Final Destination 4 (2009)
I felt that this franchise was creatively exhausted after the third film in 2006, and I see no reason to change that opinion. The fourth film has the added feature of being in 3-D, which means you get the luxury of having entrails exploding in your face. I watched the movie in the limits of two dimensions, which may be why I wasn’t thrilled having every other visual thrown at the screen. Regardless, the cruelly elaborate deaths are the draw. This is a horror movie built from the inside out, finding the thinnest of tissue to connect all the gory gross-out moments. A documentary set in writer’s room for a Final Destination movie would be more interesting than the finished product. It seems like the producers aren’t even trying any more; the one-note characters exist in a world bereft of adults, cops, media, and anybody with a brain. The film doesn’t waste any time on characters because they’re all just meat for the grinder. The film does, literally, the bare minimum just to move the plot along to the next fiendish death trap (this flick has a franchise record 11 death sequences). At one point, a character says, “Don’t make fun, but we Google-ed ‘premonitions,'” and then they explain the rules of the series like somebody handed them a manual. Later, the teens celebrate because they think they broke death’s chain, and I’m yelling at the screen, “That hasn’t worked for three movies, you stupid kids!” They’re all running through the same worn-out patterns that the audience already knows by heart. The big question is whether the gruesome death sequences deliver the goods. Flaming escalators and killer car washes? Clever or desperate, you be the judge. For me, the fun of this franchise was killed long ago when it gave over to the cynical bloodlust of its target audience. Since Final Destination 4 made the most money out of any of the previous films, expect more entrails in glorious 3-D.
Nate’s Grade: C-