After a host of flicks with a masked killer stalking a group of all too bright teenagers, its good to see a youth-oriented horror film actually take itself seriously and try for some proper
suspense. "Final Destination" doesn't utilise a physical killer, but rather 'Death' itself who appears as a formless shadow manipulating the elements around it.Morgan & Wong show off their talent for creativity with a solid script and good cast. While none of the characters stick in the mind afterwards, they're better than average fodder for the flicks. Sawa is the decent hero, while a very dressed down looking Ali Larter plays the quiet reserved heroine which is surprisingly deep for this genre. She's not some assertive bright young woman, rather a reclusive and darker personality who hates the situation she's in but forces her way through.
Kristen Cloke once again shows she has great presence as the group's female teacher. Kerr Smith swaps his sensitive shy "Dawson's Creek" role to play the tough macho 'Carter' and Sean William Scott goes from the "American Pie" bully 'Stifler' to a dweeby wannabe who provides the little bit of comic relief. In both cases it doesn't work as well as it should - Smith has a massive upper body making him look believable in the part, but the tough guy personality just doesn't seem to click.
Scott on the other hand plays the dweeb role perfectly but when he stands equal or more than a good half foot taller than the bully harassing him, the lines of credibility are stretched. Like all horror flicks though its the deaths which people remember and this is no exception with some of the most creative on-screen deaths in a while - all are twisted, fun, and work simply because you know that "death is all around them" so could strike at any time.
There's one involving a bus you'll probably never forget, while another will make you step more carefully into combination shower/baths in the future. Plot wise though a lot of the elements are formulaic and unoriginal so while it does have its moments, it also has its quiet times to.In the end this a better-than-average teen thriller. Sure its no "Scream", but its certainly no "I Still Know..." or "The Rage: Carrie 2" either thank god. If more teen flicks were written at this level or higher, then you'd probably find more fans eager for these kind of films to keep being made. -Garth Franklin. Score: 6/10