When one pops in a neo-splatter flick with a title like Final Destination 5, one really can’t expect a very fresh formula. For those of us who remember what it was like to go to the cinema in the ‘80s and ‘90s, only to shudder at the sight of coming attractions for Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger vehicles (the real, original ones — not those lame Michael Bar re-imaginings), you know that it’s incredibly easy for a horror film franchise to overstay its welcome. And yet, much like Jason and Freddy, there exists a possibility that someone somewhere might be able to attach themselves to a new project and bring a little life into a series; not much, mind you but enough that you almost forget how bad the rest of the movie is and say “Eh, that was kinda cute” once something unique (for the series, that is) flashes across the screen.
Well, ta-da! Somebody did that with Final Destination 5. And, while that moment isn’t overly rewarding or wholeheartedly awesome, it can still make even the most jaded of horror moviegoers grin ever so slightly. Naturally, I’m not going to ruin the surprise for the two of you out there that either haven’t already seen the film and want to, or haven’t already been informed of the “twist” this film contains. Instead, let’s focus on how bad the rest of the movie is. And is it ever.
After a brief and almost hesitant introduction of our doomed main characters, the film revs up with what has to be the most cataclysmic bridge disaster in cinematic history. Actually, it’s better to refer to it as “the most cataclysmic CGI bridge disaster in cinematic history,” as movies like The Night the Bridge Fell Down, Funny Farm, and Clint Eastwood’s The Bridges of Madison County would probably win the awards for non-Computer Generated Imagery overpass catastrophes. Nevertheless, once we get the minor bother of character introduction out of the way (and I do mean minor) and get on with the collapsing of the suspended roadway, we find ourselves at the hands of several young lead actors — all of whom are in harm’s way, having cheated Death.