Reviewed by: Brett Willis
Death in the Bible
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
|Featuring:||Ryan Merriman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Texas Battle, Gina Holden, Dustin Milligan|
|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.