The fifth entry in the Final Destination series opens today. I will not be seeing it. I just don't care for the films. I can think of 3 good reasons why, too. #1: Death and Nothing Else
I'm a big horror film fan. What I don't like are films that have gratuitous violence, gore, and body counts just for the sake of violence/gore/high body counts. This series is nothing but death. While I admire the conceit--death coming back to claim souls he missed out on--I think the execution is grotesque in the worst way possible.
There is no substance beyond the death. You watch these films to see increasingly elaborate Rube Goldberg death devices. There is no suspense, either, as the screenplay dictates every step of the nefarious death scheme be laid out in order for the audience before the victim is seen. This is the epitome of violence for the sake of violence and I don't like it.
#2: The Acting
I'd love it if modern horror films would consistently cast talented actors for even the most thankless roles. It's not going to happen. These films, for better or worse, are going to be low budget. Final Destination just happens to have one of the most cringe-worthy and inconsistent casts in the history of horror cinema.
From horrible accents to scene chewing that makes Bette Davis at her psycho-biddy worst look demure by comparison, there is no cohesion at all to how the characters act in this universe. It's not even an alternate version of reality because that would imply there were some guidelines to set it apart. It's just bad.
#3: The Real Life Basis
Do you think it's a coincidence that the third film used a roller coaster big kill opener after a series of deadly amusement park accidents maybe a year or so before it started shooting? Or the fifth film, written a couple years ago, uses a big suspension bridge accident shortly after 12 major suspension bridge failures in 2007? I remember hearing that was going to be the gimmick shortly after the Minneapolis bridge collapse. It just can't be a coincidence this often.
I don't mind using history or current events as inspiration for art. Final Destination just seem opportunistic to me. If the conceit of your series is "100s of people die while a few survive and are then punished for not dying," it feels really icky that you would use recent tragedies as inspiration. 20 years ago, would these same writers have used The Challenger explosion and said a spaceship filled with professionals and a teacher exploded, raining shrapnel over the audience except for the group of HS students who ran back into the bus at the last minute? That's how off these opening scenes feel to me.
I will not hold it against you if you like these films. I just can't do them. It's almost everything I hate about horror films. If they were remakes of a foreign horror series that got these elements right in a sensitive way, I'd hate them even more. As it stand, I tolerate their existence but seethe against them.
What about you? Are you up for the blood and guts of it all when people die in a way that's very close to recent history? Or are you staying away? Sound off below.