Halloween is Upon Us! Here’s Every Final Destination Movie Reviewed

Final Destination (2000)

I want a David Cronenberg remake. 

Paranoia caused by our superstitions, confirmed into a reality. Candyman plays the fatalistic prophet to inform of a world that lives under the rules of warped predetermination. Death is rather a cynical dark comic who hints at every approaching human demise with hilariously *f**ked up* in-your-face signs. Gentle build-ups through a domino show magnifying every little occurrence for possible toppling to exemplify Death’s needlessly complex scheming. Not bad, movie. Maybe a bad climax and ending — some of the most pulled out of your ass ones I’ve seen in a slasher movie really — but mostly everything else beforehand, actually not bad.

All characters came with teleportation powers too.

Verdict: C+

Final Destination 2 (2003)

The practical effects this time around are even more upsettingly graphic than before — for better, of course? The sequel essentially follows the basic beats of the original to a T except, besides the safe-room idea from a veteran, the concept that Death’s plans are actually not inevitable as long as you bring in — cute plot device — a “new” life that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. It also lands the lore onto good old chaos theory territory, which is interesting to think about since The Butterfly Effect (2004) was then made only a year after this sequel’s success.

I think this could’ve easily gotten the full Saw sequel treatment given that it lacks the emotional tragedy felt in its predecessor for an obvious prioritization to showcase more gruesome kills, but it’s not completely hopeless. It adds a few new ideas to fraternize the ongoing violence.

The pregnant lady twist though was dumb as hell! So goofy, haha!

Verdict: C

Final Destination 3 (2006)

MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD??? IN THIS??? WHAT??? THIS IS SOME PAUL RUDD IN HALLOWEEN 6 LEVEL OF WHAT???

Perfectly captures the anxiety you get before going on a rollercoaster, and I haven’t felt this substantial of a weight from tragedy since the original thanks to mainly Winstead’s “control of life” character and unusually above average performance for this franchise’s standards, but wow, talk about bringing absolutely nothing to the table besides ripping off R.L. Stine’s Say Cheese and Die! with its introduction to photo premonitions, and designing a few more mildly creative disasters as to be expected. It’s not enough to justify this whole movie for me; it’s literally just a remake of the first one at that point. The comedy has reached a new low somehow too. 

Also, the people saying right before they die “I’m not going to die” or “I can’t be killed” trend ought to stop.

Verdict: D+

The Final Destination (2009)

Damn, glad to see that this won’t be the final destination in terms of how special effects advancements go.

Yep, that’s the review. This is the Saw 3D (2010) of this franchise and I am not in the mood to talk about it. Let the rating speak for itself.

Verdict: F

Final Destination 5 (2011)

The moment this premise was decided upon, the filmmaker’s should’ve immediately thought of making it a straight-up crossover with The Office (2005-2013) where Dunder Mifflin survives the bridge collapse because of Jim Hopper’s premonition. I mean f**k it, Todd Packer is already in this movie so what were they waiting for? Yet, this wasted potential for what could’ve been the purest of cinema is what we’re left with here today.

Secondly, I know it’s hard to believe, but I personally didn’t care if those two characters went to Paris or not. Why can’t all the scenes in these movies just have Tony Todd in them? It’s also wild how the only somewhat fresh concept this adds to the franchise — ruined in execution though by cringe Peter — isn’t introduced until two acts in. The writers took an L on that one.

Ending was pretty neat nonetheless… until it wasn’t. Cut off that last scene and yeah, it’s cool enough I guess + the collapsing bridge opening.

Verdict: D

The “Final Destination” movies are now available to stream on HBO Max.

Quick-Thoughts: Ousmane Sembène’s Xala (1975)

Guess our lead character couldn’t manage to be the DICtator of his family any longer. He couldn’t quite finish up to the TIP of his problems, ya know? I bet he’s devastated to know that he left all that money and power HANGING just so he could have another wife to torture. Guess his internal racism also just went completely over his HEAD. I bet learning that he had entirely become a byproduct of the capitalist system that once oppressed him must’ve been HARD to SWALLOW. *sponsored by Evian*

Yeah, I hate myself. Funny movie though!

Verdict: B-

“Xala” is now available to stream on YouTube.

Quick-Thoughts: Euzhan Palcy’s Sugar Cane Alley (1983)

“Learning” IS learning to survive. 

Sugar Cane Alley pulls off adequately a nearly impossible to accomplish tonal breach: make a charming coming of age story that is simultaneously draining as well under its discriminate setting. Reiterated: pulling off anything that has to do with colonialism and somehow making its terror become split by the frequent wholesomeness of an adolescent’s journey and cultural spirit is worth witnessing at least once. Even the basic melodrama plot that may seem a smidge dated wasn’t taxing enough for me to look past the ample cuts it gave whenever it simply dealt with the everyday slices of life in becoming an educated individual, our ambition for success built in the name of sacrificed loved ones.

