If we take film titles at face value, Final Destination 5 shouldn’t even exist. The previous installment of the popular horror franchise was called The Final Destination, indicating the franchise was over. However, Final Destination’s success in 3-D likely led to yet another film.
There’s nothing new here. Only the specifics have changed. As the film begins, a group of young co-workers are traveling by bus to a corporate retreat. All of a sudden, Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) has a premonition that the bus is going to fall off a collapsing bridge. Sure enough, the bus stops on a bridge. Sam persuades eight passengers to leave the bus—Sam’s on-again, off again girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell), co-workers Peter (Miles Fisher), Candice (Ellen Wroe), Olivia (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood), Isaac (P.J. Byrne), and Nathan (Arlen Escarpeta), as well as their boss Dennis (David Koechner)—and just as they get off the bridge, the bridge breaks in two and the bus plunges into the water below. Sam and his friends appear to have escaped death, but as anyone who has seen the previous Final Destination movies knows, their escape is nothing more than a prelude to death.
The fun, if you’re into this sort of thing, is in guessing how each of the characters will die. Each death is a real gore fest, set up with appropriately ominous music. We get close-up shots of various hazards before a chain reaction is sparked and hell breaks loose. Exactly how these heinous events come about is not often in a way one would expect, and therein lies the suspense. Occasionally, a character will appear to cheat death yet again, making you think they will survive.
For as much as it matters, the acting here is flat. None of the characters are people you can really care about, but since we know they’ll die, who cares? Maybe were supposed to feel for the lovebirds, but they’re both so emotionless nothing’s there. Let’s face it though, If you enjoyed the first four Final Destination films, this latest one will probably be a welcomed guilty pleasure.
Presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio, this 1080p transfer shows some evidence of aliasing, but Warner has provided a fairly nice release. Black levels are nice and inky, flesh tones look natural, and detail looks impressive.
The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix is very nice. Surrounds get a nice workout, with music and effects that dart around the soundfield with excellent fidelity. High and low ends are preserved expertly. All and all, this is a well balanced mix.
French, Spanish, and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mixes are included, as are English SDH, French, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles.
Along with a DVD and UV Digital Copy, the following special features are included:
- Alternate Death Scenes (HD, 16 minutes): Fifteen of the alternate sixteen minutes are identical to what appears in the cut of the film. They might be slightly different, but big deal.
- Circle of Death (HD, 6 minutes): A run-of-the-mill EPK. Don’t watch it before the film itself; it spoils Final Destination 5‘s biggest moment.
- Visual Effects of Death (HD, 12 minutes): Split-screen comparisons for two VFX sequences.