It only took me five months to watch the last Final Destination. Five films in, I worried this one would suck - and for about an hour and 20 minutes, it did. But then something magical happened. Let it be known that when Keith and I set out to watch and catalog the best and worst of horror, we made the promise we would never - ever - turn a film off before it ended. Final Destination 5 is the reason why. Released in 2011, two years after the fourth, it follows a new group of death cheaters as they try to avoid destiny. For most of the film, I was bored watching a mediocre group of coworkers bitch and moan about their sad situations, but an unexpected twist ending took this film from subpar to just above average, which is pretty unheard of.
A group of eight coworkers traveling in a bus barely escape death on a suspension bridge after Sam has a premonition. Say what you want about the silliness and far-fetched nature of the Final Destination films, but they found a formula that works and they freaking stuck with it. There are slight variations along the way, some better than others, but for the most part the song stays the same. In this version, it’s somehow discovered one can avoid their fate by killing another person and thereby “stealing” their life. I didn’t love this twist - but it wasn’t as bad as some in previous years. The one thing this variation created was a deep feeling of paranoia and desperation, which is a great touch.
Most of this film boasts overly-gross death sequences that use too much 3D technology and watered down character interactions. No one is particularly interesting and I never felt invested in anyone. But you put in the work and then, in the end, you are rewarded. Final Destination 5 throws a wrench into the system right at the end. Just when you thought you had everything figured out… you don’t. And in the best way.
Final Destination 5 won’t keep you up at night. It won’t haunt your dreams or send you running for mom. But it’s a fun ride and a mostly fun franchise. The every/other streak continues and Final Destination 5 is a winner. So far, this is the end of the FD madness and I for one am happy with how it ended.
If you liked Final Destination 5, you might also like Final Destination, Final Destination 2 and Final Destination 3.