Remember The House of Wax or The Abominable Dr Phibes and the highly elaborate ways Vincent Price would off his victims? Films in the decades that followed had budgets running into squillions, yet the victims always seemed to die the same way: sharp knife, sharp billhook, sharp what-have-you. How dull. Then, for people desiring more elaborate, designer-label death, Final Destination turned up right on time. In terms of plot all you need to know is that it’s about a gang of hot guys and gals who “cheat death” when they get off a plane just before it explodes. But what if that plane had their number on it? Our clean-limbed posse of grave dodgers are very exercised by this idea, and they spend quite a time, well a few minutes, having no-brainer discussions about free will and determinism – is there such a thing as “fate” etc etc. None of this matters. Because when the Grim Reaper realises he’s missed out on some prime American teenage cuts, he doesn’t start sharpening his scythe. Oh no. He calls in the SFX guys for some of the most ingeniously, tortuously contrived and preposterous deaths on screen since Vincent Price hung up his hat. Final Destination is a genre classic.
© Steve Morrissey 2013