The Misses and I have recently been on a binge of buying horror/thriller movies in readiness for a mad scare session leading up to and following on from Halloween, my favourite time of year.
One of the box-sets we picked up cheaply was the first 3 Final Destination films, which is about all there ever should've been. These are fun, frivolous, stupid-teens-get-maimed-in-hideous-ways movies and as the Misses hadn't seen them and I was game, it seemed like a sensible purchase.
We sat down to watch the first one on Friday night and it was a good revisit, for me, of this old, kind of hokey and a bit tame horror/thriller. Meaning that ultimately I enjoyed it but really it's not up to much.
It starts well, very well in fact, and sets up the group that escapes death nicely. It doesn't hurry it along at all and, unlike other teen fare, it allows you a chance to get to know the group a little and care for them a bit but only, really a bit. There are also nice little bits about folks being freaked by the boy with the premonition, the teacher falling apart through the guilt of telling the other teacher to get back on the plane and the two cliche slightly comical FBI guys chasing the main guy who keeps showing up at murder sites.
All that said, however and once it has been established that the group are going to start dying anyway, it sort of abandons any pretense at movie logic and slowly, in my opinion, starts to slide downhill. The cameo from, Candyman himself, Tony Todd illustrates this nicely. Despite Tony Todd being phenomenally cool in the scene, you watch it first thinking 'oh wow it's Candyman' and then wonder how he knows their names, how he knows all the mumbo jumbo about death's design, why he doesn't care that they've broken in to his mortuary and what is he doing, that late at night, working on the body in a dingy basement anyhow? Ok so really he is just a clunky exposition device and what am I doing looking for even a scrap of logic in a film this obviously stupid but enjoyable?
The rest of the cast gamely fumble with their bland, unoriginal parts and the only one who sort of stands out at all is the best friend who sadly is the first one to bite the dust. I was also left wandering how Ali Larter ever got any sort of career from this overwhelmingly underwhelming and sloppy performance, it is clearly the work of some pact made with a demon somewhere.
It's directed ok and the elongated, death-could-come-in-many-forms, set pieces are fun to watch but sadly in some cases the cheap-looking use of green screen heralds an imminent death way before it happens.
Despite the Final Destinations certainly having some promise and being a good, brain numbing, Friday night viewing, I may now, as I am older, be looking for more from my horror movies but back when they first came out I used to like their ridiculous death scenes and the laughable audacity of the incredibly weak plotting.
Still, even though, the movies really have nowhere to go plot wise, no epic back story to mine and a faceless and uninteresting killer in death itself, they continued to churn them out for the next decade with such ingenious plot twists as in the second one - oh this time the plan goes backwards, ooooh that cheeky and tricksy death!
I guess others, like me, must still be watching and when I next have free time that needs to be plugged up with silly, gory fun, I shall watch part 2 because, well, why not?
6.5 out of 10 average chicken wings
Points from The Misses 6 out of 10 average chicken wings