Final Destination 5 (2011) Review

Always at the more tongue-in-cheek end of the horror scale, the previous four instalments of the “Final Destination” franchise have been gruesomely lightweight shock fests, full of invention and sly dark comedy although they haven’t been immune to the law of diminishing returns. But this fifth instalment…? Meh.

This time around, the precognitive vision which kicks all the action off is a bridge collapse during a corporate outing. The vision (have they ever explained where these visions come from? Who is trying to thwart Death’s plan?) allows Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) to save himself and several of his colleagues from a gory and painful demise. Before long, however, Death comes a-calling and one by one the survivors meet their end. This time, though, there’s a wrinkle: if you take someone else’s life, you can “steal” their remaining years for yourself.

Despite the interesting add-on of the ‘swapsies’ element, “Final Destination 5” feels lifeless and disinterested, going through the motions with lacklustre death scene after lacklustre death scene. The film itself even looks dull and grey to the extent that the digital blood spatter can’t even summon up a vibrant bright crimson to lift the gloom. The cast is the blandest the series has put together so far and even the wildcard casting of David Koechner (“Anchorman”) can’t inject life into this and a last-minute twist which literally brings the franchise full circle simply underlines how far this series has fallen.

For a series where Death itself can put together ludicrously convoluted chain reactions that would make Rube Goldberg green with envy but for some reason can’t just reach out and, say, burst a blood vessel or shoot a guy, the kills in this are lazy and repetitive. It’s time for Death to swing his scythe one final time and put this franchise out of our misery.