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Movie Review

Final Destination 3

MPAA Rating: R for strong horror violence/gore, language and some nudity

Reviewed by: Brett Willis
STAFF WRITER

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Horror, Suspense, Thriller, Sequel
Length:
1 hr. 32 min.
Year of Release:
2006
USA Release:
February 10, 2006 (wide) / DVD release: July 25, 2006
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Relevant Issues
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Films in this series
  1. Final Destination (2000)
  2. Final Destination 2 (2003)
  3. Final Destination 3 (2006)
  4. The Final Destination (2009)
  5. Final Destination 5 (2011)

Death in the Bible

Final judgment

Is there an actual place called “Hell”? Answer

Why was Hell made? Answer

Is there anyone in Hell today? Answer

Will there literally be a burning fire in Hell? Answer

What should you be willing to do to stay out of Hell? Answer

How can a God of love send anybody to Hell? Answer

What if I don’t believe in Hell? Answer

THE GOOD NEWS—How to be saved from Hell. Answer

Are you going to Heaven?

Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?
Teen Qs™—Christian Answers for teenagers
Teens! Have questions? Find answers in our popular TeenQs section. Get answers to your questions about life, dating and much more.
Featuring: Ryan Merriman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Texas Battle, Gina Holden, Dustin Milligan
Director: James Wong
Producer: Warren Zide, Craig Perry, James Wong
Distributor: New Line Cinema

“This ride will be the death of you.”

Anyone familiar with this film series should know what to expect from the latest installment.

The Senior Class of McKinley High is having a pre-graduation party at an Amusement Park. Yearbook photographer Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) senses something ominous. The recorded voice from the demonic figure built next to the roller coaster seems too… personal. Neon lighting short-circuits, making “DIVE” into “DIE” and “SKILL” into “KILL.” Wendy, her boyfriend and another couple board the coaster. But Wendy has a premonition that the coaster is going to crash, and the ruckus over her protests causes several people to get off the coaster before the ride is started. Just as Wendy is being kicked out of the park, the half-empty ride DOES crash.

Having lost her boyfriend in the “accident,” Wendy eventually teams up with Kevin (Ryan Merriman), who lost his girlfriend. Kevin has discovered an article on the Internet about a similar incident six years ago, a plane crash in which several people exited the plane before takeoff, but then the “Hand of Fate” picked off the survivors in the order in which they would have died had they been on the plane. (This is a reference to the original Final Destination film.) Eventually, Wendy comes to believe Kevin, and she discovers that the photos she took at the Amusement Park provide clues as to how each person will die. The rules of how Fate operates (as proposed in this series) give the viewer a very uncomfortable and negative view of the universe. If you work at it really, really hard, you MAY manage to cheat Fate again, and have Death skip over you and go on to the next person. But at best, it’s a temporary cheat, since Death cannot be stopped.

The production values are quite high. The acting is uniformly good, within the context of horror-comedy. And the death scenes are, well, “creative.” Not that I personally think that’s a good thing, but I have to give the writers points for originality. Within the unbiblical worldview of this film, the Hand of Fate almost seems to have a sense of humor. When someone “needs” to die, Fate doesn’t take a simple straightforward path, but arranges the supernatural equivalent of a Rube Goldberg apparatus.

The language includes many occurrences of f*, some curses including G*D*, and general sexual and bodily function language.

The violence is extreme. Many of the deaths are gross, involving slicing, dicing or squishing, and including blood-splatter thrown onto bystanders. The violence, and the thin plot that strings the incidences of violence together, are pretty much the whole purpose of this film series.

There’s no content of sexual acts. Almost no romantic content of any kind. And most of the time, the characters are dressed modestly (for modern teens). However, in the opening sequence there’s horseplay, voyeurism (including a boy using a camera to take a photo looking up a girl’s skirt), and another girl (in response to this act) using a slang term for the shape of female genitals showing through tight clothes or underwear. Also, an older boy who crashes the party at the Amusement Park keeps asking two airhead girls to show him their (breasts) and let him photograph them. And in the first death scene aside from the crash of the roller coaster, these same two airheads are seen in nearly full-body nudity as they use tanning beds. After the camera has lingered on their bare breasts for a long time, the machinery malfunctions and the two girls are slowly roasted alive. In other words, it’s an arousal-inducing scene, followed by sexual violence.

