The posters that were stuck in bus stations and telephone booths all around town before Final Destination's release all proclaimed the same thing: 'The scariest movie ever', 'Scarier than Scream!', 'Unmissable.' Never being one to approve of anything the critics say, but intrigued by the commercials I had seen on TV, I decided this was one movie (being by 'the guys who wrote for the X-Files') that I would be stupid to miss. I was expecting nothing, and what I received was breath-taking (in more than one sense).
Final Destination could quite possibly be the most perfect horror movie that Hollywood has put out in the past decade. Forget Candyman, forget Scream. If you want to see a movie that will thrill, captivate and disgust you from beginning to end, see this. It appears that writing partners James Wong and Glen Morgan cannot put a foot wrong in this genre. Not only did they write some of the best scripts for the first few seasons of the X-Files, and then move on to do great work on the sadly-missed but chilling The Others, now they have created the greatest scare-fest since the 's! With a smart script and all-round likeable characters, Final Destination is a great first endeavour into movies for the duo.
As you can probably tell from my rantings, I really enjoyed this movie. But that doesn't mean it is completely flaw-less. The ending is a bit of a let-down (does anybody really believe that the surviving three would actually go to France after all that's happened to them, even with the added metaphor of 'overcoming thy demons' etc?!), although it does provide a clever link back to the original plane crash (Flight ) with the sign that smashes the screen. Another thing that is a little aggravating is the sudden abandonment of Alex's 'gift', which began the whole movie in the first place. An hour in, the film seems to discard the idea of Alex being blessed with some second sight in favour of full-on scares (which I am all for!), which although are fun, take away some of the believability.
Anyway, now I have got that off my chest, I will get back to everything that is great and so enjoyable about Final Destination. As is expected in horrors these days, all the death scenes are elaborate and chock-full of tension, almost unbearably so. The first death in particular was extremely hard to watch as the suspense was cranked up to an amazing level, and set a new standard for all new horrors. Another thing that I enjoyed was the idea of the killer being Death itself, rather than a mundane human being in a lame costume. This idea lended itself to many original scenes, and an atmosphere of apprehension and unease is apparent the whole way through the film as unexpected things come to life on screen. Far scarier than a masked psycho jumping out with a knife!
It was a nice change of pace to have a male lead, and Devon Sawa pulled it off well in one of his best performances to date. The rest of the cast - including the beautiful Ali Larter alongside Kerr Smith (who was great in an against-type role) and Kristen Cloke - were all brilliant and handed in well-rounded performances.
This is the unchallengable shocker of the late 's, opening up the millennium in style! The cast, direction and music are all top-notch, and the scares come fast and strong. An excellent movie that should not be missed.