Sunday, June 20, 2010

Horror Movie Review: Final Destination 3

Final Destination 3

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ryna Merriman, and Kris Lemche

Directed by: James Wong

Written by: Glen Morgan and James Wong, using characters and events created by Jeffrey Reddick

Production Companies: New Line Cinema, Hard Eight Pictures, Kumar Mobiliengesellschaft mbH & Co. Projekt Nr. 1 KG, Matinee Pictures, Practical Pictures, Road Rebel, and Zide-Perry Productions

Release Date: February 9, 2006

Body Counters's Body Count: 11 plus 2 fried bitches and a pigeon (I don't think this counts the deaths of unseen victims in the initial crash)

It's tricky taking a movie into the realm of sequels. It is especially difficult to go past one sequel. In fact each subsequent sequel becomes more and more difficult. You have to do something different with the same concept that was done before, and sometimes with the same characters. But The Final Destination series has the benefit of not having to have the same characters over and over. There were no survivors in the first two movies, and there's no real, visible, flesh-and-blood killer.

In Final Destination 3, Wendy, Jason, Kevin, and Carrie go to the fair to celebrate their impending graduation from high school. Before a rollercoaster begins, Wendy sees a premonition of the rollercoaster crashing killing her and many other teens. Wendy freaks out and gets let off the ride, along with several other classmates.

Then, the rollercoaster crashes.

But Death had a job to do, and it wants the lives that it was denied, so those who left the rollercoaster before the crash begin dying in freak accidents. Kevin does some research and learns about Flight 180, from the first Final Destination. Wendy and Kevin begin trying to save their classmates and hopefully stop death.

So, basically, the same film as the first two, but with a different initial accident. I wasn't expecting anything different, so that's not a complaint, although Warner Bros. says they are planning for a fifth movie and that they are hoping to break the repetition of the series...we'll see. But the premise is one where all you need is a creative look at how things can play out...and suspensful story telling.

Unfortunately, Final Destination 3 does not create suspense. They seem to rush through the deaths, not building suspense. Some deaths are too obvious, leaving us just waiting for the accident. They attempt to replace surprise with gore. Gore is great, but being scared is better...and Final Destination 3 just isn't scary.

Then there are the things which make no sense. The premonition shows the rollercoaster crash was caused when someone drops a video recorder which wraps around the track and derails the cars. But when Wendy gets let off the rollercoaster, the kid with the video camera gets off as well. So the accident shouldn't have happened at all, which would have been an interesting twist, but they didn't go that way.

And why did all those riders get off? Wendy and Kevin, who were riding together, makes sense. Two girls and the video camera guy makes sense because they wanted to get away from him because he was stalking them with the camera. But everyone else? And we all know that they would have let more people on in their place, but they left half the cars empty.

Finally, Kevin researching and finding out about Flight 180 seems like a stretch before those who got off the rollercoaster started dying. Even though we would know what was going on, I think it still would have increased tension if we had to watch them try to figure it out rather than the internets telling them what was going on.

It annoys me when people start going over all of these minors goofs like Wendy's hair in the cemetery scene changes between shots, or a gust of wind supposedly from the coaster blows Wendy's hair, but the wind came from the left side instead of the right where the coaster passed her. And some of my complaints I'd easily be able to gloss over by just enjoying the movie...except there are so many of these big plot holes and so little suspense that I can't ignore them.

Related Videos

Death Proof

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays Wendy, also appears in Death Proof. Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans.

The Ring Two

Ryan Merriman, who plays Kevin, also appears in The Ring Two. Six months after the incidents involving the lethal videotape, new clues prove that there is a new evil lurking in the darkness.

Ginger Snaps

Kris Lemche, one of the key survivors, also starred in Ginger Snaps. Ginger is 16, edgy, tough, and, with her younger sister, into staging and photographing scenes of death. They've made a pact about dying together. In early October, on the night she has her first period, which is also the night of a full moon, a werewolf bites Ginger. Within a few days, some serious changes happen to her body and her temperament. Her sister Brigitte, 15, tries to find a cure with the help of Sam, a local doper. As Brigitte races against the clock, Halloween and another full moon approach, Ginger gets scarier, and it isn't just local dogs that begin to die.

Black Christmas (2006)

Glen Morgan, who helped with this script, also write the screenplay for the 2006 remake Black Christmas. An escaped maniac returns to his childhood home on Christmas Eve, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority sisters one by one.


The creator of the Final Destination concept, Jeffrey Reddick, also wrote Tamara. Tamara, an unattractive girl, who is picked on by her peers returns after her death as a sexy seductress to exact revenge.

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