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FINAL DESTINATION 5
Blu-ray Edition

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars: Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Ellen Wroe, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, P. J. Byrne, Adrian Escarpeta, David Koechner
Director: Steven Quale
Audio: DTS HD 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 92 Minutes
Release Date: December 27, 2011

How does someone die during a massage? SERIOUSLY??”

Film ***

Although one couldn’t be blamed for thinking that there will never be a “final” to the Final Destination movies, it’s very possible that Final Destination 5 makes for a fitting finale to a surprisingly successful horror franchise.

I loved the first movie…in fact, I still consider the first 20 minutes of it one of the best set-ups in horror film history. Every film that has followed, however, has been more or less the same movie over and over again. Some kids escape death, then death comes after them one at a time. The only difference is how, and the only question is why doesn’t death just take them out in simple ways instead of concocting these elaborate Rube Goldberg type schemes to bring about their demise?

And yet, what surprises me most? I don’t seem to mind. As someone who complains about lack of originality in movies, and about milking a good idea until it’s completely dry and sour, I always end up having a good time with Final Destination. I’d have to seriously think about why. Maybe the original premise was just unique enough and clever enough to carry a crapload of films. Maybe the filmmakers make no bones about the premise: the franchise is about people dying; what’s the best way we can go about it?

Whatever the reason, I can only dismiss one of these pictures until I’ve sat down to watch it, and then I have to confess I had a much better time that I would have guessed. Best of all, Final Destination 5 really offered me something I hadn’t seen before. Even the ‘surprise’ endings in these films have become old hat, but I have to say, for this one…I was DEFINITELY rocked back in my seat.

I suppose that was the only excuse for making a new entry after the last film was called THE Final Destination. And I’m glad those involved had the wit and gumption to go back to the well one more time.

Video ***1/2

This is a nice looking Blu-ray from Warner that balances light and dark scenes nicely, with good integrity throughout. Not a lot of color demands, but plenty of good, sharp and solidly rendered images make this an enjoyable viewing experience.

Audio ***

Though audio is important for horror, this DTS HD 5.1 track, though dynamic and well balanced in terms of dialogue, music and effects, doesn’t make as much discreet use of the rear stage as I would like. The back speakers deliver some volume and punch, but not quite the enveloping experience you might hope for. Still nicely done.

Features **1/2

Do NOT watch the extras on this disc first…spoilers abound.

There are some alternate death scenes, in case you just couldn’t get enough, as well as a featurette on the making of the film. You get two close-up looks at special effects sequence, plus BD Live and a digital copy of the film.

Summary:

Is it over? Who knows? I can’t even tell you what I hope for. I could live comfortably without another Final Destination movie coming out, but after seeing Final Destination 5, I know I’d definitely be back, somewhere, someway, for the next chapter.

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