At a time when the teen horror film genre was devolving into mediocre efforts like “Disturbing Behaviour” and “Idle Hands”, New Line came along with the superbly entertaining “Final Destination”.
It was a teen horror suspense film which instead of relying on cheap serial killer stalkers went for the more grandiose concept that death itself (a formless dark shape) was stalking these people and setting up an elaborate series of accidents which eventually lead to each one’s demise in unique and over the top gory ways.
Two of “The X-Files” best writers Glen Morgan and James Wong who created the first film have now left the franchise though many of its key personnel from actress Ali Larter to super producers Craig Perry & Warren Zide remain to churn out this sequel.
The good news is its a hoot. FD2 may lack the interesting characters and slightly more complex storyline of the first feature, instead it trades it in for even more gore and laughs with a whole new cast of young unknowns.
From the opening and utterly spectacular massive car crash to numerous and unique deaths involving the likes of plate glass, barbeques, barb wire and more – we’re regularly taunted and tricked into believing various red herrings in regards to how each subject is going to die – but when it happens it proves quite spectacularly morbid and colourful each and everytime.
The cast do solid jobs with the material, Ali Larter turning in a decent go returning as the now institutionalised Clear Rivers (a porn star name if I ever heard one) whilst A.J. Cook & Michael Landes make for likable leads. Tony Todd puts in a deliciously fun cameo too.
Faults? A subplot about a pregnant survivor never really clicks. With the exception of Larter & Landes (whose most remembered for a brief stint on “Lois & Clark”) the stars are complete unknowns which may turn some off from the material. The gorier edge makes this less accessible than the first film, and the somewhat pedantic talk about ‘a rift in death’s design’ does get overdone and overdiscussed a lot.
Finally, the new ‘twist’ to it for this film is fun but never truly convincing. The important thing is as sequels go this is a very good one and hopefully will lead to other outings for this franchise. You don’t have to be a twisted and disturbed individual to get a lot of enjoyment out of FD2, but it sure helps.