a critiQal film review Final Destination (2000)

Plot: As his class is setting off for a field trip to Paris, Alex (Sawa) should be happy. Instead, he has a premonition, seeing the plane explode in his mind. He causes a ruckus, and him and a few others get tossed off the plane. As they argue, the plane explodes a few minutes after takeoff. There are no survivors ...except Alex and the few others who were tossed off with him. Soon after, they begin to die, and Alex begins to see a deadly pattern.


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  • ...an original slasher flick with death sequences that are sure to be imitated for years to come.

I wasn’t expecting much of Final Destination. The preview made it seem like your typical horror flick – a little short on plot, but big on death and gore. A fun family movie, in other words (ha, ha). The movie does have a lot of death, and shocking moments, but there actually is a plot behind it, and it plays out much better than I had anticipated.

Devon Sawa gives a good performance as Alex in Final Destination. He gets you into the character – the viewer cringes when he does, groans when he goes and gets himself into another bad situation, etc. The viewer can also understand his motives, and he draws you more into the movie.

Ali Larter also gives a good performance, and the two of them are backed up by a good cast of characters, from Seann William Scott to Kerr Smith. And the brief role played by Tony Todd (of Candyman fame) just adds to the fright fest.

Final Destination was well done, and the filmmakers made the characters believable. They are just a couple of high school kids who go through this horrendous experience, and then just have to keep going on with their lives.

Add the fact that one of them (Alex) predicted the plane explosion, and it gets more interesting. The other characters don’t know whether to trust in him (as Seann William Scott’s character Billy does), or be freaked out by him (as the teacher he saved, Ms. Valerie Lewton, is). It’s a good setup for a horror movie, and this one plays it well.

The death scenes are quick and violent, so shockingly quick sometimes that the viewer may have to replay the scene in their mind to figure out what just happened. The shock value adds to the horror aspect as well.

The special effects in Final Destination are well done also, having to encompass everything from a plane explosion seen from two different viewpoints to having water actively seek someone out. The viewer never wonders how they did it, it’s so realistic the viewer only wonders what’s going to happen next.

The DVD also has some interesting features. The theatrical trailer and deleted scenes are there, of course, but they also add extras such as an Alternate Ending and two documentaries: one about test marketing and the impact that had on the storyline; the other about a real life “psychic” investigator who helps cops find missing people, etc.

The two documentaries provide insight into two very different areas that aren’t normally seen by Average Joe. The test marketing documentary is interesting in that it shows that sometimes audiences do influence the movie industry. The real life “psychic” documentary is interesting in learning more about people who may (or may not, depending on what you believe) deal with unexplained phenomena all the time.

Seen from the preview, Final Destination looks like your typical horror/slasher flick. After viewing the film, with it’s better than horror-average plot, it’s well-acted cast of characters, and it’s thrilling minute-to-minute film pace, you’ll be very impressed.

The next time you go to the video store, make sure your Final Destination is this movie, to buy or to rent.

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