Final Destination 3 review (with spoilers)


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I rented "Final Destination 3" this week. Basically the premise is this: because someone gets a vision into the future, several people escape what should be their "time" to die. It was a plane crash in the first movie, a huge pileup on the interstate in the second movie, and a roller coaster accident in the third. Death, however, comes after the people who should have died.

This is an interesting concept for a horror movie. With a "normal" bad guy, the killer can be contained even if he cannot be killed for some reason. Trapped inside five foot thick concrete walls one mile underground, the killer of Friday the 13th is not going to menace anyone. That is not the case with Death, which is a force of nature. This force of nature has an agenda and no one can escape their time to die.

I got pretty much what I expected. The people who cheat Death in the major accident are killed in gruesome ways. Where the movie falls short, though, is that Death's inevitable victory is treated almost like a farce. I would have preferred the subject matter be taken more seriously, perhaps with a little more of a philosophical tone to it. What are the moral implications of defying Death? How did the main characters in all three movies get a vision of the future? Where does God's will fit into this?

The DVD's special features are amusing, including the documentaries and the very funny animated short film explaining that your chances of dying eventually are one in one. I was disappointed with the "choose their fate" option, however. Only one of the deaths is significantly different from the rest. As in most horror movies, there is an obnoxious, slimy character. Virtually everyone watching the film wants this character to die. As it turns out, he survives if you choose the correct path in "Choose their fate".

Overall, the second film in the series is the best, exploring the psychological effect of trying to escape Death. The lone survivor from the first movie has locked herself up in a psychological ward, avoiding anything that could possibly be dangerous enough to cause her death. It is never explained, however, why Death needs to set in motion an absurd series of coincidences for these "accidents" to happen, instead of just simply giving everyone a massive heart attack.

Final grade: B

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Because massive heart attacks aren't as much fun to watch.
Well, yeah, but it is never explained in the context of the story.

That would be really cheap though. Walk into the movie, go through the whole first scene until everyone gets off the coaster, then all the characters have heart attacks. End of story, credits roll.

You just spent $8 to watch a 15 minute movie.

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It is never explained, however, why Death needs to set in motion an absurd series of coincidences for these "accidents" to happen, instead of just simply giving everyone a massive heart attack.

That right there is my major problem with the series: every death is a Goldbergian trap. Once... just once I'd like to see one of the characters casually rub his chest, get a look of fear on his face and drop dead from a heart attack.

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