Verdict: B-

“Sugar Cane Alley” is not available to stream at the moment.

Quick-Thoughts: Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel

I think I love the structure gimmick of subjectivity in concept more than how it was executed, which is not to say though that Scott, Holofcener, Affleck, and Damon have crafted something deficient here, just that it’s barely rudimentary enough to be investing in its given subject matter on female oppression during France’s medieval days. The Last Duel then seems to ultimately reconcile though as a serviceable retelling of early male domination that’s scouted corruptly in just about any respected field whether it be of law or science, bludgeoning women into something as minute and demeaning as being simply pieces of property. In hindsight, even with such simple affairs and gender dynamics told through its viewpoint of multi-perspective disclosures, it’s still puissant enough to burden and complicate the audience with results that may seem just but victories that feel all too contrived and hypocritical, purposely leaving the audience with partial dissatisfaction of a reality that often repeats itself.

Would go and check this one out too for its occasional but fantastic action sequences as well, especially that concluding one. Ridley Scott lives!

Verdict: B-

2021 Ranked, Ridley Scott Ranked

“The Last Duel” is now playing in theaters.

Quick-Thoughts: Marleen Gorris’s A Question of Silence (1982)

The patriarchy: turning normal folk into sociopaths since 0000. 

As rude as this may sound — please just blame the pop culture over-saturation of these past few COVID years not mwah! — this movie came off almost like a Joker (2019) but for girlbosses to me, and I mean that as both a negative and a positive: the lack of depth has me both aching for more and wishing for a broader, intenser exploration of its notably juicy premise / plot and brutally sincere messages. But yeah, I agree though! It’s a little embarrassing that Todd Phillips’ film came out only recently and Marleen Gorris’s actually has the excuse of being a tad dated in some areas, but the whole concept of being pushed to the very brim from a given underprivileged lifestyle is comparably there, yet if not, far more reasonable as well in parallel to reality than it was in Mr. 11-time Academy Award nominee’s — the constant, subtle misogynistic commenting by men desperate for control in power over women who are forced to laugh around it and publicly turn a blind eye at this bulls**t throughout an entire upsetting 95-minute runtime sure beats random inserts of rubbishes like coincidentally and accidentally saving a damsel in distress on a bus to soften down on murder. 

Either way, for the diehard cinephiles out there though, I would recommend giving A Question of Silence a watch for its bold, figurative character personas and the snappy, foxy dialogue that accompanies them, which are both oddly adventurous qualities for its time period, and moreover too for its surreal, intimidating, and borderline horror-synth score that’s paired to its occasionally shocking flash edits. Plus, for something made in an early 80s Netherlands, this film must’ve been risky ASF to be putting out there, and I have all the respect for it.

Verdict: B-

“A Question of Silence” is now available to stream on YouTube.

Quick-Thoughts: Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates (1969)

“Yesterday was better than today. I am weary of tomorrows.” 

Effortlessly one of the finest framed, colored, and maybe composited movies of all-time. The lack of clear narrative, and almost pure visual ambiguity had suddenly lifted from me a burden, radicalizing a hypnotic sensation that I’ve rarely experienced with film. In other words, my usual ambition for overly harsh thinking and a careful following of ideas with artistic pieces had seemed to dwindle for 80 gracious minutes, and as pretentious as it sounds (and maybe it is) this movie unlike many made me feel a sort of euphoria and furthermore a bit of distractive spiritual freedom even while existing in an 18th century Armenian culture’s apparent reality of laborious captivity in obligations of fading away and the irradiance despair that‘s secured to it, as well as in the content of Sayat Nova’s contemplative poetic quotes and multi-readable imagery come to life. 

Yet, again, despite the troubles and thoughtful wisdom that seemed to be occurring on screen, its often unbothered and minimalistic tone clashing with these events made me feel as if I was rather getting something ambivalent off of my chest from frame to frame with its almost celebratory imagery and musical respects to symbolize these intense, nostalgic subject matters, which could very well be a therapeutic intent of Sergei Parajanov’s with the making of such a personal project that lingers on memory and death, the unavoidable that we’re forced to deal with from generation to generation. And yeah, this really is the original Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) too. And yeah, the original Roy Andersson.

The complete sound layout in this as well is just *chef’s kiss* perfection. 

