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DVD Review: ‘Final Destination 5’

★★★☆☆

The Final Destination franchise, which began its life over a decade ago with the release of the 2000 original, holds a special place in many horror fans’ hearts due to its winning central premise – a group of attractive American teens miraculously survive a near-fatal disaster and for the rest of the film are picked off by Death himself in a number of increasingly gratuitous fatalities. The latest entry, Steven Quale’s Final Destination 5, is very much more of the same – which is no bad thing.

Plot has never been the strong point of any of the Final Destination films, and the fifth entry’s story is as inconsequential as they come. In this latest outing, our heroic teen protagonist is Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto), whose well-timed premonition saves a group of coworkers from a terrifying suspension bridge collapse. Naturally, this particular group of unsuspecting walking dead was never supposed to survive and, as their numbers begin to dwindle, they frantically try to discover a way to escape Death’s sinister agenda.

In a strange dichotomy, the appeal of the Final Destination films is in both their repetitive structure (in essence, if you’ve seen one entry, you’ve seen them all) and their inventive approach to offing their highly-expendable teen cast. We feel comfortable knowing that death and destruction are an inevitability, yet take immense joy in the intricate, Mouse Trap-esque construction of the over-the-top fatalities – a gymnasium, massage parlour and laser eye treatment centre are all utilised for maximum effect in this fifth incarnation, to spectacular effect.

Whilst obviously not as fresh as the original film – and suffering somewhat from a contrived subplot where one of the damned group can regain their time back through cold-blooded murder – Quale does a more-than adequate job with Final Destination 5 by keeping the kill rate consistently high throughout. The 3D element of the film does seem more of an afterthought, but this shouldn’t be allowed to detract from what is an entertaining – if disposable – franchise horror movie.

Daniel Green