Having the right people behind a movie can make all the difference. James Wong’s Final Destination was a deft, fun new twist on the horror film genre that did exactly what it set out to do. Final Destination 2 attempted to take the film in a different direction and eventually sunk under its own weight. Final Destination 3, which reunites Wong and the film’s original co-writer Glen Morgan, is a return to form. Everything that was good about the first movie (half decent acting, good death scenes) is back. This may even be the best installment of the series thus far.
Conceptually, Final Destination 3 is a strict retread of the first movie, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. We start with someone foreseeing a deadly accident and saving themselves and some of their friends from that accident. Having cheated death, they then die one by one in mysterious and gruesome accidents so death’s grand plan is not wronged.
Instead of Devon Sawa, our heroine this time is Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). She is on her senior trip to an amusement park, and before going on a roller coaster, she foresees a malfunction and the cars flying off the tracks. She manages to get a few people off the coaster with her, including her friend’s boyfriend Kevin(Ryan Merriman), a standout student athlete (Texas Battle), and two attractive but vapid young women, both named Ashley and Ashlynn (Crystal Lowe and Chelan Simmons). Both Kevin and Wendy lose their significant other in the accident, so predictably, they start bonding while they try to save all the survivors from certain death.
Acting is not important in a horror movie, but miraculously, the actors in this installment managed well and no one is objectionably bad. The characters are all asked to play horror film types (the innocent heroine, the obligatory black guy, the promiscuous girls), but they all manage to play them reasonably well.
What is most important is the horror element, and this movie does not disappoint. Besides the opening sequence with the roller coaster, which actually manages to be reasonably harrowing, the suspense level in this movie is reasonably low. People in the film die in exotic, unexpected ways. Weights in a gym, a tanning booth, and a drive-thru at a fast food restaurant all play parts in people getting axed.
Those who know what to expect from this movie will enjoy its chill factor, and it is probably the best horror film presently in theaters. If you’re in the mood for a fun, diverting horror flick, this is the one for you.
Chuck DelRoss can be reached at email@example.com.
Copy Edited by: RH 02/20/06