Final Destination 5 Review

Image for Final Destination 5

While travelling on a work retreat Sam Lawton (D'Agosto) has a premonition that he and his friends will die on a collapsing bridge. He shepherds them all to safety but the grim reaper can't be cheated for long...

★★★★★

With Terrence Malick urging cinema to engage with the Big Questions, so Final Destination 5, the latest instalment in the death-finds-a way horror franchise, takes up the mantle from The Tree Of Life to inquire of the universe: “Who dies on a massage table?” P.J. Byrne’s Isaac as it happens, third of the film’s death-cheaters, whose unfortunate passing comes care of a conflation of acupuncture needles, cleaning fluid, loose screws (something of a FD motif), vibrating cell phone, candle and small statue of Buddha. More of the same then for the QI of gore-fests - you’re supposed to think of the wrong answer - a little wearier, a little less imaginative (a gym-based routine essentially adds up to a mistimed landing), a lot less witty, and devoid of character, atmosphere, subplot, or drama. Just the sicko thrill of seeing how they buy it, in coming-at-ya 3D. Frustratingly, debutant director Steve Quayle seems to lack faith in the core concept — look ma, no bad guy! Who needs the rules explained again? We get it — a kill-list of renta-teens dodge a preordained exit on a collapsing bridge (given a splendidly gory dress rehearsal) only for death to catch up one-by-one via an elaborate equation of nearby health hazards. And, really, who needs creepy Tony Todd as some kind of emissary of death? And the rule enhancement - the doomed can cheat death again by killing another - only diverts the formula into a distracting bit of stop-the-psycho. Death needs a rethink.

One stand-out set piece aside, even the presence of a new director can't inject much freshness into the franchise. Time for death to call in sick?