To me, the most disturbing aspect of the film is the implication that it’s not God but either the Devil or a cold, impersonal force that’s calling the shots. And add to that the confusion of Wendy having a premonition, but the premonition ultimately serving no purpose because the kids can only cheat death for a little while.

When I was fifteen, and under conviction of sin, there was a certain day that I spent most of the daylight hours joyriding, drinking, committing vandalism, and basically getting into all kinds of trouble with some of my friends. But as I was being dropped off for supper, and we were all planning to meet again that evening for more of the same, I had a premonition that the driver was going to have an accident that night. I didn’t go along. And the accident occurred. But because I didn’t go, the back seat was less crowded than it would otherwise have been, and the back seat passengers were thrown into the front seat just before the back half of the roof was smooshed in. My premonition (which I certainly didn’t deserve) may have saved my life and the lives of others. Four years later, I gave my life to Jesus. FORTY years later, I’m still alive and well. My point is that the premonition had a useful purpose.

I don’t recommend this film for anyone. And it shouldn’t be seen by anyone except mature, non-squeamish adults.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See our review of Final Destination 1

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive

none

Neutral
Neutral—Impressed by the first 2 movies, I decided to go see the 3rd one. I must say this one is the best (based on filmmaking quality only.) With that said, this movie is extremely offensive. …there is SO much cursing you can’t keep count. There is AT LEAST 40 f-bombs along with various other curse words. Thankfully, the Lord’s name is not taken in vain that much. Also I believe NO christian males should see this, because frontal female nudity is shown for an excessive amount of time. There are also VERY intense death scenes. Nothing like the first 2 movies. If you are even the LEAST bit squeamish about death and blood, stay away from this movie at all costs. I must say, all the deaths were VERY believable, but I think no one that is extremely offended by language and death should see this movie. …
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4
—Emily
Neutral—Having not seen the first two prequels, I was unsure what to expect from “3,” but thought on the whole it was pretty alright. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much from it, having heard it was a “teen horror,” but I thought the story was surprisingly interesting and clever. I have to heartily agree with all the other reviewers that there is a scene of totally unnecessary lady nudity, but there weren’t any sex scenes, which, having entered the cinema and been reminded that the story was set around teenagers, I was worriedly expecting. Quite a bit of swearing, but little blasphemy, pretty gory as well. If you’re burning to see it, maybe one to get out on DVD, then you can skip the nudity, there really is no need for it and you wouldn’t be missing anything crucial if you just skipped it. So to conclude, an okay film but not for the squeamish!
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—Joe Bennett, age 23
Neutral—…I liked the movie. It had a lot of action and suspense. Yes, the movie in the begriming had nudity, but you gotta understand, when you are gonna see any type of movie that’s PG-13 or R, there is gonna be some type of cursing or nudity. I am not saying that I like that but it doesn’t offend me like it would to someone else. Anyway, I enjoyed the movie. If you like movies with action, suspense and a little gore (which I like), then you will like the movie. But if it’s defensive to you, simply watch another movie.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Joanna, age 23
Neutral—Mixed feelings on this one. I actually enjoyed it, but I can see why some people may not. The way the characters died was all about the shock value, and that was fine as the film doesn’t really take its self seriously. My only concern is where will all this stop, I doubt I would go and see a Final Destination 4.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Christiannah, age 23
Neutral—…as a 19 year old Christian, who loved both “Final Destination” and the sequel, in my opinion this would be the best one, in the series. My reasons are #1 it uses somewhat of history i.e.,: Abraham Lincoln and Twin Towers. It refers to the previous movies, i.e.,: Kevin telling Wendy about Flight 180 and then Wendy finding out about the car crash. I liked the fact that it wasn’t necessarily linked to the other two. The parts I didn’t like, were the nude scenes, when I have to cover my boyfriends eyes it’s too much. All in all I think it was a really good movie.
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Natasha Hosford, age 19
Negative
Negative—I didn’t watch the first in the series until it was broadcast on regular TV. I really enjoyed it. I knew of the sequel, but I wanted my wife to see the first one before we watched the second one. I was a bit shocked based on what I didn’t see the first time. I don’t recall as much vulgar language as the most recent release, but I know there was definitely more nudity. A flash is one thing (as in the first one), but close-up shots like you’re staring a foot away is quite another.

