Wednesday, June 28, 2006

MLM: Final Destination 

It’s something I’ve talked about before: The killer in slasher films as anthropomorphized death, a relentless force of pursuit and punishment given physical form and supplied with a back story straight out of urban legend. And these killers always obey rules. Freddy only attacks kids in their nightmares. Jason (for the most part) sticks to Camp Crystal Lake. Michael Myers has it in for Jamie Lee Curtis. The Tall Man from Phantasm pretty much just wants you to stay out of his mortuary. Even Norman Bates can be avoided, provided you aren’t blonde or just choose not to stop at his out-of-the-way hotel. Oh, and don’t pick up hitchhikers in Texas.

They’re containable threats, in other words. Dangerous but not too dangerous, and safely locked away in the realm of Not My Problem.

But what if death itself were after you? Not a grim reaper, not a ghoul in a hockey mask, but the actual force of nature, coming to collect what it’s owed? It’s no longer Not Your Problem; it’s Everyone’s Problem, and now yours specifically. Good luck fighting the inevitable.

This is the compelling idea that drives Final Destination, a film that could be called the last word in the slasher genre.

A class of high schoolers boards a plane to go to Paris. They take off… almost. One of the more spectacularly filmed sequences in recent movies is given to show us just what dying in an airplane crash/explosion would be like, and we’re left wondering – well, holy shit, where do we go from here?


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