Horror Movie Review: Final Destination 5 (2011)


To the surprise of no-one the financial success of the previous entry in the franchise, The Final Destination saw this 5th (and currently final) movie come out in 2011.

While once gain sticking to the tried & tested formula, the most surprising thing about Final Destination 5 is its attempt to push a new idea within the restrictive rules of the franchise. One that adds a little more intrigue & brings back some much needed tension.

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You can read our reviews of the rest of the series below:

2000 – Final Destination
2003 – Final Destination 2
2006 – Final Destination 3
2009 – The Final Destination

This time round the story surrounds Sam Lawton (Nicholas D’Agosto). Who is on his way to a company retreat with his colleagues. He’s not exactly looking forward to it, made all the worse by being dumped moments before.

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While crossing the North Bay Bridge, Sam has a premonition that the bridge will collapse resulting in the death of most of his colleagues & himself. When he snaps out of it, he panics & manages to get himself & a group on the bus off the bridge as the premonition comes true.

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Days later at a memorial service the survivors are warned by the coroner, William Bludworth (Tony Todd) that death doesn’t like to be cheated.

By now it’s no surprise what happens next. The survivors begin to die in mysterious & convoluted ways. Some entertaining…others not so much.

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Realising that Bludworth was right, Sam & a few others seek him out. He tells them that if they want to really cheat death they have take the life of someone else to claim their remaining lifespan.

This new idea is an interesting one as it throws up all kind of moral issues for the remaining survivors. It results in a tense & surprising finale. One that is a pretty satisfying sign-off for the series (if this is the last one).

Massive spoilers to follow!

In a really surprise twist it is revealed in the final scenes that Final Destination 5 is a prequel to the very first movie! The two survivors of this movie end up getting on flight 180 to Paris. It’s a really well done twist & brings the franchise full circle leaving you in no doubt that there is no escaping your fate.

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While Final Destination 5 is filled with the same flaws that have bogged down the series to date, it can be at least seen as a sort of return to form. The premonition, while overly long is one of the more enjoyable. Also the death sequences are varied with some of the most memorable so far.

This entry also has some of the better acting of the bunch. With D’Agosto as the lead & Miles Fisher as Peter Friedkin giving good performances. The latter in particular has a great scene where he shows how morally torn he is regarding killing someone else to get their lifespan.

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Final Destination also uses 3D effects but unlike the last entry, here it seems less forced & looks far better. The CGI has improved & the uses of occasional practical make up makes its deficiencies less obvious.

Even though the plot isn’t particularly thrilling as it’s the same story we’ve seen time & time again, there are enough small changes that makes it feel like effort was actually put in.

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That’s why Final Destination 5 is the best film in the series since the first.

Final Destination 5
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