Three years after what I consider to be a smash hit, Final Destination 2 hit the world. With an entire new cast of doomed youth, save Ali Larter in a return as Clear and Tony Todd as the creepy coroner, this film followed basically the same premise. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Protagonist Kimberly and her friends head out for Daytona but are interrupted when she has a vision of a freeway pileup leading to mass casualties. After her premonition proves to be true, her and a random assortment of people do their best to cheat death.
This sequel had an uphill battle from the start because I loved the first one. And despite their best efforts to reference the first one and even tie the story into the original characters through a series of convoluted twists and turns, it just wasn’t the same. It didn’t help at all that between the first and second film they “kill off” Alex in a completely silly and ridiculous way. It is always nice when a sequel recognizes its origins, but I felt this film tried too hard. There was something magical about the characters in the first film; their chemistry bounced off the screen and you actually cared about them. In this rendition, the characters are shallow and poorly developed, leaving the audience feeling nothing for them or their demise. Plus, unlike the first one which featured a group of high school students, these people have almost no connection to each other.
And while the first scene, Kimberly’s premonition, is pretty epic and graphic enough it’s stuck with me over the years, the rest of the film’s death sequences are horrible. Far-fetched even for horror, they leave you wondering if there truly was no other scenario the writers could think of. These scenes are definitely more gross than inventive, which is a shame because the first film housed some amazing deaths.
Overall, Final Destination 2 was a disappointment for me. Lacking the depth and creativity of its predecessor, it’s a sequel you can skip. I think I must be in the minority though because this film becomes a franchise, spawning many more. Here’s hoping they dig a little deeper next time.
If you liked Final Destination 2, you might also like Paranormal Activity, Paranormal Activity 2 and Sinister.