Friday, August 28, 2009

Let “Final Destination” rest in pieces

"The Final Destination"
One star

By Thomas Tracy

There are thousands of ways one can die and some of the more gorier methods are splattered up on the screen for all to enjoy in “The Final Destination,” which this reviewer hopes will be the last stop for this blood soaked series.

Let’s face it: When the creativity pool churns up nothing but chum about being crushed by stock car engines and getting cut in half by hubcaps, it’s time to hang things up (although hanging is also used for a quick chuckle).

In “Final,” just like the first three incarnations of the horror series, the lives of four friends and a handful of others are saved from a gruesome death when young Bobby Campo has a premonition that a quiet day at a Nascar race is going to go horribly wrong (isn’t that why people go to these races, to watch something go horribly wrong?).

When the smoke clears and all of the blood is mopped up, 52 people died in the horrible accident.

Yet death, fate, the Grim Reaper, the screenwriter -- whoever -- isn’t happy with that paltry body count and goes out after those saved by Bobby’s vision, usually in the form of a menacing breeze that has a penchant for knocking over open bottles of flammable liquids.

When Death’s low on souls and this worrisome wind is beneath its wings, carnage can erupt anywhere, from the local pool to the car wash to a beauty salon. Death even comes a calling at -- gasp -- a movie theater! Is no place sacred?

Of course, Bobby and his pals try to halt death’s plans, but not before director David R. Ellis can pump out every piece of viscera he can from the completely forgettable characters (no joke -- there’s one guy in the movie only known as “that racist”).

With just one scant reference to any of the earlier films, “The Final Destination” does little to add to an already anemic horror genre. Maybe Death should do us all a favor and kill off this series once and for all.

"The Final Destination." Starring Nick O’Bannon and Lori Milligan. Directed by David R. Ellis. Running time: 82 minutes. Rated R for strong violent/gruesome accidents, language and a scene of sexuality.


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