Final Destination (2000, James Wong)

I don’t remember why I avoided these movies for so long, but they’ve been buzzing around the internet long enough that it’s time I check them out. The first dialogue scene is a 90’s version of Doris Wishman, this ain’t good. I decided which teens I’m rooting for based on the posters hanging in their room – Alex (Devon Sawa of Idle Hands) has Pecker and the Goo Goo Dolls, but Claire (Resident Evil regular Ali Larter) has Cub and Mule Variations, so she wins.

Devon, Ali, Sidemouth Todd:

Big school trip, but Alex gets all upset after dreaming the plane falling apart, and also has a bad haircut, so six get kicked off the plane, which does fall apart, and since they cheated death, death comes for them one by one. Sidemouth Todd (Chad Donella of a Saw movie) dies first, clotheslined in the tub. The teacher (Kristen Cloke of Black Christmas Remake) is taken out by everything in her house in a coordinated attack, and two kids (curly girl must’ve been Amanda Detmer of Saving Silverman, and Seann William Scott six months before Dude Where’s My Car) die in vehicular accidents, unexceptional but for their shock timing. Despite the Goo Goo Dolls poster, Devon grew on me, and his escaping the FBI in a rowboat is really good. He and Claire are both alive at the end, but I only see her in the cast of part two. Very excited to see Tony Todd as a mortician, hoping he’d be Death Incarnate, but just a mortician… he’s in the cast of future Final Destinations, so hopefully this will still play out.

There’s talk of alternate realities. It’s fun that the characters are named after classic horror people – sometimes it pays off, as with teacher Val(erie) Lewton, and sometimes it’s just weird… I’m sure naming the FBI guys after the Caligari director and Nosferatu actor looked cool on the page, but when they introduce themselves as “Agents Ween and Shrek” it sounds ridiculous. Director James Wong was a major X-Files contributor, and named the asshole teen Carter, hmmm. Wong followed up with forgettable Jet Li film The One, and somehow made a live-action Dragonball movie I’ve never heard of.