In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How Final We Talking Here?

Things have been so crazy lately that yesterday was the first chance I’d had to check out the new Final Destination movie.

Based on Nick’s (Bobby Campo) premonition, a group of people avoid a disaster at a NASCAR race. Soon after though, the survivors begin dying in freak accidents. Has Death come calling again?

Horror franchises were abundant in the eighties and nineties, but the only two ongoing series nowadays are Saw (which I gave up on after number three) and Final Destination. I don’t know what it is, but there is a level of creativity inherent in this series that keeps me coming back. I’m always extra aware of my surroundings after seeing one of these movies, making sure where I set down my cup or park my car isn’t setting off some sort of Rube Goldberg machination of death. And this one is in 3-D, which adds an extra level (I almost said dimension) of entertainment.

I have to say though that this one left me a little nonplussed. It just didn’t seem like the death sequences were as imaginative as they have been in previous installments. I give props to the car wash and theatre set pieces, as they were top-notch, but the rest didn’t seem like they were raising the bar at all. It’s disappointing because these are the guys who brought us Final Destination 2, which is far and away my favourite. I will say it was nice to see Krista Allen, but then not so much watching her meet a gruesome end – twice.

If only all soccer moms looked like this.

I think my biggest beef was the abundant use of CG in the movie. I know Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger of KNB EFX worked on this in some capacity, so I would have hoped for more practical effects. I know the reason they increasingly favour CG augmentation, but that doesn't make it any less unfortunate. I’d like to be able to fall back on the 3-D technology, but even that wasn’t as well utilized as it was in the My Bloody Valentine remake earlier this year. The NASCAR race at the movie’s opening is well executed, but that is as good as it gets in terms of the 3-D. The rest of the gags have varying degrees of success from well done to laughable, a CG cork and a snake that looked like it belonged on an old episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys being among the latter. I guess the last thing I should mention is the lacklustre ending. It struck me more as a money-saving ploy rather than the unique finale I’m sure they were attempting.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s obviously a certain level of fun to be had here, but I can’t help but feel that this racecar of a franchise may have run its course.

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