Final Destination Only Got Better As It Went Along
When Final Destination premiered in 2000, the first round of the slasher boom had been over for a few years. Having exhausted the Michaels and Freddys and Jasons, writers thought "Well, what if the killer...was the world," and off they went, crafting a series of movies about a reality where every screw is a little too loose, every trailer is slightly unhitched, and every stove is left on. Basically, it's my apartment on a regular day.
The biggest problem is that the first movie is a little clumsy. Fate is trying to ruin these kids who managed to escape it, but fate isn't very much fun. And Final Destination hadn't quite realized that when every appliance is homicidal, the audience can be barely forced to give the slightest shit dumpling about any personal story that the movie is trying to tell. It would follow this trend in the second film, where they gave characters things like "revealing moments," and you're left wishing that everyone talking onscreen would just move near something that isn't nailed down.
New Line Cinema
Okay, yeah, we get it. You're a character with dialogue. Thanks for stopping by.
But when we made it to Final Destination 3, the series started to realize that things like a logical progression of a narrative, and portrayals of layered characters that you grew to care about, were just background decorations. The real star of the film was putting together the puzzle of what was going to collapse or combine in order to whack the cast. It starts with finding the dangerous elements of the room. You know, in video games, where items that you need slightly glow, because apparently people are idiots that will try to eat the walls for health unless you put a medical symbol on a giant box and make it shiny? It's like that, but way more ironic.
It gets hard, though, when literally everything starts glowing.
Then you watch as the worst game of Mouse Trap ever unfolds, usually ending in someone getting crushed or impaled. That's pretty much all that the last three movies in the series have, and they're so much better for it. I know that, as I get older, I'm supposed to appreciate art, but sometimes, art needs to shut the fuck up.
Daniel has a blog.
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