Film Review: Final Destination 5

Final Destination 5 is tremendously good fun and the best fifth film of a horror franchise.

On a bus with colleagues on their way to a team outing, Sam has a vision that the suspension bridge they are travelling on collapses in a horrific fashion. Sam insists that his friends leave the bus with him, just before his vision comes true. As many perish, Sam and his friends survive, but it seems that death is still after them…

Final Destination 5 follows the same tried and tested formula as the other installments of this horror franchise. Nonetheless, the film elevates itself above the previous three chapters for a number of reasons. Predominantly, it is an extremely well executed film. Director Steven Quale and screenwriter Eric Heisserer have managed to inject energy into a tired series.

The changes made to the film (compared with previous episodes) are slight but effective. The introductory sequence works well to usher in the main characters before the infamous opening set piece. Rather than opening straight with the disaster scene, Quale makes the audience wait whilst getting some of the exposition out of the way. It is certainly effective in building anticipation, and introducing the main character prior to the big scene avoids a significant lull afterwards.

The tension in Final Destination 5 is so effective, it is unbearable at times. Quale tortures his audience by making them wait for the inevitable. The deaths in the film are very creative, and not necessarily what you expect them to be. The trailer seems to reveal quite a lot, but it does not actually give the game away. Furthermore, what makes the film so enjoyable is the combination of this tension with a considerable amount of humour. The comedy is naturally dark, given the macabre proceedings, and provides a release after so much tension in certain scenes.

Some of the dialogue is rather corny, but this can be forgiven as it does not detract from the overall pleasure of Final Destination 5. Performances are fine; none of the cast except for Tony Todd stand out, but each portrays their character fine. The film is magnificently gory, it does not skimp of excess. The 3D also adds to the effect; it is one of the rare live action film that should be viewed with this extra dimension.

Essentially a series of set pieces with the flimsiest of plots, Final Destination 5 is wonderfully constructed to give the audience exactly what they want. The ending is also inspired, giving a completeness to the series that was missing from the last film.