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Final Destination 5 Blu-ray Review

By Jan 02, 2012 08:11 PM EST
The Final Destination movies are the closest we've gotten to those classic 80's horror film franchises. Where else can you find a group of movies that continue on without really advancing the film's main themes and ideas? The only reason the Final Destination movies exist is to showcase spectacularly gruesome demises of characters that never get past the script description of "teen male #1" or "busty female #4." The main crux of each film—a group of people cheat death and are then subsequently stalked by an unseen grim reaper—plays out in the same exact way with clockwork precision. No shocking revelations are offered, no astounding insights into human nature (or human death) are explored, just carnage filled with oozing eyeballs, dismembered limbs, and geysers of sticky hemoglobin.

That being said, there is something warm and cozy about a horror series that refuses to deviate from the norm, by offering up only the slightest of variations each time around. Say what you will about originality, but you always know what you're going to get with a Final Destination flick. By this point, the series isn't constructed to scare but rather to entertain; there is nothing that happens in Final Destination 5 that is the least bit frightening. Cringe-inducing? Sure. Queasily repellant? You bet. But terrifying to the point of making your palms sweaty and knees knock? Not a chance.

As with almost every horror series that ends with the number "5," Final Destination 5 has long since passed taking itself seriously. With the inclusion of a comedic actor like slack-jawed David Koechner (Anchorman), you can tell the filmmakers aren't looking for a stoic rumination on death and dying. The rest of the cast are all cookie cutter teens who stand around waiting for a safe to drop on their head or a pan of hot grease to singe their faces off. Even semi-famous faces like Emma Bell is given little to do but look pretty and gasp in terror as her friends all become cinematic meatloaf. Candyman horror staple Tony Todd's creepy coroner shows up again (absent the last few films), but his reason for being is never explored; the character seems to have a lot of knowledge about what's going on, but the screenplay keeps us in the dark as to why he seems to be an omnipotent benign presence.
Final Destination 5 races along with the same exact plot line as the previous four films and deviates only momentarily at the end for a "surprise" ending that, while thought provoking, still doesn't do much to add to the mythology of the series. All it does is bring the series full circle from its start more than a decade ago. Fans who have followed this series closely will be fascinated but underwhelmed to learn the latest movie ties in with the whole series in the most fundamental and obvious of ways (even if you don't see it coming). At least the death scenes are inventive enough to keep you watching until the final reel.

Viewed through Blu-ray Final Destination 5 is presented in 2.40:1/1080p high definition widescreen, which brings a look as startling as its flying body parts. The sounds, heard through the wonder of surround speakers only help to enhance the intensity of the death scenes.

Bonus features are scarce. Fans get around 16 minutes of "alternate death scenes" (which aren't all that different what you see in the film), a short titled "Circle of Death," and a split-screen comparison of various special effects sequences ("Visual Effects of Death"). We also get a bonus DVD of the film.

As cliché as it sounds, if you liked the first four movies there's no reason why you won't get a kick out of Final Destination 5. Warner Bros. has done good work on this disc, thought don't expect a lot of deep insight into the production.

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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 95 minutes
Distributed By: New Line Cinema

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