Sunday, March 10, 2013

Death Comes Torturous: Final Destination 3 (2006)

Final Destination 3 (2006) (AKA Cheating Death: Final Destination 3)
rating: ***
starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ryan Merriman, Kris Lemche

Gore, gore, and more gore; when movies like SAW, Hostel and The Devil's Rejects had introduced to cinema around the middle of 2000s the concept of long, torturous, overkill, bighead business types wanted to cash-in to these movie's successes by putting the splatter back into horror and thriller movies. Thus, the once clever and tense dead teenager series Final Destination had to step up its game to cater to the new wave of gore-hungry audience, even if it meant re-telling the same plot all over again.

This time around, we join in highschooler Wendy and her friends on a local fair to celebrate the last days they had in McKinley High. What should have been a fun night for everyone on her batch, it ended tragically when a roller-coaster accident took the lives of some of the school's students. The strange thing was, there should have been more victims that night, but after Wendy suddenly got a vision that foretells the upcoming disaster, she ended up saving some of them, something of which she's not too thrilled about as it cost her a social life and gave her one hell of a survivor's guilt.

It will, however, go for the worse when one by one, the survivors are dropping like flies in one fatal accident to the next. All in the same pattern they were supposed to die in the accident. Now Wendy had no choice but to figure out the pattern and the clues to stop the inevitable force hunting them down, or be next on Death's list and too everyone else she cares for.

FD3, as far as I can tell, would have been a rather dull entry to the series as it is beginning to repeat the same plot that backbones the first two films, as by now we all know what's going on and you can tell who will die first and then the next, the only thing that'll keep you guessing is how. And by "how", they answered it with loads of stage blood and shredded latex, by far the only winning factor to this entry.
Tanning Bed. A cheerleader's Bestfriend turned enemy!
Comparing, while the first two FD movies are as a teen thriller-cum-supernatural slasher with some metaphysical themes, Final Destination 3 was more of the splatter-filled, 80s teen slashers, throwing off factors like proper character build and plot development in favor of the kills, paint-by-number cliches and stereotypes. Not that of a bad thing, honestly, but it kinda stepped down a lot from the imaginative dead-teenager movie that started it all, and into a commercialized, kill-a-thon roller-coaster ride. (Pun intended) With that, while still maintaining a level of build and tension the first two movie had, FD3 tried to focus more on the impact of these kills and mold around the idea of overkill. Indeed, the deaths in this entry came in rather torturous and/or overdone as the mutilated get dismembered further and splattered beyond recognition, done gloriously in traditional practical effects and in full onscreen.

And just when they thought it was over~
So, being a refresher to the already familiar flow, FD3 is still a lost to those who're hoping for a smarter, or at least a more creative, entry to the series, but that didn't stop this entry from being fun. By now, you would be expecting they could at least explain a little bit further on how Death works in these movies, as they had in the first two, but they instead produced a re-hash of the first movie, with the tragic disaster minimalized into a tragic "accident" (there's a difference), interestingly leads this movie the only one in the series where the authorities are completely absent (unless you don't count security guards as authorities, then maybe you can throw in the next entry to this series), thus focusing completely on the teenagers as lamb for the slaughter. It's sadistic, yes, but it was made for those kinds of people and at some point, the pattern still works and the nihilistic undertone of the movie (especially the ending) kinda helped maintain the tone.

They always claim that third time's the charm, but I guess that isn't applicable for all. Well, maybe it's in a way, that's still true for Final Destination 3; gorno-addicts and enthusiasts might find a worthwhile time through this one, as too those who're willing to trade out smarts for bloody parts. It could have been worse, and I mean really worse-*COUGH*THEFINALDESTINATION!- so let's just thank the invisible forces for these small mercies, and hopefully this series can continue a stable footing.

7 riders mangled in roller-coaster accident
2 females incinerated in malfunctioning tanning beds
1 male head shredded by a truck engine fan
1 male had weights crushed his head
1 female gets nailgunned on the head
1 female impaled by a broken flag pole
1 male crushed by a falling cherry picker
1 female crushed by a dislodge train wheel
1 male filleted in between the train and tunnel wall
1 male and 1 female mangled in train derailment
A number of  passengers mangled in train derailment
1 female ran over by an incoming train
total: 19+


  1. Fully agree with you here - the first FD is a Classic with a capital C. The second is an entertaining rehash with the best opening sequence of the series. And then this one - a step down, but still well worth watching. (which is more than can be said for SOME sequels *coughPart 4's with The in frontcough*) The funniest thing about this - we had guests in the weekend this opened, and 3/5 of them wanted to see this, 1/5 wasn't thrilled but stuck with the crowd - and then there was the 1/5 that is my mother-in-law - who threw in with us in a suspiciously cheerful manner. Well, she got promptly grossed out moments in to the movie and spent the whole flick with her tummy churning - turns out she thought Final Destination was a "Star Wars"-style space movie! Ha! Silly mother-in-law!

    1. Lol I guess she confused "Final Destination" with "Final Frontier"! If there's such a movie~ XDD

  2. I agree also; they traded off the mystical forces of the first two for gobs of grue - and it was sometimes a very cruel film. And STILL they don't seek out a psychic or a fortune teller...

    The repetitive opus got annoying: Death > Wendy & Kevin talk > Death > Wendy & Kevin investigate > Death > Wendy & Kevin brood > Death and so on...

    1. Haha, just like a real slasher film! Cliched to the end! Least it's more likable than that drag-who-shall-not-be-named!

  3. I'm in the minority here: I fucking adore FD3. Wasn't impressed of it the first time, but with every re-watch it totally grew on me, and now I love it even more than the second one.

    Btw, expect an uber-epic new FD3 article in the near future. Spoiler: gonna compare the theatrical cut with the Choose-version :)

    1. Haha, you mean that version where if you flip a side in the beginning, there's a chance the movie ends after 15 minutes? XD KEWL~