Final Destination 5 3D (15)
Health and Safety vultures will have a field day with this latest segment in the Final Destination franchise given that some of the deaths so gruesomely played out are caused by faulty machinery, split wiring and dodgy industrial plant.
They might also want to add a clause into their instruction manuals that advises clients not to annoy the Grim Reaper because apparently it’s Death’s bony hand that is behind the freak accidents we read about and remark “No way…”
An exercise in bumping off an ensemble cast in gleefully messy fashion, Final Destination 5 – the 3D phenomenon allows for some gooey in-your-face gore – begins with an impressive disaster in which a mighty suspension bridge collapses.
Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) has a premonition that all is not well and gets a handful of his colleagues and their David Brent-esque manager off the bus before it plunges to oblivion – but not before he has “seen” their final moments. They include death by falling bus, death by boiling tar, death by metal skewer, death by… you get the picture.
Having survived Sam, girlfriend Molly, best pal Peter and hot-bod Olivia, plus manager Dennis and others, find themselves on the receiving end of an assiduous (and unstoppable) Reaper as it seeks to re-claim those it has been cheated of.
This reviewer admits to a grudging admiration for some of the magnificently realised ways that people can bloodily kick the bucket as depicted in this mercifully short conveyor belt of doom. Director Steven Quayle sloshes on the Grand Guignol and ramps up the action averaging a splatter moment every 12 minutes after the first victim gets bumped off.
The method of violent dispatch varies from Sam’s premonition and takes in death by gymnastics, by Buddha (yes, really), by hook… The fly in the ointment is a sidebar that seemingly allows the chosen to dodge a bullet by killing a replacement. It’s a distraction from the abattoir and takes over the final reel.
Brit director Robert Fuest did imaginative murder far better in his 1970s Dr. Phibes movies, in which Vincent Price eliminated a medical team via the ten plagues of Egypt. Me, I prefer Phibes. I suspect modern audiences may their shocks grittier, stickier and via the benefit of 3D.