Despite being a fair definition of mediocrity, the Final Destination series prevails on with its fourth installment The Final Destination. Will this actually be “The” final film in the series, as the title suggests? Doubtful. While the film is little more than a glorified direct-to-video sequel that somehow made it into theaters, the $40 million budgeted film raked in three times that worldwide, so there’s little doubt that the series won’t continue on again and again until it’s ultimately worthless. Not that it’s worth much right now, but fans of shock horror and tongue-in-cheek writing and directing will no doubt latch onto this series until the bitter end.
The movie series that taps into your deepest fears returns with a new and imaginative chapter that delivers the expected – in so many keep-you-guessing, unexpected ways! A strange premonition causes friends to abandon their day at the speedway, just before a crushing pileup hurtles cars into the bleachers with fiery consequences. They have cheated Death. But Death is only getting started. From the director of Snakes on a Plane comes the eerie, innovative tale of the friends’ fierce fight to keep themselves and others alive.
The film, starring a bunch of unknowns (so unknown that the official description of the movie doesn’t even mention them), bears no relation to the other films in the series aside from the fact that Death is once again the unstoppable villain (I suppose the series will jump the shark when he does become stoppable). There’s still no explanation as to why someone (in this case it’s Nick, played by Bobby Campo) is even having visions about his friends dying, but when you start delving into the how’s and why’s of a film like this you’re really just wasting your time. There’s no reason or excuse for this film to exist other than people wanted to watch people die in the most gruesome way possible. Like a Nascar engine flying into the stands and flatting someone’s torso like a pancake.
Really the whole purpose of this film is just the ridiculous violence and gore that it presents. Gore porn (or whatever we’re calling it now) is in full force here, but unlike the Saw series which takes itself far too seriously for what it is, The Final Destination knows what it’s doing is ridiculous. There’s no reason for such violence to occur on film other than for the entertainment of gore enthusiasts and writer Eric Bress and director David R. Ellis know this. They give up some absolutely ridiculous shots of death that will have you simultaneously clasping a hand over your mouth to suppress your shock as well as your laughter. I’m really quite curious what it’s like to be in a theater with an audience watching this film as it has to illicit some genuinely interesting responses.
This is far from the best outing in the series (that honor goes to the one that started the franchise; although the others were fun, that film was both fun to watch and original, a potent combination in the horror/gore genre), but if you enjoy this type of film then you’ll be entertained. I don’t really care for mindless violence when there’s zero plot to back it up with so I was a little bored with this film after the first half hour, but considering it only ran 82 minutes I didn’t have much else to sit through before the end of the film arrived. There’s no real point to these Destination films, other than to see people die in various gruesome ways and to see a death trap triggered by the smallest incident (like a game of Mouse Trap or something). It’s certainly entertaining in a sick kind of way, but if you can’t find entertainment in people getting halved and cut up then there’s no reason to check this one out.
Overall a Rental for the curious and…well, everyone else, really. Unless you’re in the club of die-hard Destination lovers, then you’ll have no reason to pick this one up for more than a curious glance.
Oh boy! This movie is in 3-D! Maybe I’m just jaded after Avatar, but man this was some boring 3-D “fun.” Then again I had to use the ear-cutting paper glasses that the movie came with, so that was immediately annoying. But in any case there is a 2-D version of the film included as well, so you can pick your poison. Inside the package is a second disc for the digital copy and the usual round of inserts (firmware upgrade, digital copy code, Warner rewards code), while on the outside you have a lenticular image that…well, doesn’t do much. The image moves back and forth, which is really kind of disappointing to be honest, especially after seeing the recent Harry Potter lenticular.
Video arrives in a VC-1 encoded effort and…well, it’s a modern transfer, how do you think it looks? While there is a wealthy amount of night time sequences in the film, the opening at the Nascar track is key in showcasing what the film is able to do both with the 3-D effects as well as the clarity of the Blu-ray transfer. Detail is high, colors are vibrant and skin tones are perfect. There’s a lot to ooh and ahh over in this film in terms of clothing and environmental details, but most of the grins and grimaces will come from the copious amounts of blood that flies in your face as well as around the picture. There are some moments over-sharpened imagery that is a bit distracting, but overall it’s a solid transfer all in all.
Audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, which is actually a rare thing to show up on a Warner release. Although this is technically New Line, so maybe that’s why. Anyway, the track is noisy as hell and you’d be doing yourself a great disservice if you didn’t turn this track up as loud as you can when the death knells start up. It’s a very noisy and diverse track as the deaths are unique, so there’s always something new to hear as someone meets their brutal end. Of course you begin to wonder why everyone has to die in such a brutal and noisy fashion, but I guess if you see you and your friends deaths and you try to avoid them then you’ll just get screwed over.
Extras? We don’t need any extras! Well that’s what New Line/Warner seemed to think anyway, as there’s hardly anything here.
Body Count: The Deaths of FD4
Deleted Scenes & Alternate Endings
Pre Visualization and Storyboards
A Nightmare on Elm Street First Look
There are also some Blu-ray goodies (“My Commentary” and “Live Community Screening”), but all in all you’re looking at barely more than forty minutes of extras here. The most exciting thing is the look at the Nightmare film, but even that is fleeting. The “Deaths Of” is about as big of a making-of as we get, as it details the various deaths of the film…which, well, that’s all the film is so I guess it is a pretty decent making-of. The lack of commentary is rather disappointing from an extras standpoint, although to be honest I really didn’t care for this movie so I can’t imagine a commentary making me appreciate it anymore.
Overall this is something you can safely Skip. There’s nothing here in the extras to check out and the A/V transfer is worth checking out on Blu-ray only if you planned on watching the movie already anyway.
The Final Destination is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.