Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Final Destination (*); Halloween II (*)

The Final Destination 3D. 82 mins. R. Directed by David R. Ellis. Written by Eric Bress. Starring Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano, Haley Webb, and Mykelti Williamson.

Until now, I've been a fan of the Final Destination series. Not so much horror movies as they are grotesque comedies, the first three films offered true guilty pleasures. The highway sequence at the beginning of Final Destination 2 is a particular standout in the series, and if you've never seen it, I would recommend checking it out, even if you are not a fan of horror. But this new one should be avoided at all costs. Eschewing the "4" in its title, and going the "Fast and Furious" route, The Final Destination is the nail in the coffin of the series. It is a creatively bankrupt entry, with one thing to offer audiences: death in 3D and even then, the 3D is far from impressive. My Bloody Valentine from earlier this year utilized the technique to much better effect. The only thing that distinguishes this new Final Destination from the others is the race track sequence that opens the film. Otherwise, the plot is the same: a group of folks escape death at the beginning of the movie, and are later picked off one by one in intricate, insane ways. The first movie featured Ali Larter and Sean William Scott, among others, but as the series has progressed, the cast has turned to mostly unknowns, and this latest cast is probably the least talented of all. It's almost as if all the good young actors have been taken, and we're now stuck with the leftover crap. Same goes for the unimaginative death sequences - none fail to register and they are saddled with terrible special effects that scream CGI just so the filmmakers can do something with the 3D technology. The end is particularly egregious, where three big deaths are shown using CGI X-ray skeletons rather than actual actors and practical effects. Did they just run out of money at that point? Hard to say, but it's doubtful that you'll stick around long enough to care. After all, having seen this, you've just wasted your own money.

Halloween II. 105 mins. Written and Directed by Rob Zombie. Starring Scout Taylor-Compton, Sherri Moon Zombie, Brad Dourif, Tyler Mane, and Malcom McDowell.

After sitting through the idiotic The Final Destination, I went straight into Halloween II, hoping for a real horror movie. At first, it appears Rob Zombie might have delivered. Halloween II jars its audience into shock with gory images of the damage inflicted on several of Michael Myers' victims from the previous outing. But Zombie doesn't have anything to offer after that aside from some brutal repeated stabbings, all rendered in bone-crunchingly detailed sound. Zombie is a semi-talented director, and I think he has a great movie in him somewhere, but this sure isn't it. Halloween II is as ugly, unpleasant, and downright repellant as movies get. None of the characters are likeable - particularly the actress who has taken over the Jaime Lee Curtis role (Scout Tyler-Compton). Compton is so annoying and screechy in the role that you just wish Myers would kill her and get it over with. But no, she's the one who has to live through the whole thing. Remember when Drag Me to Hell proved that horror movies could be fun again? Halloween II is the antithesis of that. It is not fun. Nor is it scary, exciting, or interesting. Zombie tries to throw in some psychological elements - a dreamy white horse(!) - but it doesn't add anything to the movie. Halloween II (the ninth in the series) is utterly pointless and unnecessary. I didn't think it could get worse than The Final Destination that night. I was wrong.



Post a Comment

<< Home