Verdict: A-

“The Color of Pomegranates” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

Quick-Thoughts: Margarethe von Trotta’s Marianne and Juliane (1981)

Being the older sibling: I get it. If you commit virtually anything and if something were to then happen to your younger sibling(s), you’d immaturely correlate as much as possible to take the blame, as if all your actions have a reflection on what they do in the future. This… this is a pretty harrowing movie, which is strange because during most of its runtime I wasn’t particularly moved, but as it got towards the end, this sick feeling of deja vu began to repress me once Juliane’s obsession truly began kicking in. As cheesy as it sounds, the people you grow up with are like a part of you, but sometimes to a self-destructive point where even things as immoral as terrorism can become almost a blindside to you as long as it involves family; when someone you love takes a prevailing path no matter how repulsive and disagreeable, it’s almost naturally obligated to transpire as your path too.

Verdict: B-

“Marianne and Juliane” is now available to stream on Kanopy.

Quick-Thoughts: Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles (1975)

Depressing and therapeutic cinema. What a combo… 

Watching this movie at 1:00am right after finishing up a 7 hour drive is a whole other f**king feeling, fellas. Chantal Akerman’s cult classic is such a ruthless and trailblazing affair for the art because what it’s essentially doing <for both halves> is conditioning you into the mundane repetition of a widow and mother’s lifestyle so that even the most slight of offset, like a new conversation for which breaks the majority runtiming of routine events, suddenly becomes fascinating and meaningful to you despite what their irrelevancy would mean in a more sensationalized or common cinematic narrative, and <for the second half> additionally reminds you of how sensitive our peace in these rituals can be due to the unwanted yet inevitable disruptions that always come naturally attached, like any accidental pause to them from human imperfections within our order for uninterrupted control. And… that’s pretty special, considering few movies are able to lock its viewer like this one does into the forced position of a character’s world and their means to look forward while in confinement — obliging only to even the most dismally selfless chores seen often in the two main patriarchal expectations of a woman — or to look backwards as their numbness retracts from either minor failures or changes in their routine, further blundering up the day or days to come. 

There’s a curiosity factor to this too though, one where as we see these minute changes happen, we’re forced to wonder what’s going on inside Jeanne’s mind after experiencing and being inspired by them, and moreover what she could possibly be thinking of to counteract this slight slight loss of diligence and exploration for alteration during her third day of the three that are shown. We’re only left to assume from their gestures when it comes to people who are latently and socially taught to always act like a stranger, which may be the most relatable factor I got out of this challenging film. It reminded me a bit of my grandmother to be honest with you, and… it makes perfect sense given the time period she lived in. When this is possibly it for the rest of your life, who can really blame someone for breaking every once in a while, if not, breaking completely? Who in their right mind (ironically) wouldn’t go nuts from time to time? How can we possibly continue to live perfectly in the never-ending circle if we’re able to see glimpses outside of it every so often?

Verdict: B+

“Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

Quick-Thoughts: Lamb

The Lannb (sorry, I’m sure that jokes already been made a hundred times) 

This could easily just be another straightforward and narcotically simple message on “human vs nature” in their exchanges of pilfering from one another and the mutual consequences of such an unstoppable maxim, but then again, it could just as easily be a metaphor for being a struggling cat lady who excessively nurtures their pets, or maybe living the adversarial life of a kidnapped adoptee, or experiencing the short-term curatives of replacing what was taken from you under circumstances of hypocrisy and its proceeding long-term “interest rates” that are tragically attached to them, or who the f**k else knows; all I know is that I was mostly digging it throughout. It’s difficult not to appreciate how Lamb takes up almost half its runtime just to set up a really lived-in atmosphere that casually then allows viewers to accept its later surreal elements as simply other pieces to its authentic environment. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie this shamelessly ambiguous and comfortable in its own absurdity; that has to count for something. 

My friend actually mentioned to me though a great connection he had found after we finished watching the film, saying how it strangely reminded him of David Lynch’s Eraserhead a bit. Their similarities never crossed my mind until he said it, but thinking on it now, yeah, I can see it.

Verdict: B-

2021 Ranked

“Lamb” is now playing in theaters.

Quick-Thoughts: Mass

This covers about everything you’d expect from a straightforward drama regarding a rather touchy subject matter and its four shattered and knowledge-obscured personalities, which may be why its intellectual potential for broader discovery on such a real-life affair seems a tad lost because of its dilation on tidy character arcs, but the breathtaking performances here are what truly justify this one-room gimmick project. The moment I heard too that the stoner from Cabin in the Woods (2012) was directing and writing a serious arthouse indie, I f**king lost my shit and was immediately sold, and you know what? I can’t say I’m disappointed by his radical switch in career. I genuinely don’t want to get into Mass anymore though for the sake of keeping you clueless because that is absolutely how you should go into this movie, so please please please don’t read any loglines on it or watch the trailer(s) for it; just be prepared to get a little emotional throughout and I firmly assume even more so if you’re a parent. 

Verdict: B-

2021 Ranked

“Mass” is now playing in select theaters.