Worth A Look: 31.3%
Pretty Bad: 17.39%
Total Crap: 6.96%
6 reviews, 79 user ratings
|Final Destination 2
by Doug Bentin
I make no secret of my love of the genre, but that means I tend to be tougher on creepshows than I am of offerings from other genres. I may settle down at the end of the day with a cheap cigar and even cheaper frightflick, but I’m honest enough to not confuse “Death Brides of the Living Corpse VI” with “Lawrence of Arabia.” (“Death Brides” has cuter starlets.)“Final Destination 2” is a movie with a modest goal: it wants to make you squirm in your seat. If it accomplishes that, I have to give it credit. It does, so I do.
"A horror movie with a number in the title is entertaining."
Like many horror sequels, this one is a virtual re-play of ideas developed in the original. In “Final Destination” (2000) a group of high school kids were about to fly to Paris when one of them has a dream in which the plane explodes on take off. He convinces a handful of his friends to disembark and, sure enough, the plane explodes on cue.
Since these people didn’t die when they were supposed to, Death’s plan gets all fouled up and the Grim One won’t be happy until he takes everyone on his to-do list. One of the intended victims survives.
The sequel continues with this pattern. A young woman is driving three of her friends to Daytona when she sees a series of odd visions, culminating in one of a multi-vehicle pile up on the highway caused by logs slipping off a truck. We get to see the accident and the sequence is nicely choreographed and edited for maximum suspense and shock effect. Plus, this kind of mayhem on the Interstate gives the filmmakers a chance to put “Highway to Hell” on the soundtrack, which is one of those obvious choices that still gets a grin.
Fearful of what is about to happen, Kimberly Corman (the first film was filled with characters whose surnames were those of horror movie directors—in this one watch for Corman, Carpenter and Lewis) blocks the onramp, thereby saving the lives of everyone who would have driven onto the highway. This creates a new list for Death, who immediately wipes out Kim’s vehicle with the other three kids in it. They would have been first to die in the wreck, you see.
When another of the saved drivers dies in a freak accident, Kim begins to put the puzzle pieces together and with the help of State Police Officer Burke goes in search of the only surviving cast member from part one.
We know that everyone except the headliners are going to die. That’s a given. We expected it when we bought our ticket.
What makes the movie fun—and I use that word advisedly—are the carefully contrived ways in which the characters meet their ends. It would seem that Death is not so pissed off about precognitive people messing with his Naughty and Naughtier list that he can’t make things right again, and use his own considerably morbid sense of humor while doing it.
Some of Death’s methods make the Reaper Man appear to be a Looney Tunes addict. The first fella to go begins cooking on an open flame stove in a dirty, greasy pan. The pan catches fire and the guy’s extinguisher is out of that white spray stuff. He climbs out a window to escape, falls from the metal ladder attached to the side of his apartment building, and lands on his back. The ladder slips down and stops a foot above his head. Then, when he and we let out a sigh of relief, wham, the ladder plunges down the rest of the way, the feet slamming into his eye sockets.
It’s as if the tribulations of Wile E. Coyote turned deadly.
I haven’t heard an entire audience gasp and chorus “Eeeww!” together in ages.
In fact, “Eeeww!” is the best word to describe the shootings, decapitations, crushings, splinterings, slicings, explodings and drownings (that was the boring one) in “Final Destination 2.” If you have any doubt that the human body is frail and easily violated by objects both sharp and blunt, you won’t have after 100 minutes of this grotesque and surreal violence.
Another pattern to the modern horror sequel is the addition of this black humor to the original structure of part one movies. The original film was written by James Wong and Glen Morgan, the two writers who made “The X-Files” such a hit, and contained a fair amount of ebon laughter. They didn’t stick around for Part two, and the level of sick humor has been elevated. The nearness of horror to farce is well known. Movies like this try to blur the line that separates them and the success of the film depends in large part on how convincingly the line is obliterated.
I can’t recommend “Final Destination 2” to a mainstream audience. The gore level is too high, the plot is absurd, and the characters exist merely to be eliminated.But if you’re in tune with your inner demented child, you’ll have some fun with it. Now, repeat after me: Eewww!
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originally posted: 08/16/05 10:55:09