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James Wong
Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith
Writing Credits:
James Wong, Glen Morgan, Jeffrey Reddick

After a teenager has a terrifying vision of him and his friends dying in a plane crash, he prevents the accident only to have Death hunt them down, one by one.

Box Office:
$23 million.
Opening Weekend
$10,015,822 on 2587 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 98 min.
Price: $9.98
Release Date: 4/7/2009

• Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director James Wong, Editor James Coblentz and Co-Writers Glen Morgan and Jeffrey Reddick
• Audio Commentary with Actors Devon Sawa, Kerr Smith, Kristen Cloke and Chad E. Donella
• Isolated Score/Audio Commentary with Composer Shirley Walker
• “Perfect Soufflé” Featurette
• “Premonitions” Featurette
• 3 Deleted Scenes
• Trailer


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Final Destination [Blu-Ray] (2000)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 25, 2020)

One of the horror franchises to spring up in the post-Scream landscape, 2000’s Final Destination launched its own franchise. Indeed, the series spawned four sequels through 2011 – and I’ll feel unsurprised if it brings a reboot in the not-too-distant future.

Along with his classmates, high school student Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) heads off on a trip to France. However, before the flight takes off, he experiences a terrifying premonition that the airplane will explode.

Completely freaked out by this experience, Alex causes a scene, so he and his pals get bounced from the flight. As they learn on the ground, Alex actually saw the future, as the plane goes down in flames.

Unsurprisingly, this event causes Alex even more consternation, especially because his friends begin to die via other causes. Alex needs to work out what Death wants from him so he can stop these fatalities.

Earlier I alluded to the Scream franchise, but don’t take those comparisons to be too literal. Basically Scream and Destination mainly share an affinity for photogenic young victims, but they also muster some other similarities.

While not as tongue in cheek as Scream, Destination offers a self-awareness of its genre. No, it doesn’t play with horror conventions in the same winking manner as the Wes Craven classic, but it still displays a kind of self-reflection that didn’t really exist pre-Scream.

Given that the series got run into the ground across its many sequels, it feels tough to recall the creativity we saw from Destination back in 2000. Whereas most horror movies come with concrete villains, this film opts for a supernatural concept as the nemesis.

“Death” doesn’t manifest on-screen as some dark, hooded figure. “Death” remains a mysterious force of nature that Alex needs to outwit, an idea that seems easier said than done.

At the risk of spoilers, that adds another novel aspect of Destination: its dark worldview. This series doesn’t embrace the “good conquers evil” POV found in most horror, and unlike Terminator 2, it tells us fate can’t be averted.

That seems like pretty heady stuff for a teen-oriented horror flick, and I admire the thematic ambition. Unfortunately, the film never quite lives up to its potential.

Despite the intellectual and philosophical notions on display, Destination really cares most about the usual horror tropes. The story acts as a framework to give us brutal deaths of pretty young people and not much else.

That seems like a shame, as the tale comes with a lot of room for introspection and depth. While I don’t expect a teen horror version of The Seventh Seal, I think the flick could’ve done more with its notions.

Instead, the plot progresses in a way that never becomes especially intriguing. We wait for Alex to find a way to outwit Death and preoccupy ourselves with those gory killings along the way, but nothing terribly exciting develops.

We don’t get a lot of spark from the castmembers. From Sawa on down, they all look good but they lack much real punch or charisma.

With so many young actors involved, I’d expect at least two or three to have enjoyed good careers, but real fame escaped this crew. Seann William Scott is the most famous of the bunch, and he remains best-known for the old American Pie flicks.

As far as horror movies go, Final Destination rises above the pack due to its novel themes and plot. Unfortunately, it fails to execute those elements in a manner that allows it to give us a particularly memorable tale.

The Disc Grades: Picture C+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B+

Final Destination appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with an acceptable but unimpressive presentation.

Sharpness was usually good. The movie rarely demonstrated precise delineation, but it also failed to suffer from notable softness, so this left us with decent but not great definition.

