Does clever writing a horror movie make?
I think it does. And if you do too, then set your GPS for "Final Destination 5," one of the best of the dark-humored, grisly components in the franchise about people meeting their demise in bizarre ways. While it's true most of the acting is nothing memorable, the set-ups for the "final destinations" are interesting and, with the addition of great 3D effects, really disgusting.
Do I need to say you shouldn't even think about taking children within 10 feet of this? Just in case, there it is. This is R-rated for good reasons that include violence and gore.
If you're not familiar with this series I can't imagine why you'd start with this one. The premise is that if you avoid death because someone has a premonition about a fatal catastrophe, then you eventually be claimed by the Grim Reaper ... it's just a matter of (not much) time.
In this one, Nicholas D'Agosto (television's "Heroes") stars as Sam, who is among the passengers on a bus that is taking the paper company employees to a business retreat. Sam has a vision of his colleagues dying as the bus becomes part of a cataclysmic series of accidents.
Several people think Sam is off his rocker when he begins to beg people to leave the bus. Several of them, though, do follow him off the vehicle and manage to reach safety when the bizarre incident unfolds just as Sam predicted (but from a different angle, which is pretty cool for the audience).
An investigator (Courtney B. Vance) isn't sure how Sam knew what was coming. But Tony Todd, as the omnipresent medical examiner, knows exactly what's going on, and he warns Sam that death doesn't like to be cheated.
One by one, those who escaped the first accident fall victims to ever-more-horrifying situations. I won't go into the details of how each person dies, but I can tell you that the circumstances are founded in scenes that are nothing out of the ordinary - that's why they're so deliciously blood-chilling.
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The effective 3D adds to the gruesome visuals - impaled entrails, anyone? - that will leave you gasping.
The show ends with a deadly montage and brief but intense words of warning uttered by Todd that would make this an ideal finale to the franchise.
Still, it's anybody's guess whether a sixth installment is on the way. These days, any franchise can be resurrected.