Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema invited JoBlo.com/Arrow in the Head to check out some footage from their upcoming release FINAL DESTINATION 5 3D at San Diego Comic Con, and I was the lucky sucker tasked to do the checking out. And when I say lucky, I mean it, because this was surprisingly fantastic.
(The footage was screened inside of a giant trailer, which was actually a mini-movie theater. Hats off to them just for that.)
The presentation began with a short trailer that highlighted some of the gorier deaths from the previous films. A sizzle reel of horror, amplified by some fairly cool 3D blood splatter. This led into the sneak of the new film; if you've been paying attention to the trailers for the flick, you know that its big set piece involves the collapse of a bridge. This is the sequence I was shown. As in the other films, our main protagonist (in this case Nicolas D'Agosto) has a vision of a tragic event that causes the death of a huge amount of people - including himself. We've seen the plane explosion of the first film, the impressive highway mayhem of the second, the roller-coaster horror of the third film and the race-car track pile-up in part four, but this is easily the best, most grandiose action-horror sequence of the series.
Our hero sits in the back of a bus with a few of his friends while construction work holds up traffic on the bridge. After a moment, the bridge starts to crack apart, and before you know it, it's splitting into pieces, sending cars and people plummeting to the chilly water below. I don't want to spoil all of the deaths for you, but I will say that there's an amazing impalement, a startling death via hot tar melting, a graphic eyeball-gouging, an epic plummet into the water, and so much more. Not kidding when I say that all of this looked great.
"What about the 3D?" you ask. The 3D was genuinely terrific. I've grown to hate the format, but this crew knows what they're doing. (They shot in 3D, and the director was James Cameron's 2nd Unit Director on Avatar.) It's not disorienting, it's well shot and the tension and excitement of the sequence is for real.
After the footage (which lasted approximately 5 minutes) I was able to have a brief chat with one of the film's stars, Tony Todd, who stars as "Bludworth". Todd sat out the last two films (contractual reasons, he says) but he seemed quite happy to be involved with this one. However, he was unable to clear up for me exactly who Bludworth is, which has always been something of a mystery in these films. "I know he's not death," Todd said. "I asked the executive producer Craig Perry once, and either he doesn't know or he didn't bother to ask, or he doesn't know. But we have never defined it. But he knows something he's not supposed to know."
"I just hope when they're ready to be done with it, they do resolve it. That would be complete for me."
He also let me know that, unsurprisingly, there's room for yet another FINAL DESTINATION. "I was just talking to the head of New Line, and we have a magic number that we want to achieve with this one. So if we hit it, onward and upward."
Considering these movies have been consistent successes at the box office (the last one made $186 million worldwide ), it's not a stretch to imagine that the "magic number" will certainly be hit.
The great Tony Todd and some weirdo.