No problems related to jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge haloes remained absent. Digital noise reduction wasn’t an issue, and I saw no specks, marks or other print flaws.

With a fairly blue palette, I thought the hues of Destination looked fine but unexceptional. The movie occasionally exhibited some bright colors, but it usually seemed ordinary in terms of its hues.

Blacks also came across with nice depth but nothing stronger, while low-light sequences demonstrated acceptable clarity and openness. Overall, Destination offered a watchable image that lacked much to stand out.

At least the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio of Destination was more consistently satisfying. The mix varied in scope dependent on the situation, as the track kicked into higher gear during a number of scenes. Various action sequences offered a lot of good information.

The five speakers blended all of this well and helped to form a strong sense of environment. The soundfield aided the effectiveness of the movie, so while they may have been subdued some of the time, they were more than satisfying for this material.

The solid quality of the audio didn’t hurt matters. Speech was always concise and crisp, with no brittleness or other problems. Music was clear and lively, so the score showed good range and filled out the track well.

Whether loud or soft, effects seemed clean and snappy, and they presented excellent range. Bass response was particularly good; the track blasted my subwoofer with tight tones and never became distorted or boomy. The track worked well for the supernatural material.

We get a mix of extras here, and we locate two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from co-writer/director James Wong, editor James Coblentz and co-writers Glen Morgan and Jeffrey Reddick. The first three sit together, but Reddick brings solo remarks edited in with the rest.

In the commentary, we learn about the project’s roots and development, story/character/script areas, sets and locations, effects, cast and performances, deleted scenes and reshoots, and related domains.

This turns into a very good chat. We get a nice overview of the various subjects, and the piece moves at a good pace. There’s a lot to like about this commentary.

For the second commentary, we hear from actors Devon Sawa, Kerr Smith, Kristen Cloke and Chad E. Donella. All four sit together for their own running, screen-specific view of how they came to the project as well as aspects of their performances and experiences during the shoot.

At the start, this looks to become a messy track. The actors joke a lot and don’t seem interested in film-related notes.

Happily, matters improve pretty quickly, and before long, we get some good info about the production. Some of this repeats from the first commentary, but we still find a nice array of thoughts.

Another audio component, we can view the movie with an Isolated Score/Commentary. Presented Dolby Digital 5.1, this track alternates the music with remarks from composer Shirley Walker.

When she speaks, Walker offers good thoughts about her work and choices. However, I find this format unsatisfying.

Commentary fans will feel let down by the fact we only hear from Walker occasionally, and score aficionados will want a pure presentation of the music. This track still merits a listen but I’d prefer a true commentary versus this amalgam.

Two featurettes follow, and Perfect Soufflé fills 13 minutes, 25 seconds with comments from Wong, Morgan, New Line chairman Robert Shaye, Senior VPs Richard Brener and Brian Witten and Director of Marketing Karen Brown. The featurette looks at the audience testing process and how it impacted the final film.

This involves glimpses of deleted scenes that we view in their entirety elsewhere on the disc. “Perfect” provides a pretty good look at an important aspect of the Hollywood system that we don’t often find discussed.

With Premonitions, we find a 19-minute, 40-second interview with “intuitive investigator” Pam Coronado. She discusses her alleged psychic abilities as well as cases on which she worked. I don’t buy the existence of her supposed paranormal skills, but Coronado gives us an interesting view of her experiences.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we finish with three Deleted Scenes. We get “Alternate Love Scene” (2:52), “Pregnancy Test” (0:19) and “Alternate Ending” (5:03).

“Love” expands the Alex and Clear roles some, while “Test” connects to “Ending” in a way that involves spoilers. The “Ending” seems interesting but not really more effective than the finale the producers chose.

Despite a clever plot and some intriguing themes, Final Destination remains a fairly middle of the pack horror flick. Its ambitions feel like an excuse to kill pretty young people. The Blu-ray brings dull visuals along with very good audio and a fairly solid roster of bonus features. While it comes with positives, Destination doesn’t quite click.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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