That being said, my nervousness hit a bit of a higher peak this Friday when I saw the Avatar trailer in front of the film that provides half of the title for this post. And no, unlike what other movie fans have been expressing, it wasn't the content of the Avatar trailer that bothered me, it was the way that it looked... with those damned 3D glasses on! My eyes couldn't take in the whole image within the frame because they were naturally focused on the pronounced image that was lifted off the screen. That isn't cinematography, that's just theatrics. I've come to accept the of gimmick of 3D as it relates to animated kids films, horror flicks, and B-movies, but Avatar - to my knowledge - is the first sort of epic, "serious", not totally animated, feature film that is pushing the 3D aesthetic. What I'm saying, is that I don't really wanna see Scorcese's Sinatra or Spielberg's Lincoln in 3D in the years to come.
But until then... I will admit that the entertainment value of watching the latest Final Destination installment was indeed enhanced... by those damned 3D glasses! (And no, not just because there was some full-frontal 3D bouncing boobies. Not just because...)
The Final Destination franchise is a unique one in that its "sequels" are totally free of the tentacles and roots of the previous films. For the most part, each Final Destination movie is a stand alone clean slate production that - after resetting, for any newbies, the hook of the film - simply tries to one-up the inventive kills of the chapter that preceded it. Further, if you consider that FDs 1 & 3 were directed James Wong while FDs 2 & 4 were directed by David Ellis, then you pretty much have a head-to-head killfest competition taking place - every year or so - right in front of your eyes. One doesn't go into a Final Destination film for story (they're all the same... ending and all).
However, I feel the need to applaud the Final Destination series for containing a fear element that - to my knowledge - has otherwise gone untapped in the horror genre, and that is the fear of the freak accident. Maybe y'all don't worry and obsess like I do, but I often ponder the horrific chain of events that could happen if I don't pick up that piece of paper that I dropped on the way to my car. If I decide to not get out of my car and retrieve that sheet, a passerby might slip on it, knock over a can of gasoline sitting in the edge of the curb, which will then pour on over to the guys using a blowtorch next door, and ... KABLAMMO!!! I know, what are the odds? Yeah, well that's the kind of stuff that plagues my mind, not some tired, old bogeyman. So, think about what you might have just done the next time you spill a bit of beverage on the floor of your coffee shop as you leave.
The easiest way to review The Final Destination 3D (aka FD4) would be to simply list each death and rate it on a scale of cleverness. However, that may suck the fun out for the few of you who may actually go and see it. I will say that The Final Destination 3D held me less than the previous two, mainly because David Ellis blows his wad in the film's opening sequence and never fully returns to form. Frontloading your fright film with its most elaborate and slamming sequence is ok as long as you don't go limp for the remaining 70 minutes (btw... FD3D is only 82 minutes! That is pretty much the ideal goofball/slasher horror movie length. Cheers to Ellis for that.), and, sadly, that's almost what David Ellis does. In fact, at least one (and maybe two) of the kills is a retread from the first Final Destination. It's my feeling that David Ellis and screenwriter Eric Bress relied on the gimmick of 3D at the disservice of writing more inventive sequences.
Ahh... but as a local theater hear in town annually hosts a 100 Best Movie Kills compilation night, and as Spike TV's 1000 Ways to Die appears to be a success, and as children (of all ages) continue to play the game of "would you rather die by drowning or burning?", the macabre fascination over how, when, and where our personal demise will greet us seems like something that shall always remain. So, expect Final Destination 5 sometime in, or around, 2012. You can bet your life on it.