wong, Final Destination poses one question: what if Death (the capital D seems appropriate here) has a pre-determined plan for all of us? Would we be able to cheat it? I know what youre thinking thats two questions. But you get the idea.
Devon Sawa plays the semi-nerdy Alex, whos about to head for Paris on a school field trip when suddenly he has a premonition involving the side of the plane falling off and everyone hurtling to their deaths. You get the immediate feeling hes a glass-is-half-empty sort of fellow.
Unsurprisingly, given his slightly-unsettling screams of were all doomed, Alex, one of his teachers and five of his fellow students are chucked off the plane before take-off. Of course, hes got every right to feel more than a little smug when the plane DOES blow up and the six others booted from the craft realise theyve just had their lives saved. The only problem now is, the Grim Reapers less than chuffed about having his plans messed with and they dont call him Grim for nothing. Or Reaper, for that matter.
The character list including the requisite cool guy, bimbo, and weird arty chick – reads like a whos who of teen horror clichés, and the dialogue virtually drips with hot molten cheese. In fact, none of it ever strays far from the realms of stupidity, particularly when Alex attempts to philosophise about Deaths grand design.
But the running thread of ironic wit (with a definite nod in the direction of the Scream franchise) helps to keep the entertainment levels high, along with the originality of the idea behind it (a bit of a rarity in the genre). What separates it from the norm is that the killer is Death itself so can only be avoided, rather than beaten. The premise dictates that Death will, eventually, win the only question is how long our heroes can hold out.
Disappointingly, it all gets a bit rubbishy towards the climax, when the whole thing practically turns into a jumbled competition between the remaining survivors to see who can unwittingly put themselves in the most ridiculously dangerous situations. But it redeems itself with a suitably final epilogue – thats final in as much as it took a whole three years before the sequel came along, obviously.
It's Got: The Grim Reaper playing up to the camera by inflicting some outrageously elaborate deaths.
It Needs: To be watched with the lights and your brain dimmed right down.
DVD Extras A trailer, some deleted scenes, cast and crew info and interviews, a featurette about premonitions, directors commentary, and a couple of games that tell YOU when YOURE going to DIE. Thats right, YOU. You, sitting right there. Not me. You. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10
A pleasingly stupid shockfest thats a cut above the average.