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FINAL DESTINATION, THE (director: David R. Ellis; screenwriters: Eric Bress/Jeffrey Reddick; cinematographer: Glen MacPherson; editor: Mark Stevens; music: Brian Tyler; cast: Bobby Campo (Nick), Shantel VanSanten (Lori), Haley Webb (Janet), Nick Zano (Hunt), Mykelti Williamson (George), Krista Allen (MILF/Samantha), Andrew Fiscella (Charlie ‘Gearhead’ Kewzer), Justin Welborn (Racist), Jackson Walker (Cowboy); Runtime: 82; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Craig Perry/Warren Zide; Warner Brothers Pictures; 2009)
“One severed head is worth a thousand words.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

It’s in 3-D. Oh boy! You can watch the shrapnel fly at your face! There’s plenty of faulty machinery flying around, spilled solvents and explosions to keep the braindead occupied for 82 minutes of such crappy film-making. This dumb mechanical formulaic amateur hour film comes up with a ludicrous, semi-literate Grim Reaper prophetic visions horror/splatter film plot, that plays footloose with logic and seems aimed for the less discerning viewers who are expected to find it a real hoot to watch people get cut to ribbons in fluke accidents (the only reason to see the film is to enjoy the kills). Director David R. Ellis (“Cellular”/”Snakes on a Plane”/”Final Destination 2”) and writer Eric Bress and Jeffrey Reddick never even make the slightest effort to explain a series of bizarre death scenes that one of the film’s stalwart protagonists envisions–playing dumb often means big box office. The formula this time has several twentysomething characters narrowly escaping death, only to be hunted down later by the Grim Reaper and killed in unbelievable freakish accidents.

At the local rundown NASCAR speedway the intense Nick (Bobby Campo) tells his hot date Lori (Shantel VanSanten) and her clueless but cute girlfriend Janet (Haley Webb) and her obnoxious animalistic date Hunt (Nick Zano), Nick’s best friend, that a flaming stock car will crash into the stands and kill many people including them unless they leave at once. Nick’s warning is heeded by the others in the nick of time and they are saved. But the catch is that the Grim Reaper can’t let one’s fate be changed and goes after every survivor with a vengeance. It’s up to Nick and Lori, true believers in such nonsense, to find a way for the survivors to survive again as the Grim Reaper comes after them by causing one freakish accident after another. The script writes itself as a harsh warning that wherever you go there’s no safety from machinery going wacko and coming after you with everything it got.

Splatter is the message of the day, as one severed head is worth a thousand words.

It’s an awful sequel to James Wong’s much more watchable Final Destination (2000). This was the fourth film in this money making franchise, and will probably do very well in the box office despite its trashy content and inept film-making.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”