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The Final Destination Review (2009)

My History With the Film:
Final Destination has grown to be one of my favorite horror franchises but it wasn’t always that way. After my first attempt at viewing Final Destination 3 resulted in me turning the film off, I was over the series. So, when The Final Destination came out in 2009, I didn’t really care.

I was working at a movie theater at the time and you are constantly walking in and see bits of movies. The Final Destination was one of those films where every time I walked in, something absurd happened, and it looked like a lot of fun in 3D. I decided I needed to see it and a few other employees agreed, so before a work meeting at Olive Garden one evening, we got a 3D viewing of The Final Destination. We all walked out with smiles on our faces.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A group of survivors attempt to outwit death’s plan to eliminate them all.

What I Liked About It:
-The 3D was amazing in theaters and that cannot go unmentioned. This film went all in on the 3D gimmick and along with Piranha 3D and Jackass 3D, it was one of the few films that truly exploited 3D and made it fun. Nowadays, those effects are a bit obnoxious and full of bad CGI, but if you can see this film in 3D, it’s very much worth it.

-It’s always fun to watch the ingenious ways the screenwriter decides to kill off our cast. It’s always a little over-the-top, but realistic in its own way that makes you think twice when you see things in your everyday life that you’ve seen as a prop to kill someone in a Final Destination film.

-Having grown up a NASCAR fan, I love to see car racing in any film, especially a horror film. With that being said, seeing the diversity of fans in the stands was enough to make me realize whoever wrote the script had never been to a race before.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-This is probably the weakest group of actors and actresses from any of the films.

-Due to the desire to use 3D so often, there is a ton of CGI in this film and most of it looks a little shoddy. It’s not the worse nor is it unwatchable, but it’ll definitely take you out of the film from time-to-time. The filmmakers utilized the 3D gimmick so much they had to use CGI to have the deaths occur in certain ways and have it all fly at your face.

-The script is probably the laziest of the series and the movie hinged so much on the 3D, which as previously discussed did deliver.

Additional Notes:
-The McKinley Speedway accident is very similar to the 1955 LeMans Speedway Disaster where an accident sent debris into the stands that killed 84 people in total.

-There are lots of nods to the previous films:

The opening title sequence featured deaths from the first three movies

  • McKinley Speedway is named after Ian McKinley from Final Destination 3
  • The sign that gives Nick a premonition is Clear Rivers Water named after Clear Rivers from Final Destination 2 and 3
  • The fans are seated in section 180 and the flight from the first film was Flight 180. There is also a mention to highway 180 on the newspaper article about Samantha’s death. Samantha’s sons jerseys have the numbers 9 and 20, 9×20 = 180.
  • During the scene in the open credits you see a newsanchor talking about faulty amusement park equipment and Final Destination 3 was based around a rollercoaster accident
  • The wrecker in front of Janet’s car at the car wash is the same wrecker that Carter was killed with in the original film.
  • There is a black SS in the garage when Nick, Lori, and George go talk to Andy. Carter drove a black SS in the original film.

-Despite being named The Final Destination it is not the final film in the series.

-Bobby Campo (Nick) went on to play Seth Branson in the Scream TV series.

-Director David R. Ellis directed other films such as: Final Destination 2, Shark Night 3D, Cellular, Snakes on a Plane, Asylum, and Homeward Bound II.

If I’m honest, The Final Destination was a lot more fun in 3D. The lack of 3D and the dated CGI hurt the viewing experience, but it’s by no means a terrible movie. The Final Destination series doesn’t change up the formula much and that is okay with me. I go into each film to see a group of survivors attempt to outwit death and it always makes for a fun experience.

The Final Destination is the weakest entry in the series, but it’s still a fun movie. I’d rate The Final Destination a three out of five and say it’s worth a rental.

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