Final Destination 5: The Final Destination series, which started with a clever conceit about a young man who has a vision of fiery death for himself and his school mates right before it happed and subsequently has to evade a series of Rube Goldbergian death traps conceived by the disembodied hand of fate, quickly became a yet another increasingly pointless horror series wherein only interest was in how creatively the empty central characters would be dispatched and not if or why while also endless repeating the premise of the original film to ever diminishing returns. Highlights including the thrilling multi-car pileup in the second installment and a hysterical bit in the third where an overheated jock was killed by a cartoonishly faulty workout machine didn’t make the films any less repetitive or lifeless. In general, slasher film protagonists are one note, unlikable types that live and die (figuratively) by the performances given by the film’s actors. The Final Destination franchise can claim genre veteran Tony Todd as it sole engaging performer and he only appears on screen in three installments, including this latest and weakest installment. When he’s not on screen gravely intoning about the escapable grip of death, the audience is left watching a bunch of CW rejects trying to avoid a bunch of set pieces that aren’t miles away from a particularly grizzly YouTube clip. That interesting-in-three-minutes-bursts style made New Line Cinema and director Steve Quale a lot of money but when your film only evokes the emotion of desperately wishing for a sidebar of different, less tedious clips to choose from to appear, you’ve failed as filmmakers. Starring Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell and poor Tony Todd.
Special Features: Digital copy of the film, three featurettes and deleted scenes.
Apollo 18: And on subject of bad filmmaking techniques, is there a worse style in modern cinema than the faux vérité horror? The YouTubing aesthetic of the Final Destination pentalogy at least has momentary thrills and the occasional laugh whereas the Oren Peli’s defined Security Cam Tales of Terror style offers nothing of value. This film, which at one point in its marketing cycle was hilariously promoted as found footage of a heretofore unknown NASA mission gone horribly wrong, is 86 minutes of pure undiluted grainy boredom in which a few astronauts cross paths with some evil moon rocks. Even with a premise and a screenplay so hacked out that even John Carpenter in his prime couldn’t have made work, the thoroughly shoddy work done by director Gonzalo López-Gallego and his team makes the film easily one of the worst of the year. Starring Warren Christe, Lloyd Owen and Ryan Robbins.
Special Features: Digital copy of the film, alternate and deleted scenes, an alternate ending and commentary with López-Gallego and editor Patrick Lussier.
All of the releases mentioned here have links to their respective Amazon pages but you can also visit Cleveland area Blockbusters, Family Videos, and redboxes for these and other new releases.
Mario blogs regularly at A Polemic Killer Room.