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Overall Rating
3.09

Awesome: 13.39%
Worth A Look27.56%
Average27.56%
Pretty Bad: 18.11%
Total Crap: 13.39%

12 reviews, 55 user ratings


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Final Destination 3
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by EricDSnider

"Ah, Death! You merry prankster, you!"
4 stars

You tell the audience which characters are going to die. You even tell them in what order. And then they sit back and enjoy the mayhem.

That's how the "Final Destination" films work, and if it seems counterintuitive to give away so much up front, the series has made it work with macabre humor and devilishly clever setups. There's not much suspense over who will die, but you can thrill in trying to guess how.

"Final Destination 3" is a return to form for the series. Part 2 was a pale imitation of the original, done by newcomers who clearly missed the subtle touches that had made the first one work. Part 3 has the original filmmakers back onboard -- director/writer James Wong and his co-writer Glen Morgan, both formerly of "The X-Files" -- as well as much of the original sense of humor and more of those elaborate deathtraps that result in such unexpectedly entertaining demises.

The premise: Fate dictates when you die, and if you somehow cheat Death and miss your time, Death will come back around for you, presumably the next time he's in your neighborhood. (Or maybe he makes special trips, I don't know.)

This chapter begins with a Pennsylvania high school's "Grad Nite" trip to an amusement park, where a responsible, controlling senior named Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has a premonition about a roller coaster accident. She is freaked out enough to make a scene and get herself and nine others bounced from the ride. The roller coaster takes off, and sure enough, derailments and carnage ensue.

As if it's not eerie enough to survive such an accident, now Wendy and the others have this to contend with: Death is going to swing by and kill them all anyway, in the same order they would have died if they had stayed on the ride.

Wendy's friend Kevin (Ryan Merriman) notices the trend after the first few survivors are bumped off in bizarre accidents, and finds an account of similar events that occurred six years earlier -- in the first "Final Destination" movie, of course. (Part 2 is never referred to.) What's more, Wendy was taking pictures for the yearbook during Grad Nite, and she happens to have snaps of all the survivors -- photos that seem to presage the manner of their impending doom. (Two bimbos were photographed at the amusement park in lighting that made them appear darker than they are; sure enough, they die in a tanning-bed mishap.)

It would seem there's no way to outsmart Death, and that is indeed part of the film's very dark philosophy. Where most horror films have a specific killer, monster, force or virus, the "Final Destination" franchise has only Death itself. You can barricade your house against zombies, or take a vaccine for a plague, or simply run fast to escape Jason Voorhees. But how do you escape Death -- which is merely an idea, a concept -- and especially when Death is so good at turning ordinary events into unforeseeably fatal accidents?

The Rube Goldberg factor is the film's must eye-catching element. It's never anything as simple as a car swerving across the line and hitting you, or even a regular ol' heart attack. No, for these grudge deaths, the Grim Reaper prefers something a little more elegant. We watch as several elements are established -- that stereo is too close to that puddle, those decorative swords are not tightly affixed to that wall, and so forth -- and then watch as one minor incident triggers a chain reaction among all these unrelated circumstances, culminating in someone's head being smashed.

Wong and Morgan are smart to inject the film with gallows humor, which keeps it from becoming oppressively dark. They don't dwell on the gore, either. The deaths happen, and they happen spectacularly -- but they also usually happen quickly, without any lingering on the aftermath.

Speaking of lingering, the opening sequence at the amusement park runs 20 minutes, which feels long for a movie whose focus is what happens AFTER that. And there is a formulaic feel to it: Wendy and Kevin go to the next survivor on the list to warn him or her; the person doesn't believe them; by the end of the scene, the person's blood is spattered on Wendy's face. I think that while this entry is suitably creepy and outrageous, it should probably be the last one. As these three films have proven, the last thing you want to do is try to extend your life past its expiration date.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13933&reviewer=247
originally posted: 02/10/06 20:07:11
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User Comments

