Escalators are deadly in The Final Destination!

This past year the fourth film in a very creative film series invaded cinemas around the world in 3-D. Now that’s all very well and good, you know I’ve always wanted engine blocks flying towards me and wooden boards threatening to impale me. I jest, to me 3D is just another thing I don’t need out of my movie going experience but it is exactly 3D that is to blame for the 1-D of everything else to do with The Final Destination (TFD).

Okay maybe that’s too strong maybe it’s not the fault of everything that was wrong. Part of it is the series creators opinion that fans just want them to get killing. And yes, to a certain extent that’s right, we come for the kills. However the kills mean nothing when your characters have all the originality and humanity of a group of racial sock puppets.

Even the best looking film can be wholly uninvolving (I’m looking at you personally AVATAR) if your character and story is boring and rote. And this is where the fourth in the series falls flat on its face.

TFD introduces us to our cardboard cut outs in a singularly underwhelming introduction and disaster. You know next to nothing about these characters before mayhem descends, and next to nothing after for that matter. And that is a huge detriment to the entire experience.

On a plane...I don't want to be on

The disaster above began Final Destination. A airliner is struck by lightning and explodes.

Final Destination 2: Carnage Aftermath
In Final Destination 2 there’s a MASSIVE multicar pileup.

Rollercoaster

In FD3 it’s a Roller Coaster coming off the tracks…which worked wonders for me.

And in FD4…a wholly underwhelming, not to mention cheap looking Stock Car wreck.

Each film features a character who sees what’s going to happen before it happens. And then the survivors who should have died get killed off by death through fantastically inventive means.

Well in three out of the four films they do at least. In FD they’re just the right level of crazy and creative. In FD2 they’re taken to almost insanely Rubegoldbergish levels of complexity but are still fun. In FD3 the original creators turn down the Rubeness again and deliver consistently gory and creative deaths.

In TFD it’s like death went on holiday and left his brother…Kevin…in charge and he isn’t creative in the slightest. It does seem however as the movie progresses that Kevin begins to get it. But I think the only reason for that is that the script finally begins to take off.

However the scripts have always been interesting glimpses into the series creators views on death, and death as a character and a serial killer. At least that was the case for the first three.

In part four it seemed to be let’s start killing ASAP…and keep killing for the rest of the really short but seemingly infinite running time. Sure they get a little creative, perhaps too creative once they leave the hospital (which features the single dumbest kill in franchise history), but TFD is by far the weakest in the series.

Yet I want to see the series continue. However for the series to continue it needs to re imagine itself and add some genuine wrinkles to the structure of the stories themselves.

Here’s a few ideas:

Introduce an opposing factor: Call it Life, Angels, Hope I don’t give a crap. What if some of the characters weren’t destined to die, what if they were supposed to survive and death is taking them out of order.

After all who is giving the premonitions anyway: This has never been answered. Could it be that these premonitions are from death itself. Conning these people into believing they were going to die and setting them up for an even more creative death. Perhaps life is tired of this whole charade and chooses to intervene.

Set it all in one location where a variety of deaths could happen: Now believe me I don’t want to turn this series into “insane deaths on a cruise ship” however a cruise ship setting would work as a one off because of just the insane amount of ordinary…or extraordinary things they have on them. And cruise ships dock at islands and islands have vehicles, and there’s all sorts of bad stuff that can happen in water.

Have someone be able to see Death and/or Hope: If someone can see these invisible forces it gives them a chance to save or potentially save others. It also makes them a priority target.

Give us characters we actually care about again: In TFD I didn’t care about anyone. We need to care about our characters in order to root for them or against them. They need to be more than cardboard cutouts.

The series can recover, it can be great and thrilling entertainment again, it just needs a creative overhaul.

In this case The Final Destination can be an unfortunate layover en route to a fantastic new arrival.

Ross Out

P.S. here’s the wiki listings foor each film.

Final Destination Wiki

Final Destination 2 Wiki

Final Destination 3 Wiki

And…

The Final Destination Wiki

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