Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Final Destination 3



I'm a movie buff. From time to time I take a break from the Apple and eBay related drama that is usually reported here and review a movie. Generally, I only review older movies on DVD ... but today, I'm choosing to review a movie currently in theaters that you probably might skip.

The Final Destination series of movies have a great horror/suspense formula ...

Someone in a large group sees a horrific accident take place in a vision ... this causes them to panic and get off the plane (1st movie), get off the highway (2nd movie), or get off the rollercoaster (3rd movie) they were on. The people that get off see the accident happen just as the vision had shown with the exception of the few that "got off". Death is portrayed invisibly as an inevitable force that "catches up with you quickly".


In all 3 movies ... I have never gotten tired of the formula. Each death, while graphic; is almost comical. If you don't belt out loud and say, "OHHHHHHHHHHHH Gosh!" when each teen meets their death there's something wrong with you. Most of the deaths are satire for teen vices and allegory for everyday fears.

For instance, in this 3rd installment ... two teens that managed to get off of a rollercoaster visit a tanning bed. The tanning bed fries them. You root for their demise because they are portrayed as pretentious.

Each of the Final Destination movies will remind you of people you knew in high school ... in a sick twisted way ... you'll snicker when you see them "get theirs"

I'm not typically a horror/gore fan ... but these movies are worth the time.

Another interesting thing to note about the Final Destination trilogy that typically isn't mentioned elsewhere ... these movies are extremely well made with great special effects and decent acting ... something that can't be said for most slasher movies like the Nightmare On Elm Street series. These movies cost 1/3 to 1/4 of typical hollywood blockbusters.

Final Destination 3 cost 25 million to make and has already grossed 50 million in 3 weeks of release. To me ... this thumbs mainstream Hollywood in the face. Entertainment doesn't have to bankrupt the studio or be controversial/ostracizing to be good. While movies like the recent King Kong are modern classics ... it also cost 207 million to make and another 35 million to market. It made 226 million domestically and 525 million worldwide. Without the worldwide box office, the movie would have lost money for the producers. Movies like Final Destination make many more millions on video and possibly again on premium movie services and cable TV. (King Kong will too) But I would rather have multiple returns on 25 million dollar movies and double my money ... than take risks to double my money investing 250 million.

I'm waiting for Final Destination 4 ... I read somewhere they may call it ... The Final 4

1 comment:

Middle-agedman said...

These are movies that are just plain fun to go to. The various events leading up to the deaths of the various teens are almost Rube Goldberg-ian in their machinations. I'm already waiting for the DVD to come out so that I can watch the sequences over and over again because they are so clever. A filmmaker knows they're doing something right when they have a sure sale of a DVD in addition to the ticket price of the movie!

Not using name actors, using a clever plot line that is reproduceable, keeping costs low by using real props and sequences instead of CGI, and not having to have massive advertising campaigns adds up to big profits for these movies and not at anyone's expense.
This is smart filmmaking done purely for entertainment.

Do you want it to have deep meaning or be believeable in the real world? You're going to have to look elsewhere because these films are the amusement parks of the cinema world. Giddy, crazy, escapist fun.