Thoughts on the “Final Destination” movies

 

The Final Destination movies are fucking terrible. I just thought you all should know that. But just because they’re bad doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoyable. If you view death as entertainment-and if you’re a horror fan, I’m sure you do-then these are entertaining flicks. But hardly horror classics. Basically what we have in this series is the statement that we all want to see stupid kids die and we don’t really care how.

They’re just like any other slasher series except that they cut out the middle man. I guess creating some memorable horror icon is too hard these days. So let’s just blame it on Death itself. OoooOoOoOoOoOoh!

So you have the cool deaths and that’s about it. And that’s at least effective. The group of movies as a whole plays into our fears of absolute worst case scenarios: What if the plane crashes? What if you get trapped in a tanning bed? What if one of those suction things at the bottom of the pool sucks your intestines out through your butthole? Etc. etc. The 5th movie is out and the possibilities for the series are endless, especially without having that pesky killer character to work around.

The movies only exist for the deaths and between them you have to suffer mind-numbing stupidity, but of course you could argue the same for any Friday The 13th or Halloween flick, though at least those movies had an interesting killer. And an interesting story, for that matter. With each movie they added to the mythology which was interesting and warranted more movies. It was part of their charm and part of their ultimate undoing as well. They kept adding to the story until they imploded into themselves. Freddy Krueger turns out to have a long lost daughter and he got his power from dream demons. The drive behind Michael Myers’ evil is the Thorn cult. Jason Voorhees is some super ultimate demon that can posess people. I haven’t seen all the Saw movies but I’m sure there’s some stupid explanation behind all things Jigsaw.

The problem with the Final Destinations is that it is the same bullshit over and over and over.

1. Main character has a premonition of a terrible accident then saves a small group of people.

2. They find out that they messed with Death’s grand plan and death will be coming back for them one by one.

3. They try to find a way to escape the plan.

4. They think they have avoided death by the end.

5. They all die anyway.

6. *spoilers*

And that is every single fucking Final Destination movie.

My question is, why does the main character have a premonition anyway? What’s the deal there? It is never explained. Could it be that Death feels it’s out of practice and is just fucking with them, giving a select few a shot a life by letting them in on the initial plan, just to kill them in over-elaborate ways later? Death is just a dark shadow in these movies, I don’t know if it has a personality. Maybe if we had a Grim Reaper-looking villain off in the background cracking his knuckles and spouting off some one-liners the movies would have more of a distinct personality. EG, Final Destination 2: “SEE YA LADDER!”

And the motherfucking coroner. Talk about some fucking lazy writing. What is up with that guy? I love Tony Todd as much as the next guy but his presence is ridiculous. Some people have theorized that the coroner is actually death Himself and if you want to buy into that I guess that’s fine, but let’s face it, his real purpose is pure exposition. If it weren’t for his character in the first film no one would be there to explain Death’s grand scheme, laugh creepily, and leave the doomed kids to their business.

The sad thing is that the first Final Destination could have been a very good movie. There’s something interesting and insightful to be found in a movie like this where youth is tragically cut short, and death is unavoidable and unfair. Sure, they touch upon it a little bit here and there in the movies. For example in part 3 one kid causes a scene at a funeral, questioning why the hell someone like Osama Bin Laden could still be alive yet two innocent girls not even of 18 had to die. Okay, it’s a little dated but you get the sentiment. I’m not saying the movies need to be super deep or anything but they’re all just content with the concept and formula that they’ve set up with part one and do it over and over. The only thing that changes are the victims and the cool deaths.

Part 2 is probably the worst one. I know I complained how they don’t attempt to add to the story, but this one actually tried to connect the stories, and did so in a pathetically bad way. They bring a character back and it’s all pointless. Whoopty fucking doo.

By the time they hit the third movie it’s almost like they stopped giving a shit, which, as the series has established itself, is a good thing. The cheesier and stupider the better. The faster they rush through the exposition and get to the kills, the better. And hey, Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Reow.

