Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Final Destination in 3-D (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
4 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7.5 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: R

Starring:
Bobby Campo as Nick O'Bannon
Shantel VanSanten as Lori Milligan
Nick Zano as Hunt Wynorski
Haley Webb as Janet Cunningham
Mykelti Williamson as George Lanter
Krista Allen as Samantha
Andrew Fiscella as Charlie 'Gearhead' Kewzer
Justin Welborn as Racist
Stephanie Honore as Gearhead's Girlfriend
Lara Grice as Racist's Wife
Jackson Walker as Cowboy
Phil Austin as Samantha's Husband
William Aguillard as Kid #1
Brendan Aguillard as Kid #2

Directed by David R. Ellis

Special Features:
Includes Both 2D and 3D Versions Of The Film
Exclusive First Look At The All-New A Nightmare On Elm Street
2 Alternate Endings
The Final Destination Previsualization And Storyboards
Body Count: The Deaths Of The Final Destination
Exclusive Features Via Blu-ray Live
Additional Scenes

Includes Standard DVD copy of "The Final Destination In 3-D"

Includes Digital Copy Of "The Final Destination In 3-D" For Portable Media Players

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.40:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Language
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 128 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

"A strange premonition causes friends to abandon their day at the speedway, just before a crushing pileup hurtles cars into the bleachers with fiery consequences. They have cheated Death. But Death is only getting started. "

"The Final Destination" is rated R for strong violent/gruesome accidents, language and a scene of sexuality.

Mini-Review:
I hadn't seen any of the previous "Final Destination" movies, but I appreciated the concept. The idea of death hunting down people who cheat their fate is a great idea. But is it enough to sustain four films? Can they bring anything new to this fourth movie to make it worth revisiting? The answer, at least in the theaters, was to make it 3-D. That may have been enough to float it there, but the 3-D effect isn't quite as big a selling point for a home theater. This Blu-ray has a 3-D option, but it's the old school version with the blue and red glasses. If you use it long enough, you start getting a bit of a headache. Another drawback is that there are only two sets of glasses included in the box, so if you want to watch it with more people in 3-D, you're out of luck. On the positive side, the effect looks adequately cool as racecars fly out of the screen, people are impaled, and other horrific things fly out of the screen. But in the end it's no substitute for the newer 3-D with polarized lenses like you use in theaters.

So if you strip away the 3-D effect, is "The Final Destination" a good 2-D movie? Not really. First off, it's not a great script. The characters are almost universally annoying and/or stereotypes. You have your redneck racist, your jock, your soccer mom, etc. This is also the kind of story where if someone has a speaking line, no matter how minor, you can count on them getting killed and pretty accurately guess in which order. This is combined with some poor acting - the caliber of acting like you'd see on a Sci Fi Channel movie. In other words, fairly C-grade.

But let's be honest - the real attraction of horror movies is seeing people get killed in scary and/or funny ways. "The Final Destination" does deliver fairly well on that front. They take otherwise benign locations and make them the location for carnage. Everything from a beauty salon to a car wash to a shopping mall to a clubhouse swimming pool are scenes for gruesome accidents. Taking the familiar and everyday and making it scary is exactly what effective horror should do. And I won't spoil the death scenes, but they are fairly gruesome, even in blue and red 3-D.

If you don't really care about acting or dialogue and you just want a dumb horror movie with a bit of comedy, then "The Final Destination" will fit the bill. It's the McDonald's of the horror food chain - not high on quality but it more or less gets the job done. There are a lot better options out there, however, and this series really doesn't deserve another sequel. I don't think there's much more you could do with this concept, even with Smell-O-Vision.

While the movie isn't that great, they did offer a good selection of bonus features. Besides offering both the 2-D and 3-D versions, they also include two alternate endings. This is one of those cases where the final theatrical ending was definitely the way to go. In one of the endings, Nick sacrifices himself in order to save everyone in the mall. How does he do it? By diving out a window with a gas tank and landing on a cop car, killing himself. Was simply running in the hall yelling "Fire!" not good enough? The other alternate ending shows him getting ground up by the escalator. This, too, is a rather weak ending. Other features include short films on the making of each of the death scenes, previsualization storyboards, and a few additional scenes.

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