The latest disaster from New Line Cinema is titled The Final Destination; one can only hope that the studio keeps their word. The "story" begins with a premonition that foresees the deaths of several in a bloody explosive accident at a race car track. Nick, the one cursed with these visions, thus saves his friends by forcing them to leave the arena before the accident ever happens. Fate cannot be cheated however, and so it takes eighty-two precious minutes from our lives to take the lives of characters the audience never cares about at all. Does that plot sound familiar? This rehashed and unoriginal film has nothing new to offer except for some bad special effects in 3D, but even that cannot possibly make up for characters with less dimension than a piece of cardboard. Okay, maybe this film was never destined to be driven by story or character development, but it's never really entertaining either. The movie manages to kill off a racist, a douche bag who cheats on his girlfriend, and an alcoholic who killed his family by driving drunk. The movie does forget to kill someone though: the audience member who has been praying for death since this piece of garbage's first frame.
When the movie begins with racecars speeding down the track in startling 3D the idea of a 3D horror film shows promise. When things start to go wrong and random automobile parts start flying out at the audience that promise looks as if it may deliver. Then people start dying by poor special effects and one quickly realizes that the 3D promise was nothing but a fantasy to begin with. Instead of intensifying the film; the 3D is often distracting in that it calls attention to how obviously fake each murderous object is. Whether it is a flying tire or a falling beam, the 3D exposes the computer-generated nonsense rather than suspending disbelief. There are some humorous bits such as a protruding piece of wood sticking out of a recently impaled man's mouth, but the bit quickly grows stale as it is used over and over again. In many respects, the 3D technology is simply not taken advantage of enough. There's a champagne cork that flies in the air, a used band-aid that swims by, and a piece of ash that lands on a flammable piece of property, none of which fulfills the targeted audience's desire to see a melee of guts explode off the screen. A 3D horror masterpiece may very well be produced one day, but until then, save the additional $4 charge for anything other than this movie.
Some movies are so bad they're good. This is not one of those movies. Even if each fatal event was meant to be preposterous, the level of ludicrous makes them come across as annoyingly overbearing rather than ridiculously fun. Much of the attempted humor comes from a character who is some kind of cross between Zack Morris and a 90's boy band member from hell. He has the unfortunate duty of delivering some of the worst lines ever written as well as engaging in needless sex scenes that aren't even funny on a raunchy level. At the very beginning of the movie we're supposed to be laughing at a mom who puts tampons in her son's ears. No one is laughing, but there are many who just barfed in their mouth.
The act of utilizing suspense to create fear is a common technique found in horror films and thrillers. There is horror in this movie, but rather than thrills, one is horrified at the exceeding high level of suck. It becomes near impossible to scare someone if he/she can see the next big event from twenty million miles away. It doesn't help either that each preposterous occurrence becomes even more preposterous as the movie drags along. There's a super-soaker that manages to switch on a pressure valve, a ray of sunlight through a pair of glasses that starts a fire, and a perfectly placed cart of gasoline pushed forward by a strangely powerful fan. Even more ridiculous is the acting. At one point a character is told he will die and his reaction is similar to that of one misplacing car keys. There is no possible way for an audience to be scared if the characters themselves are just as believable as a piece of poop that can recite the alphabet.
August 28, 2009