Set my hopes up way too high? To be fair the quality of the effects driven shorts Popcorn Horror’s Internet Overlady Cara’s been throwing my way have been regularly great. Be it the radical reinvention of a comic book icon in Spawn: The Recall or could-be-a-blockbuster opulence of Predator: Dark Ages, these films fully demonstrate that sometimes movies that focus primarily on the visuals are cinema at its best.
With writer, director, editor and producer Marco Rudolph’s Final Destination 4.5 I was expecting something as equally ambitious and accomplished. And to begin with, it is, starting strongly with the franchise’s trademark premonition of spectacularly gory and funny events. Sure, the effects are shaky and the acting is duff, but the scene has almost immaculate pacing as a crashing light aircraft crushes someone into the ground and a propeller careens through the entire length of another.
And then the film goes on. And on. And on. Come for the plane crash, but don’t stay for the story. Following the series formula of death stalking the victims who should’ve died, sadly their deaths are amateurish in comparison to the carnage that starts this lengthy short. Some wind blows cleaning fluid into a person’s drinks. Someone falls out of a window. Come to think of it, that was the wind too. Death seems to be less of a threat here than the breeze.
The acting is pretty poor to behold all the way through. That wasn’t an issue when there was an impressive plane crash suddenly and violently ending all acting in the vicinity with flaming chunks of high speed metal. Without it though, the experience is less painful for the characters but much more so for us.
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