The fourth one, titled Final Destination 4 (oops I mean THE Final Destination) is the cheesiest, which is why I kind of like it the best. It has a lot more humour, it’s light on the exposition, and the group of survivors pretty much treat looming death as a minor inconvenience. It’s so stupid and dumbed down that it ultimately works to its advantage. For example, you know that racist guy? Check the credits. He’s listed as “Racist guy.” Not even kidding. That just shows how much they don’t care, they can’t even give the characters names. There are also standout performances by brunette girl, douchey guy, and everyone’s favourite, black dude.

The Final Destination movies are stupid, but have some good deaths and are fun. At one point long ago, it could have had potential to be something more. But they made their decisions with how to take the concept and it is what it is. Cheap, dead teenager entertainment. Not particularly a bad thing but when it comes to the genre it is the bottom of the barrel. Either way you bet your ass I’ll be in line to see part 5.

Blu-ray cover art sucks.

What happened to the good old days of movie posters? When the advertisements themselves were works of art, had some effort put into them, and promised that a certain movie would be epic and awesome?

The digital age with DVD kicked in and suddenly the cover art started looking very awful. Giant heads floating around. Terrible photo-shopping. Perfectly good movie poster art started getting replaced with really crappily edited cover art.

It’s not getting any better with Blu-ray. I have no idea what’s going in some of the designers’ minds. Some are either terribly minimalist or have so much ridiculous, nonsensical photo-shopped shit flying around the small area of cover space that just looking upon it induces headaches and/or vomiting.

Take a look at a few examples of cover art for upcoming Blu-ray releases and you’ll see what I mean:

You can tell that they’re putting absolutely no effort whatsoever into the cover art. Which begs the question, why not just use the original poster art? They recycle all the special features most of the time, so why not that? We’re paying big bucks for titles that we probably already have on VHS and DVD, and God knows what other formats, so we should at least have some aesthetically pleasing art to look at in our collection, not some lazily photo-shopped garbage that was probably done by some visual design student for free instead of a professional artist.

Addams Family Broadway Musical? Really??

Dear readers, let me briefly present to you a brief history of The Addams Family:

First of course, there was the original TV show, starring John Astin. A television classic, and notable for being the first TV show to feature a married couple with an obvious sex life.

Then there was a cartoon at some point. And probably some straight to video junk, too. Who can really remember these things?


Then there were two pretty good movies in the 90’s. Raul Julia, Angelica Houston, Christopher Lloyd, a young Christina Ricci. Good stuff.

Then we got another TV show. It was produced by Haim Saban, who brought us the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. It….wasn’t too good.

Now, in the grand tradition of Mel Brooks films like The Producers and Young Frankenstein, and the John Waters cult favourite Hairspray, the Addams Family has moved to Broadway, in a show with a musical twist, starring Nathan Lane. Really? Like, REALLY?? What good could possibly come from Pugsly and Wednesday belting out a musical number? And look at that picture, Pugsly’s way too damn thin.

I saw number from the show performed on Letterman tonight and Nathan Lane seems to be sporting a strange accent, perhaps an homage to Raul Julia, who, for all we know, couldn’t help it.

The one thing that could be good about this is Bebe Neuwirth (who played Lilith on “Cheers”) in the role of Morticia. Man, she may be in her 50’s, but she’s looking pretty hot. I think that pale look is good on her.

One indisputable thing about all incarnations of The Addams Family is that Morticia is hot. What is it about her? The creamy skin, the velvet black hair, that sultry, sexy voice, the tight, low-cut dress…you could even say that she is the original MILF. You can bet that not a lot of kids growing up in the 50’s wanted to plow June Cleaver.  At least, I hope not.

But anyway, I digress. I really hate these Broadway adaptions of pre-existing creations. Nothing against the talent of the cast, or anybody involved, but why the hell would you want to pay 350 dollars for tickets (if you’re lucky) to see something that you could see for free at 4Am on Nick At Night, or rent/buy for cheap on DVD. And at least then you don’t have to sit through the intrusive musical numbers that shouldn’t even be there in the first place.

I wish the best of luck to the show, I know Broadway is big money, and I’m sure it’ll win 80 Tony Awards and we’ll eventually get the inevitable mediocre film adaption…but I think it’s all so, so stupid.

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