Thursday, July 28, 2011

Second to Last Destination

I saw the trailer for Final Destination 5 in the theater a couple weeks ago. I’ve always like the Final Destination movies for there simple set up. Having teens die in increasingly fantastic and improbable ways. (It should be noted that I haven’t see The Final Destination (part 4) yet.) I always thought that Final Destination 3 was the best of the lot for flawless executing the formula. In FD1 the deaths didn’t have the real Rube Goldberg touch (except for the teacher’s death). One character got hit by a bus when she wasn’t looking. In FD2 the death scenes became more complex but some of them were caused by things moving by themselves. FD3 had complicated deaths but you saw the complete set up and it almost seemed probable that something like that could happen.

Up to now all the FD movies follow the same formula. We meet a group of attractive youths. They all die in a spectacular death scene (each movie should be seen simply for the opening blood bath). Alpha Youth gets a vision that saves a handful of survivors. The survivors start to die in the order they would have died in the opening blood bath (Alpha Youth is always the last to die on the list). Everyone dies. There is very little variation on the formula from film to film. The “moral” of the franchise is you can’t escape death for long. This makes Final Destination the favorite horror franchise of the fatalist crowd. Death is always depicted has having a list and/or agenda and there is no screwing with it.

Back to FD5. Seeing the new trailer it occurred to me that there was an interesting storyline that none of the sequels (again, haven’t seen 4 yet) have followed upped on or explored. Where do the visions come from? If Death is an entity with a plan then who or whatever is giving the Alpha Youth the vision that kicks the whole adventure off seems hell bent on disrupting that plan. Whatever it is it doesn’t seem to be deterred by constant failure. If this group of youths can’t escape Death’s plans maybe the next one will.

I understand that the concept is a bit existential and cosmic and if they found the source of the visions it would basically kill an unkillable franchise. As enjoyable as the franchise is it is a bit cookie cutter and would add the first real new element to the films since they started. Just an idea.