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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Oct 27: Final Destination 2


Oct 27: Final Destination 2

"When Kimberly has a violent premonition of a highway pileup she blocks the freeway, keeping a few others meant to die, safe...Or are they? The survivors mysteriously start dying and it's up to Kimberly to stop it before she's next."
Directed by: David R. Ellis, Rated: R, 90 minutes

The Final Destination movies have left a rather sour taste lately, with each of the newer films being more ridiculous than the last. However, the first two installments are quality flicks that have the most entertaining of deaths and a much higher production value. Final Destination 2 also has one of the best and thus, most scary traffic accidents I have ever seen and starts the film off with an epic bang. To this day I cannot drive behind a truck carrying logs without thinking it's only going to be the catalyst of some roadside tragedy. So, in that aspect the film is successful and leaves you a little worried about an occasional day-to-day event.

If anything, the FD films make you think of the absolute worst case scenarios in every situation. 

Taking place one year after the events of the first film, Final Destination 2 follows Kimberly (A.J Cook) a young co-ed who's on her way to Cancun with her friends. Before pulling onto the highway, Kim experiences a premonition of a horrible traffic accident that kills dozens, including herself and her friends. She snaps out of this vision just in time and blocks off the entrance so none of the people she saw die could get onto the freeway. Everyone thinks she's crazy but then the accident actually occurs, freaking out herself and those around her. Soon after the close call, the people that Kim "saved" begun dying under unusual circumstances (pretty much Mouse Trap with death) and she realizes that death is coming back to finish the job that Kim stopped it from completing. 

A bitch to set up with only a brief moment of satisfaction. 

Final Destination 2 suffers from rather lackluster acting and bits of dialogue that make you laugh, but the actual death sequences are pretty damn good. Many of them are unexpected and following the trademark of the series, you're led to believe that certain people will die a particular way, only to be shocked by the actual method of death-ucution. Some of them are incredibly creative and you can't help but laugh at the imagination behind such things and the fact you're finding people getting decapitated, squashed, speared, or stabbed so...satisfying. If anything, the films makes you feel like a horrible human being but when you have those moments of bad dialogue and piss-poor acting, you're easily reminded of the campy-ness of the entire situation. 

Crossed-eye physic death visions? Check.

Final Destination 2 is a great follow-up to the original film (that's great in its own right). Unfortunately, the series took an immediate downturn after this film and has never looked back. With imaginative scares that are somewhat realistic (as opposed to the stupid over-the-top CGI deaths of the sequels), Final Destination is both suspenseful and funny. It's a movie that keeps you guessing even if you're a pro of the genre. It's what makes the film worthwhile and worth your time. I'd recommend sitting down and watching the first two Final Desitnations but never even blinking at the thought of watching the sequels. Have you not seen any of the films but have only heard bad things of the more recent entries, go back and watch the first two and see that the franchise is not entirely awful. Horrible things have good beginnings? 

The Good:
unexpected deaths that make you yell in excitement/disgust/surprise at the screen
The Bad:
pretty bad acting all around, even though a few of the actors are pretty likable on their own
The Ugly:
a script that never tries hard enough to be good and instead of leaning more towards campy and awful, it dances around the category of bleh


Discussion Question:
Do the Final Destination films deserve a spot in the "Horror Hall of Fame" or are they forgettable thrillers that are just a series of death sequences that are grotesquely entertaining?


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At October 28, 2012 at 8:40 PM , Anonymous Daniel Prinn said...

Good review, Nick. It can be pretty fun, despite the horrid acting. For the later films of the series, I actually enjoyed the fifth one a little bit.

At October 28, 2012 at 9:27 PM , Blogger Nick said...

5's ending was a nice surprise, but otherwise it sucked.

At October 29, 2012 at 5:59 AM , Blogger Mavi@filmscope said...

I don't think anyone watches these anymore for, for any other reason than to see what creative ways to die they can come up with??

And your right it is one of the greats car crashes / opening...

At October 29, 2012 at 1:11 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Even watching people die in creative fashion gets boring. Esp with all the red herrings and stuff they continue to throw at your face. Just not as exciting anymore.


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