Starring Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten and Mykelti Williamson

Directed by David R. Ellis

Written by Eric Bress

Warner Home Video

Have you seen any of the previous three Final Destination films? Then you’ve seen this one. Check it: young friends survive a terrifying accident (the destruction of a speedway, in this case) after one of them has a vision of the disaster. Eventually they figure out that Death itself is after them. They die in elaborate, gruesome ways. They think they’ve broken the pattern of the deaths, only to die at the end anyway. The End.

At this point, much like with the Saw films, the reason to watch an FD film is for the kills. (What that says about our grip on our own humanity I will leave to bloggers with more time on their hands.) And, admittedly, the kills in The Final Destination are pretty brazen and spectacular. People are crushed by flying tires, have their eyes gouged out by flying rocks, get squashed by car engines… But I don’t want to spoil the “good” stuff.

And the film is in 3D! Doubtless this would have made the mayhem all that more visceral (friends said the effect was pretty great), but the same cannot be said for the at-home experience, where those annoying, flimsy red & green glasses are simply annoying. Yes, the 3D kind of works, but only kinda sorta. This isn’t Avatar we’re talking about.

Speaking of which, James Cameron knows that story, not effects, is king. The Final Destination has no story. It’s simply a framework upon which to hang elaborate set pieces. To that end, congratulations to screenwriter Eric Bress for his grip on spatial relationships and his ability to come up with ways to mangle the human body. He has a bright future as a serial killer or video game programmer because he sure can’t write dialogue.

Extras on the Blu-ray version are extensive, including deleted scenes, alternate endings and extensive featurettes on each death. Nothing on the film’s themes or the creation of characters. Sorry.

Rating: 2/5

Deaths: 4/5

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