Frankly, much as I loved all three installments of Scream (and generally liked movies of that ilk), the stories were wearing a bit thin. Final Destination introduces a breath of fresh air to the tired slasher genre.
The basic plot is simple, and novel: six students and a teacher on a school trip to Paris are thrown out of a plane when one of them, Alex Browning (Devon Sawa), has a premonition that the plane is about to blow up and expresses it loudly. Few minutes later, the plane does blow up. The survivors are then stalked by Death, who they've cheated, and killed off one by one. To cheat Death for a second time, the remaining students must figure out the pattern to the killings and complete the journey to their final destination.
There are some nice touches to this film, which is what makes it interesting and sometimes hilarious: the face of Death is never observed, which makes all the killings even more eerie; the use of Candyman Tony Todd to deliver a message about Death's design is clever; the image of the airplane exploding in the background as the students bicker disturbing given recent air crashes; John Denver singing Rocky Mountain High is morbidly amusing; and scenarios reminiscent of Goldberg devices are used to kill off the survivors, indicating that Death perhaps has a good sense of humour.
The pacing is extremely good, as is the level of suspense. Even though you know something's going to happen, it happens in a clever, unexpected, and horrific manner. The cast do a decent acting job, but it could've been better, especially when they ask existential questions about the nature of fate. Final Destination, a work of The X Files writers David Wong and Glen Morgan, is one of the more original and innovative slash-and-gore horror thrillers to come out in a long time. I highly recommend it.
I went into the first Final Destination film with low expectations, and came away pleasantly surprised, mainly for its ingenious death scenes. I wasn't sure how the first film's premise could be stretched into a second one, and so I didn't have high expectations for the sequel. Once again, I was pleasantly surprised.
The sequel features another set of people who narrowly miss an accident, thanks to a premonition by a teen. Like in the first film, death then goes after each one of them in highly imaginative killing sequences to finish its job. However, the set up for these people being killed involves the events that occurred in the first film.
The film's interconnectedness implications therefore are deep: In the first movie, death goes after the survivors of a plane crash which in turn causes people who should have died to not die. In other words, the deaths of those people in the first movie (as death was busy scheming of clever ways to kill them) interfere with the timing of the deaths of people in the second movie.
These people end up being targeted in the second film initially by a big disaster at a time when they'll be on the highway together. Since that's averted by our primary protagonist, death has to go after them again one by one. This process can go on until perpetuity, until death finds ways of killing these freak accident survivors without interfering in the deaths of anyone else. A second of contemplation would reveal that such a self-consistent arrangement is highly unlikely to come about in any complex situation, assuming that the first escape occurred randomly.
I'm not sure if that's a good thing, since it also means an arbitrary number of sequels. Still, this movie is at least worth a rental, and the death sequences, especially the ones that lead you on and on and on, are really good.