If you are sitting in a nearly empty theater, with a dozen other people, and you have a premonition you are about to waste 90 minutes of your life, head for the nearest exit. In all likelihood, your premonition will be correct.
Okay, I'll admit it. I liked the first "Final Destination". It took a tired, old, over-worked premise, the horror film in which dumb teenagers get killed, and added a little twist to it, elaborate Rube Goldberg-esque murders. It was like watching a game of "Mousetrap", only with murder. The unique thing about the first film is that many of these `contraptions' ended with a quick cut, just as the victim is about to fall prey, allowing our mind to fill in the blanks. The filmmakers mixed these less gruesome, elaborate machinations with quick, brutal murders, keeping the viewer on their toes, always guessing.
"2" was a mess. A retread with more gruesome elements, robbing the film of any of the interesting work found in the first.
"3", directed by James Wong, an alumnus of "The X-Files", and co-creator (some might argue, perpetrator) of the first installment, attempts to use the mix of the first film while adding more gruesome elements, apparently to appease audiences who expect more and more graphic material. It just doesn't work. Part of what holds your interest in the first film is that you are never quite sure how someone will get offed. Some were gruesome. Some were elaborate. In "3", all of the methods are elaborate, but all are equally gruesome and graphic in detail. This provides the gore, but none of the shock.
The acting? Irrelevant. A bunch of forgettable teenage actors, many of whom would be unable to get jobs on the WB, attempt to make their characters believable. But these attempts fail. Miserably. Then again, any one who goes to see this film isn't going to discover the next Meryl Streep. They want to see some teenagers get killed. That's what this genre is all about and it doesn't fail in that regard.
But unlike the first film, it doesn't provide anything new. Yes, the teenagers are killed in different ways, but because they are all gruesome, the film doesn't have any of the surprise or interest the first entry had.
Story? Ludicrous. Again, this isn't really the point of these films. An elaborate attempt is made to try to make the story believable. A young teenage girl has a premonition the roller coaster she is about to get on will have a terrible crash, killing her and all of the members of her senior class in the process. She screams and yells and they finally let her off, along with most of her senior class. Her boyfriend remains on the coaster. Soon, the car does jump the tracks and the remaining people all die. But what about the people who got off the ride? The girl soon realizes Death still wants them and will do whatever it can to get them, in the same order they should have died on the roller coaster. If they are able to save someone, Death skips them over and moves on to the next one. If you haven't stopped reading by now, due to the fact that you are laughing so hard at the ludicrous nature of the story, keep reading. The teenager is a photographer for the yearbook. Before they got on the ride, she took a lot of pictures of the Senior Class. As she realizes the survivors will soon die, she also realizes that there are clues to the deaths of the remaining survivors in the pictures. Oh no, not the pictures!
The only thing that might have saved this film from the inevitable 99 cent rental bin at your local video store would be if they returned to the original formula of the first installment. Some elaborate murders with quick cuts, and some quick gruesome murders, leaving the viewer on their toes. Instead, they sort of combine both for this new installment, resulting in a predictably gruesome teenage blood fest. It seems sad that horror films have to be so gruesome, so bloody in this day and age. Whatever happened to the great films that left a lot of the horror to your imagination? These were much more effective and will stand the test of time. Instead, filmmakers now seem to feel it necessary to depict every gruesome detail for the viewer. Perhaps they feel that the viewer can no longer use their imagination and needs everything handed to them on a silver platter. When an image is left to your imagination it is usually scarier than anything a filmmaker could create, so let us think about it.
Come on, you weren't going to see this were you? That's what I am here for. To see crap like this, so you don't have to waste your time.