FINAL DESTINATION 3
***1/2 (out of 5)
February 10, 2006
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as WENDY CHRISTENSEN
Ryan Merriman as KEVIN FISCHER
Texas Battle as LEWIS ROMERO
Gina Holden as CARRIE DREYER
Dustin Milligan as MARCUS
Amanda Crew as JULIE CHRISTENSEN
Studio: New Line Cinema
Directed by: James Wong
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
The 1980s was a decade that redefined the horror genre. Like the 1950s, which targeted the teenage market with cheap horror flicks, the 1980s also went after this demo. It was the decade of the slasher film, first made popular by “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th.”
By the time we reached the mid-to-late-1990s, the genre was changed slightly. A lot of this is due to Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson, who brought us “Scream,” a send-up of the teenage slasher film. While the “Scream” films re-established the human killer slasher films, one of the films that grabbed the more supernatural market was “Final Destination” in 2000.
Like the Freddy Krueger movies of the 1980s, I liked the “Final Destination” series mainly because it offered a little more than just some psycho in a mask hacking up young virgins. The killer was death itself, stalking a group of kids who narrowly escaped death.
Now, the “Final Destination” series is in its third run. This time, it’s a roller coaster accident that kids narrowly escape. (In the first film, it was a plane; the second film was a traffic accident.) The plot follows the exact same formula as the first two films, offering a little less explanation of the concept because we all now understand it from the “Final Destination” and “Final Destination 2.”
There really is nothing new in this movie. It’s cut from the same script, basically changing the names and places to fit the needs of this story. However, if you look at is as a basic teenage horror flick, it definitely works.
Because there’s no real surprises, the film emphasizes what most people are going to see – the gruesome deaths of people in complex Rube Goldberg set-ups. The first two or three deaths are elaborate and violent, but nothing too shocking. However, as more and more people die in the film, they turn hysterically extreme.
Anyone who has seen the first “Final Destination” remembers the scene where Amanda Detmer’s character is obliterated by the bus. Second to the car crash that takes out Brad Pitt in “Meet Joe Black,” this is probably one of the funniest deaths on screen in a movie to date. In “Final Destination 3,” most of the death scenes are like the bus crash. They’re horrendously violent, meaty and gory, but they’re hilarious.
Does that make me sick? Maybe, but to offer some psychological explanation of why I laughed probably has to do with the same desire rubberneckers on the freeway have in order to see an accident when they drive by. At least that’s what I tell myself so I can sleep at night.
Plus, it’s only a movie. And a film like “Final Destination 3” really shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
James Wong and Greg Morgan – the guys who brought us the first “Final Destination” as well as many of the better episodes of “The X Files” – are the minds behind this film. They’re returning to their roots, and that’s nice to see. It’s not great art, but it is fun in its own sick right. I am a bit embarrassed to say that I was entertained.
In fact, it’s easily the funniest movie of the year.