12/19/13 Monday Morning Hideous, horribly painful deaths will never go out of style! 5 stars
7/29/12 cr a guilty pleasure of the series. still a fun movie. 3 stars
11/12/10 PAUL SHORTT MORE OF THE SAME, ONLY DULLER 1 stars
3/10/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Goofy fun 3 stars
1/11/09 Daniel Omer It has mediocre acting and gore, but the ending plain sucks. 2 stars
12/20/08 dominic thebestmovieeverandidontlie 5 stars
9/28/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome story! 5 stars
7/10/07 Total Crap Waste of my precious time. People who don't know wtf they're watching will like it. 1 stars
5/30/07 wouldntulyke2no its the best out of the 3 films but did have some plot holes 5 stars
5/12/07 Matt The best film in the t(h)rilogy. The 'choose thier fate' option on the DVD is ace. 5 stars
4/02/07 fools♫gold I guess it's good when you put it on mute. Doesn't even compare to the first two. 1/5 or 2/ 2 stars
2/11/07 AJ Muller Just a good fucking time, man. If you dug the first 2 well, here's more inventive deaths. 4 stars
2/04/07 x/x.W i l t e d.Rose.x/x The Best Final Destination. One Of My Fave Movies. Its Awesome Go See It__xx 5 stars
12/30/06 Sumixam all 3 are good, this is right up there 5 stars
12/18/06 Jeremy Movie sucked because it threw the second one out the window. 3 stars
11/02/06 Patsyc I loved the first one. The second one was good. This one was good but not quite as scary. 4 stars
10/30/06 Roger Wilks The deaths are ridiculous and sickening. The plot is senseless. SUCKS!!! 1 stars
10/25/06 Drew G Some pretty good deaths, but overall disappointing 2 stars
10/24/06 Sara It sucked because the ending was grap. 1 stars
10/06/06 Michael Coovert This plot has been played out; nothing compared to the first or second. 3 stars
10/01/06 Beau the most goriest one especially wen girls burn alive in tanning. great horror 4 stars
9/23/06 David Pollastrini good gore. 4 stars
9/19/06 Luckdeezy Pretty good...worth watching for sure 4 stars
9/14/06 Mara Frost not as good as the first 2, but still fun and original 4 stars
9/13/06 veronique ya need to like it 3 stars
9/13/06 Jorge Coronilla It wasn't that bad. 4 stars
9/13/06 Edward Connell Unforseen events make this movie interesting 5 stars
9/05/06 Indrid Cold The formula is wearing a little thin, but still more fun than most mainstream horror. 3 stars
8/25/06 Littlepurch Great gory deaths and although the middle sags, the fantastic start and end make up for it. 4 stars
8/13/06 Danny Respectable. Not as good as FD, but better than FD2. 4 stars
8/07/06 Tim The guy with the camera got off the ride the second time and he started the accident? 2 stars
8/05/06 Dan The DVD has a neat "choose their fate" option 4 stars
8/05/06 Stanley Thai Not as good as the first two. It's a decent movie wih decent kills and decent acting. 3 stars
8/02/06 Mark Louis Baumgart Decent and fun sequel. Unfortunately the ending violates the first rule of the series. 3 stars
7/29/06 action movie fan rehash of the first two--decent stpyr--overly gory though 4 stars
7/28/06 Alberto AGUIRRE My favorite film espesially the roller coaster scene. 5 stars
7/27/06 Lisa Death scenes worth a look and thena rewind!!! 3 stars
6/05/06 mary really scary 5 stars
4/28/06 BAH BAH 1 stars
4/10/06 alice Very amusing ! 4 stars
3/29/06 mick fantastic film would recommend 5 stars
3/17/06 Mason Token negro gets head crushed, what's not to like? 3 stars
3/14/06 James Bond Terrific 5 stars
3/09/06 Valerie It was alright, BUT i still think that the 1st and the 2nd ones were better 4 stars
3/01/06 Littlepurch Morgan & Wong clearly didn't want to be outdone by FD2, and make an hilarious comback here! 5 stars
2/27/06 Steven Lewis Go see it for the deaths! 4 stars
2/22/06 li' buddy really graphic good movie but same stuff as before i want mething new 4 stars
2/22/06 Jaime Moore A Great Flick much bearly better than the first two put togeather. 5 stars
2/19/06 Nic As good if not better than first 2 films... 4 stars
2/19/06 chris f totally awesome movie i loved it from start to finish 5 stars
2/14/06 Ole Man Bourbon The lead actress sucks something horrid. Typical movie for the franchise. 3 stars
2/14/06 jeff liked the scond one better but still good. 5 stars
2/12/06 Perry Mason I hate creative killing movies. This was just boring as hell. 2 stars
2/11/06 JC that movie was TOO Trill!..NEVER go Tanning again! 5 stars
2/11/06 rich Not bad for a new horror movie 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  10-Feb-2006 (R)
  DVD: 25-Jul-2006

UK
  10-Feb-2006

Australia
  27-Apr-2006




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