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Review: Final Destination 5

PUBLISHED: 14:04 26 August 2011

(L-r) JACQUELINE MACINNES-WOOD as Olivia Castle and NICHOLAS DAGOSTO as Sam in New Line Cinemas horror film FINAL DESTINATION 5, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

(L-r) JACQUELINE MACINNES-WOOD as Olivia Castle and NICHOLAS DAGOSTO as Sam in New Line Cinemas horror film FINAL DESTINATION 5, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

©2011 New Line Productions, Inc.

This final Final Destination delivers a warm sense of Hovis contentment - Final Destination films, as good today as they've always been. It's a rigid formula but a great one. At the start, a group of people cheat death when one of them has a premonition about an imminent disaster.

Death, though, is a sore loser and the survivors are then dispatched one by one in various highly contrived and gruesome ways. Saw, Nightmare On Elm Street and most other horror films which went on to spawn a chain of numerals had great first instalments before palling sharply with repetition.

Final Destination holds its value so well because it’s the best expression of how horror and comedy can dovetail in a slasher movie. At their best, the deaths are beautifully composed slapstick set pieces.

Comedy is often used to mock foibles and puncture pomposity and here it does so in the most extreme way possible. Any human hope or aspiration, however modest, is ripped apart. Its opening title sequence has a swagger which wouldn’t look out of place fronting a Bond movie.

First time feature director Quale is a long-time James Cameron associate and, along with tip-top 3D, he delivers a spectacular bridge collapse disaster sequence which could grace any blockbuster. From then, it is matter of waiting to see just how the survivors – the Insipid One, the Glasses One, the Hot One, The Tom Cruise-like One, the One Who Was In Anchorman One – will meet their end.

Its gruesome inventiveness is infectious (if a bit too much for a 15 certificate, but I did that already this week).

Watching it took years off me – I roared with laughter, winced joyfully and felt like a callous, carefree teenager again.

FINAL DESTINATION 5 3D (15)

Director: Steve Quale

Starring: Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Courtney B. Vance, David Koechner and Tony Todd

Length: 92 mins

***

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