As far as the gore, watching the TV broadcast version left it up to the individual’s mind to think of what the end result would be. It was obvious enough to know what happened without all the graphic display of grotesqueness. Wide eyes with some laughter is better than a sick stomach. Granted the kids in the movie had low values based on the way most of them dressed and talked, but they were so young and died tragic deaths that I really felt bad for them. It’s not like in a war film where it’s easier to accept. I know, I know, it’s just a movie, but it’s like I mentioned to my wife that those are still somebody’s kids that are talking like that and displaying their self in a lowly manner.

Shortly after I finished watching the 3rd installation of FD, I turned on the local Christian radio station. The verse for the day was read. It was 1 Corinthians 10:12: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Christians should continue to grow in their faith and strength in the Lord. There’s never a point to where we become immune to sin. Personally, as I have grown closer to the Lord, movies like the “Final Destination” series have a greater adverse affect on me. I think it really does grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). If we become hardened to the evil ways of this world, we ought to look over our shoulder and see how distant we’ve become from God. Although I certainly believe some movies are age appropriate, this one is certainly not Christian appropriate.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3
—John Lake, age 33
Comments from young people
Negative—The “Final Destination” movies have never been feel-good movies, if you’ve seen any of them. “3” is no exception. You WILL be grossed out as people’s heads and bodies are smashed, squashed, and splattered in every way possible, including the uses of engine fans, exercise equipment, trucks, nail guns, trains, roller coasters, tanning booths, etc. Everyone’s death is shown in graphic detail, leaving nothing to the imagination. Add to that an overly extended scene of female breast nudity, 40 f-words, and you’ve got yet another teen favorite, unfortunately, being as this is a stylish and well-made movie. Overall, this movie tested my patience, my stomach, and my morals.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4
—Dustin, age 17
Negative—Where do I start? This movie is very offensive and forced me and my brother to leave the movie early. Not only was the movie extremely gruesome and plain disgusting, it had completely pointless scenes of nudity. If you are not completely hardened to this stuff you will feel like throwing up. If you don’t mind 5 minutes of nudity, countless f-words and gory violence then this is the film for you.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Tyler Fenwick, age 14
Positive—I loved this movie. Though people may not find the gore very acceptable, there is nothing else you can really complain about. By gore, I mean excessive, over-the-top gore and by the bucket. With the exception of perhaps the workers in the amusement park, everyone and their grandmother dies in a gruesome way. I must admit, I enjoyed a few laughs at the sometimes comical deaths of the characters. It is a film that pokes fun at the very real facts of life. Everything that lives must die. You must accept this fact and use the most of the time you have.

As for the nudity in the film, which I noticed many people note as a negative point, it is minimal and has a small purpose in the plot. The two girls are going into a tanning booth. Nudity is common in places like these, and helps the machine serve it’s purpose. …
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Thom, age 15
Negative—…The worst scene to me was when the two idiots were broiled alive in their tanning beds. In the seemingly endless stomach-churning scene, a series of unfortunate evens causes these two innocent, yet somewhat vain teens burn alive. Their goggles melting to their faces and their skin bubbling and popping. I sat through it and felt awful afterwards. If you are under 17 or have a sensitive gag-reflex DO NOT SEE IT!!
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Hayden, age 14
Positive—I thought that the film was very cliche and was easy to anticipate what was going to happen next. From a Christian’s point of view it is offensive, because of the personification of death. …like that; that is offensive!
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Sam Kettle, age 15
Positive—This movie was like the other ones, but had more like computer animation in it. It was pretty good. Kinda gross but if you’re not one for horror films, then don’t go see it. If you’ve seen the first two, then ya know what I’m talking about. It was the best one yet.
My Ratings: Average / 1
—Anna, age 16
Movie Critics
…a truly stupid movie… Every character in the film speaks rudely and behaves illogically, which helps generate callous audience laughter at the carnage. …
—Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Ed Blank
…Totally ordinary… standard slasher stuff, though director James Wong does rise (or maybe sink) to the occasion with grisly staging…
—USA Today, Mike Clark
…All Wong is up to is setting another trap, staging another crash-smash, slicing or squishing. Maybe that’s why he’s been sentenced to Final Destinations. The punishment fits the movie-making crime. …
—Orlando Sentinel, Roger Moore
…2 out of 4 stars…
—Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert
…1½ out of 4 stars… production values remain high, so if you’re into state-of-the art depictions of human pureeing, this is indeed your flick…
—The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Jackie Loohauis
…nothing here is going to go down in history as a horror classic. But as far as dead-teen flicks go, this is one pretty lively affair. …
—The Arizona Republic, Randy Cordova