ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 11, 2011
By Steve Newton
Those Final Destination flicks are hit-and-miss affairs. The ones that take themselves too seriously, like the 2000 original, are a drag, while others, like Final Destination 2 and the new FD5, earn a severed thumbs-up because they cut to the chase and give today’s thrill-seeking horror fans exactly what they want: giddily gruesome death scenes and not a hell of a lot more.
Previous Final Destination entries have seen Death hunting down survivors of exploding planes, highway pileups, roller-coaster crashes, racetrack wipeouts, and, now, the collapse of the Lions Gate Bridge. When a bus en route to a company retreat gets stopped by construction on that scenic span, good guy Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) has a vision where most of his coworkers die as large sections of the bridge crumble into Burrard Inlet.
When Sam’s quick action gets himself and seven other employees out of harm’s way just in time, Death is not impressed. So Tony Todd—who’s been pulling cheques for horror cameos ever since his titular role in the overrated Candyman—gets to stand around and ominously intone: “Death doesn’t like to be cheated.”
He’s right, of course.
The Grim Reaper is a devoted gorehound in FD5, evening up the score in some hilariously over-the-top ways, the most outrageous being a gymnast’s dismount from hell. After that sick showstopper, the guts and brains fly freely, with heavy nods to the pioneering 3-D gore FX of Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein, which way back in ’73 had folks being skewered from behind so their innards ended up dangling in viewers’ faces on the end of pointy objects.
Though not a great horror film by any means, Final Destination 5 succeeds as a comedic splatter fest solely by sticking to Stephen King’s old motto: “If in doubt, gross ’em out.”