I have very strong feelings about this movie. I would not normally write a review this emotionally, but this calls for it.
Okay, I’m now officially convinced that Final Destination is one of the biggest horror cash cows. Yes, I did like Final Destination 2, but this film has every sign of a movie fast-tracked into production so it could be released while the series was still popular and was still financially fresh.
Everything I liked about the second movie is gone. Completely erased, in fact. The comedic tone, the kills that were over the top but still sort of believable in their own little horror-movie-logic kind of way, and the decent performances are all absent. Final Destination 3 is easily the worst of the franchise, and a dull, unpleasant piece of exploitative trash in it’s own right.
It really seems pointless even having a plot synopsis for these films. We all know the set up. Person (in this case portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the worst performance of her career) has premonition. They gets some of her friends away from the impending accident, and the accident occurs. The unseen force of Death proceeds to hunt down the remaining characters in gory ways. In this instance, it’s a roller-coaster that crashes and kills lots of people. Basically, the way it happens is that one of the cables on the tracks snap, spilling out the hydraulics. One of the people’s video camera then gets caught around the tracks and sends the carts flying off the tracks. There are a number of things wrong with this set up, the main two being that roller-coasters do not run on liquid hydraulics, they run on compressed air, and after the premonition, the character who had the video camera gets taken off the coaster. So naturally, if the main cause of the crash is removed, the crash would not happen! This is basic toddler-level storytelling!
The trouble with the Final Destination plot (for there is only one) is that it only really works for one film, possibly two. The story is so limited in what it can do it just slips into predictability. But, that isn’t what I hate about Final Destination 3. No, what I hate is the complete lack of respect for it’s audience. The amount of blatant and heavy-handed foreshadowing is just insulting. For instance, when the main characters are walking through the fairground, one of the rides called ‘DIVE’ has the ‘V’ in it’s name blinking out, leaving it to spell ‘DIE’. It keeps going, and going, and going, too. The foreshadowing gets so in-your-face by the end that you start to keel over laughing at the pretentiousness of it all.
Back in my review of Final Destination 2, I mentioned one scene in the film where a character gets decapitated by a lift door. I said it was too graphic, too visceral, and way too realistic. Well, this instalment seems to make all of the kills like this. The very first non-premonition kill in the film (like in the first 20 minutes) is two girls getting trapped in tanning beds. So of course, we have the pleasure of having a front row seat of watching these two young, innocent girls slowly melting in their tanning beds, screaming in horrified pain all the while.
This is not entertainment to me. If they had bothered making anyone have any kind of character, maybe we would have felt some kind of guilt, or, if done well, relief. If they had made these girls out to be horrible, disgusting bullies, then okay, maybe it could be fine. But when their only crime is being a bit vapid, I feel dirty watching it. It’s just terrible knowing that someone is enjoying watching this. The rest of the kills are equally horrible, but their levels of silliness almost cancel it out.
I hate Final Destination 3 less on a critical level, and more on an emotional one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a terribly made film, but the levels of exploitation in the deaths, and the way that it feels like nothing more than a stage for gore, I feel like I’m watching something I should be rightfully arrested for paying to see. It’s an abomination and an embarrassment to the horror genre. The characters have less emotional depth than a bottle of glue, and are much less useful. We cared more about Ron Pearlman in Alien: Resurrection. I just felt empty after watching this. Final Destination 3 made me more depressed than This Means War, The Darkest Hour, and Resident Evil put together. In fact, I would rather watch those on infinite loop than ever lay eyes on this film ever again.