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Final Destination 5

Year: 2011
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Steven Quale
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Cast: Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell, David Koechner, Courtney B Vance

The Final Destination series has all the hallmarks of being a trashy, cheap teen horror franchise subject to the law of diminishing returns in scares, quality and every other benchmark you can usually apply to horror sequels.

But what started out as a fairly cool (if gruesome) idea started off well made and has become slowly better with age, and they actually do something self-reflexively fun with this installment that I won't reveal here.

The main reason it shouldn't work is because like the Hangover films so far, each one is exactly the same, following a strict formula and the very epitome of giving the fans what they want.

The hero or heroine experiences a terrible accident in which every one of the group involved dies horribly until we learn it's a premonition. Even the visual device of racing out of the hero's eye to show it was all in their mind is the same every time.

In this case it's a bridge collapse on a company team-building trip, and it's Sam (D'Agosto) who warns everyone off the bus. Soon he and estranged girlfriend Molly (Bell's) friends and co-workers are dying in appropriately bizarre and gory circumstances until they realise – thanks to an enigmatic coroner – that death is talking them in the order they should have died on the bridge.

If you've seen any other Final Destination film you don't need to know the plot, it's all about the increasingly inventive death scenes. If you can hold down a feeling of creeping squeamishness – these aren't bad people being murdered by a psychopath but ordinary people dying in horrible accidents, which is much more common – it's good fun.

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