Final Destination 3 (2006)
PLOT - A young girl has a terrifying vision right before going on a rollercoaster for her school's senior night. In a complete panic, she breaks down claiming the coaster is going to crash killing everyone on board. After a scuffle, several students walk off only to watch a fatal accident happen moments later claiming some of their friend's life's. Distraught after losing her boyfriend, the girl attempt to move on after graduation only to notice photos she took the night of the accident. Feeling there are hidden clues in these photos, she sees that each snapshot shows how the survivors will die.
LOWDOWN - I have a newfound love for Final Destination 3 after catching it on TV earlier this month. This movie was a big film that was released when I was a senior in high school. In fact I'll never forget how the following weekend after watching this at the movies, a bunch of friends of mine gathered at lunch to talk about the brutal and gory deaths that graced the silver screen. I remember I was a pretty big fan of the original Final Destination. I rented it several times, and really liked the overall idea about escaping death and it coming back ten fold. The deaths were uncomfortable, and of course the ending shot left a lasting impression with me. What I liked about this movie was the fact that it was somewhat realistic. No matter how over the top these deaths were, they could actually happen. I'll never forget how loudly I screamed when the computer screen exploded and pieces of glass went into the teacher's throat. Holllyyyyy shitttt. I believe it or not was never a big fan of the sequel, and even borrowed it from a friend of mine. Sure the deaths were even more over the top, and I'm sure I'm speaking for everyone about never wanting to drive behind an 18 wheeler with logs on it, but I felt it was a pretty weak follow up to such a strong movie. The fact 911 took place just a few years after the first movie will forever make me uneasy whenever the students watch the plane explode in the distance.
When part 3 was released it was in the winter of 2006 I believe. In true horror history, the third film is typically always a strong point in a series. Besides the Saw movies, this was sorta a modern day slasher for my generation. This is the Final Destination if Final Destination was made in the 80's. With James Wong and Glen Morgan behind the wheel, they had the makers of the original come back and really put a solid effort into this sequel. I have always adored Wong and Morgan's work (The Others TV series, The X-files, and Willard) these were creepy pieces of work that actually felt like living breathing pieces of work. Almost like Tim Burton before his movies started to suck. These guys decided to kick things up with instead of talking about plane crashes or car accidents, but something almost every teen does.
A trip to an amusement park.
For most a trip to a theme park or amusement park is fun, but these traveling parks that come into town aren't exactly the safest places to go. I myself have always been fascinated by theme park accidents (Sick I know.) I love the mini doc about Action Park, or reading up on accidental deaths at parks, mostly involving the rides. I myself as a kid loved going to a local theme park in NH. I was never a huge rollercoaster fan, but always loved the horrible feeling of terror and excitement waiting in line. How nothing seemed safe, and how the nervous pit in my stomach seemed horrible as we slowly climbed the first hill. That first drop always got me and of course once it was over, like any amazing high I wanted to go again. I used to feel this sort of scary excitement was the same I shared before renting a super scary movie as a kid. Due to my balance being off, and my motion sickness being a complete bastard, I haven't gone on ANY amusement park rides in over 10 + years. I simply just don't see the fun. Amusement parks and rollercoasters always used to be something I liked when I was younger, and felt this being the main source of the accident in this movie perfectly lining up since I was these characters' ages when the movie took place. This was something that really could have happened and hit home.
Of course I'm a sucker for any movie that takes place in a amusement park (Ghoulies II, The Funhouse, Rollercoaster, ect.) These show a place where it's supposed to be all fun and games but there's always this settle feeling of unease lurking in the shadows. Always loved the faint sound of screams coming from the rides, mostly the rollercoaster. I have always felt these screams sound terrified instead of screams of excitement. Even if the amusement park is only shown in the opening of the film, it plays a very important role in the rest of the film. Here we meet a group of young teens on the verge of starting the rest of their life's. At that age it's a very exciting and terrifying time in life. You are about to leave high school and everything you know. You are about to start either college or start a job with you're future for the first time not exactly certain. This is the first step of adulthood and to be sorta morbid...first step in death.
The casting was on it's A game with this movie. You always want to root for characters you feel are likable and having Ms. Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Wendy the lead was PERFECT casting. This was Mary's break-out role. She went on to star in such films like Death Proof, The Thing, Scott Pilgrim, Black X-Mas, and 10 Cloverfield Lane. She's one of my favorite actresses and I really wish she would someday start doing cons. I love how she's this dark haired, beautiful girl with big doe eyes. Legit love everything this girl is in.
We also get the likable Ryan Merriman (I remember a Disney movie where he turned into a mermaid...anyone remember this?) and Kris Lemche from Ginger Snaps. These guys were great in their roles, with a pretty impressive supporting cast. It's hard to find a teen movie with characters you actually don't want to see get killed off. Every single one of these guys did an amazing job!
The biggest thing I LOVED about this movie was the cinematography. The brilliant use the red and blue throughout this movie always caught my eye. This little attention to detail made it visual eye candy for me. I love how this movie takes place around the 4th of July, and it's always such fun to see the attention to detail in every single scene. This is a film I would love to breakdown over the use of color. It's seriously in every single inch of this movie and I love it. I just recently bought this on blu-ray and it's beyond breathtaking.
The rollercoaster scene is by far one of the biggest highlights. If you ever buy the SE DVD (which has a pretty clever choose your own fate option, sorta like a choose your own adventure, letting the viewer decide what happens in each scene.) there's a cool behind the scenes doc which shows how much time and work went into filming this scene. The cast had to ride the built coaster for the film 27+ times. Man oh man. When you re-watch the coaster scene after seeing how much time and work goes into it, the scene truly still holds up and will forever made me uneasy every time I see one.
The deaths of course are at the most brutal and unforgiven in this movie. With maybe besides one, that was a little too CGI for my taste, the rest are beyond uncomfortable. I love the tanning bed ones. My friend Dylan I went to school with re-did the tanning booth death and it came out amazing. This is another thing I love about this movie. Ten years ago tanning was super cool, I must admit I even did it. These deaths are by far the best in the series, and will forever make me cringe. The second best death is the nail gun scene. That entire hardware scene had me on the edge of my seat with my stomach in knots. The pacing is perfect, and the payoff is amazing. I planned on trying to do a makeup based off this death, and still do this day would love to. I still can't believe they used a dummy for this scene. Beyond amazing, and Lemche's heartbreaking scream always sells it.
The final act really truly does feel like a modern Hitchcock scene with Lemche's character coming for Winstead with the fireworks going off. I love his line as he points "It's you Wendy! You're dead!" Great effects that still hold up to this day. With the last scene, showing how heartless and brutal this series is, I will forever love Tommy Lee's cover of Love Train and think of this movie whenever I hear it. Funny enough I found my old MP3 player of 2006 (which still worked) and Love Train was on it. What can I say? I loved this movie.
This is a film I have great memories watching with friends and family, and sadly as amusing as I found part 4 and 5 (mostly the ending of part 5) they just didn't seem to have the heart part 3 had. Just recently I discovered my love for this movie and rake it as one of the best horror movies to come out of the 2000's. It's a movie that I can't believe is actually ten years old, and reminds me of when I was a teenager. By far in my top 20 favorites of all time. Just this month I tracked down a KILLER poster signed by the entire cast which now hangs proudly in my bedroom.
So happy 10th FD3 you were seriously one of the best third films ever made!!!