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Thu August 20, 2009
The Final Destination
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time," "Cinema Classics," and "On the Marquee"
"For fate has wove the thread of life with pain,
And twins ev'n from the birth are misery and man!"
Pope, Homer's Odyssey
Many young beauties die in Final Destination, but apparently this franchise itself may not have breathed its last. Or not. At any rate, this iteration continues the fantastic adherence to its horror genre requirements including gore, sex, air-headedness, and inevitability.
In this cycle, young Nick O'Bannon (Bobby Campo), foreseeing a catastrophe at the race track, saves many lives by getting them to leave the track before the mayhem. But something like the inevitability of death stalks those such as Nick who beat the grim one.
Nick is determined to stop the chain of deaths and therefore stop the deathwatch for himself, his three friends, and others attending the race but escaping. The usual visual tricks pervade as impalements and beheadings occur by seeming chance. The randomness of the universe juxtaposed with the determinism of Death gives the film a bit of an edge on the usual horror-thriller.
Director David R. Ellis carefully shows the chain of random events such as a spilled can of gasoline or a nail gun on the loose that leads to human deaths. He does not ascribe the cause and effect as the workings of Death (the characters do that); rather he shows the chain of events from a casual accident that carries out a mandate from implacable forces.
Unless you spin the theme into some cosmic debate as I have attempted here, you are left with a mediocre horror flick probably no better or worse than the new Halloween II or countless other macabre entries.
I guess I'm fated to review this farcical formula until Death has decided I've suffered enough.
"The fool of fate,?thy manufacture, man." Pope
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time, Cinema Classics, and On the Marquee, which can be heard streaming at http://publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/ppr/index.shtml and on demand at http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/arts.artsmain Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com