Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Final Destination 5 Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Death is just as omnipresent as ever, and in Final Destination 5 it strikes again.  During the bus ride to a corporate retreat, Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) has a premonition in which he and most of his friends — as well as numerous others — die in a horrific bridge collapse.  When his vision ends, events begin to mirror what he had seen, and he frantically ushers as many of his colleagues — including his friend, Peter (Miles Fisher), and girlfriend, Molly (Emma Bell) — away from the disaster before Death can claim them.  But these unsuspecting souls were never supposed to survive, and in a terrifying race against time, the ill-fated group tries to discover a way to escape Death’s sinister agenda.

Film (3 out of 5 stars) 

Final Destination 5 follows the employees of Presage Paper Company as they travel to a corporate retreat.  Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) has a premonition that the bridge the bus is riding on is about to collapse.  He pulls his girlfriend Molly off the bus, yelling for everyone else to follow.  A small handful of his coworkers do follow, not necessarily because they believe him.  Within moments, the bridge does collapse and everyone left on the bus is dead.
The lucky few who followed Sam are thankful they survived their brush with death and are quick to get back to their normal lives.  They soon learn that death has a plan and you can’t just walk away from death’s plan.  The survivor’s begin to die in the same order as they did in Sam’s premonition.  Coroner Tony Todd is back with his creepy voice and a quick reminder that Death will find them and their only chance of escape is to kill someone and take the remainder of their natural life.
Deaths happen at a massage parlor, during Lasik eye surgery, and at gymnastics practice.  Finally, survivor Nathan accidentally (or not so accidentally) kills a co-worker and death skips him and goes on to the next person.   The idea that he can take a life to save his own leads one of the survivors to attempt to murder Molly, the only one who would have survived the crash anyway.  The ending does explain how there is another final destination…but I won’t ruin it for you.
If memory serves me correctly Final Destination 4 was The Final DestinationCalling it The Final Destination led me to believe that it would be the last movie.  So what is Final Destination 5?   The Absolutely Last, We Really Mean It This Time, Very Final DestinationI love horror movies with all of their terribly implausible death sequences and the blood and gore, plus I did enjoy Final Destination 1-4so I was willing to give #5 a try.  Final Destination 5 turned out to be as good as the others.  I’m not one of those people that claim any of these films are cinematic gems since they are all kind of dumb yet still entertaining.
They certainly make you think about how simple everyday events could actually be pretty dangerous.  I know I’ll never look at an acupuncture appointment the same way again.  When you think about it, you’re surrounded by dangerous sharp objects all day long.  If death was out to get you, it wouldn’t be hard.   But this movie is a little bit different since there’s some new information that you can kill someone and take their life which changes the things.  In the past, I believe the rule was that you could mess with death’s design by creating a life that wasn’t meant to be (saving a baby that should have died) but I don’t think that really worked out well for which ever Final Destination movie tried that.  Usually everyone dies in the end of every Final Destination movie just when they appear to have figured it all out.  Final Destination 5 has a lot of interesting clues that once you see the end you feel a little dumb for not picking up on them the whole time. I had fun watching it a second time, knowing the ending, seeing a lot of new details.

Video (4 1/2 out of 5 stars) 

Final Destination 5 is presented on Blu-ray in 1080p High Definition 16×9 with 2.4:1 aspect ratio.  Skin tones appear even and accurate.  An important feature in horror movies, the red blood is life-like and the other colors are also here in all of their various hues and they all look great and distinct. There’s a lot of nice detail in this transfer, especially when it comes to all of the killings.  Black levels also look pitch black which is just how a movie like this should be with Death stalking your every move.

Audio (4 1/2 out of 5 stars) 

Final Destination 5′s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is much like the movie – normal until Death comes to town.  The the killings start going, the mix comes to life with every grotesque sound  to accompany the passing of another foolish victim.  The sound effects department did a good job with the big explosions, but it’s the little details that make it real like the sound of an eye ball squishing.  Dialogue is clear and consistent throughout and screams are adequately blood curdling and there’s some nice directionality that really sucks you into the movie.  Every channel gets in on the killing once it starts and fans of the series will be pleased with this mix!

Special Features (3 out of 5 stars) 

There’s not a lot of extras on this disc but I did kind of like what was included.
  • Alternate Death Scenes – These aren’t as much alternate as extended.  For example, (Spoiler alert!)  during the Lasik eye surgery death that involves one eye in the film, now involves both eyes in this extended version.
  • Visual Effects of Death – Two special effects split screen features for the collapsing bridge and the airplane crash.  It’s comical to see the action with only green screen where the effects will be.  The coloring on the final film is a lot different and gives the whole movie a different feel.
  • Final Destination 5: Circle of Death, Your Final Destination – An even more gruesome death ride and accompanying death scenes.  Wait to see this after the movie because it has a lot of spoilers.

Final Thoughts (4 out of 5 stars)

The most important part of enjoying movies like Final Destination 5 is not to expect too much.  The actors are all good, even though I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of any of them before.  Final Destination 5 is a fun but campy horror flick that follows the same pattern as the previous films.  So if you’re expecting a lot of new things, you’ll probably be disappointed.  The filmmakers did come up with some new ways to kill people but overall it’s the same idea – death has a list and when you’re number is up no one with a premonition can save you.
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