Final Destination 5 Review

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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?