x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 September 2017

Final Destination 5

It is not surprising to see the same basic formula as the earlier films in this series. What is unexpected is the wit.

Director: Steven Quale Starring: Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell, Tony Todd *** 

The latest in the decade-old, hit horror series centres on a group of eight colleagues who "cheat" death when, on a work outing, Sam (Nicholas D'Agosto) has a premonition about the bridge that they are on: he sees it collapse and gets them off. Hailed as the "lucky eight", members of their group begin to die in freak accidents exactly in the order that they "died" on the bridge in Sam's vision.

Sam must work out how to save himself and his ex-girlfriend (Emma Bell) before death comes to collect its debt. Given the wild success of the previous films (this fifth instalment emerged after the fourth, marketed as "the final instalment", exceeded expectations), it's not surprising that Final Destination 5 adheres to the same formula as the rest. What is a surprise is the interesting and occasionally very witty twists given to that formula.

The deaths are as gruesome as one would expect, but the targets are much more developed as characters and the script is injected with far more humour - the scene in a massage parlour is a particular comedy highlight. The cast themselves are largely there to run in terror from the Grim Reaper; however, memorable performances come from David Koechner as the group's boss and Todd as series regular William Bludworth.

The addition of impressive 3D makes this a gruesome but entertaining spectacle, likely to delight fans of the series in its continuation of the formula, but it may also interest newcomers, thanks to the added dash of intelligence in the mix.