Make no mistake about it, Final Destination is one of the
best horror films in recent years.
I realize how patently absurd that sounds. There is nothing from
the outward appearance of Final Destination that would make it seem
to stand out from the host of recent teen scare flicks we've been
exposed to. (The Scream series, I Saw What You Did Last
Summer etc) But somehow... this film does it. IT FREAKS YOU
OUT! In a way that harks back to the best era of teen fright flicks:
the late seventies to middle eighties period that brought about
the unapologetic brutality of Halloween, the early Friday
the 13th films and the clown prince of evil, Freddy Krueger
Final Destination's premise is simple and easy to follow. Alex
Browning, played with a sympathetic amateurishness by Devon Sawa,
boards a plane heading towards France with his high school class.
While waiting on the runway he has a vision of the plan's impending
mid air explosion in a film sequence that does for air travel what
JAWS did for swimming. Only this is more frightening because
it's so uncomfortably real. You can't help but realize this must
be almost exactly what it's like to be on a doomed aircraft. Scared
out of his wits from his vision, Alex flees the airplane, starting
a brawl that gets several of his classmates kicked off with him.
Of course the plane does explode, and the survivors realize that
they've managed to cheat death. However, their luck doesn't hold
of for long as they start to be dispatched one by one, in a series
of "accidents" where death comes back to cut short their
borrowed time. It's this premise that give Final Destination
an unruly eerieness so rarely seen in horror films: the villain
isn't a crazed maniac or spiritual demon, it's simply the final
doorway that awaits all of us (though death in this film does have
some very human, and at times, comical characteristics) You never
see the bad guy, because there isn't one to see.
Granted, the "accidents" death uses to reclaim its victims
become more and more absurd, to the degree that the last 30 minutes
of the film will have you rolling your eyes quite often. And the
underlying logic of the film, that you can cheat death, by following
a few simple rules (one would think if death is coming for you,
then, baby, you're gone) is rather farcical*.
Nonetheless, based on the creativity of its premise alone this film
deserves to become a cult classic, making its home on the Friday
night celluloid of college campus for years to come.
*Actually, even the film admits the silliness
of the proposition in it's ultimate ending.
Strictly for the morbidness of its domain name you
should visit Final Destination's web site at http://www.deathiscoming.com