A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this 3D horror movie is full of bloody, bleak, and violent deaths -- including dismemberment, disembowelment, explosions, impalements, brutal mutilations, crushing blows, and more. Although we rated earlier entries in the franchise differently, the nature of 3D makes the violence here so much more brutal and intense that we don’t recommend this movie for any kids. There's also a sex scene with nudity, plenty of strong language (including "f--k" and "s--t"), and some drinking and smoking.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
As in previous Final Destination films, THE FINAL DESTINATION begins with a vision, as Nick (Bobby Campo) joins his friends at an auto race and has a premonition of a horrible disaster that kills his friends and others. Snapping back to the present, Nick freaks out and gets his friends and some of the surrounding people to leave, meaning that they're saved when a crash does end up sending flaming debris flying into the stands. Spared, the group reflects on their good fortune -- and then start dying, one by one. Death, it seems, has a to-do list. ...
Is it any good?
Even with 3D making for a unique viewing experience, the fact is that The Final Destination is a fairly dull affair. And the gloss of spilled blood can't make up for the dreary tedium of the film's central pitch: If death is coming, and unavoidable, then watching these films mostly involves waiting for people to die, with no hope of their salvation. The actors are all adequate -- although one-time Oscar nominee Mykelti Williamson is far better than this material.
Director David R. Ellis knows what the fans of this series expect, and he doesn't fail to deliver the bloody accidents and deadly blows of the franchise. But he doesn't deliver anything else -- character development that would make us care about the people being killed, for instance, or twists in the narrative other than wondering when the next victim will die and how ... which is intermittently amusing, but not a foundation for a film, especially one we've seen three times before. At the very least, the 3D gimmick makes The Final Destination pop a little more than a conventional part four, but even the guts and gore leaping off the screen can't make up for the way The Final Destination's story just lies there.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the recent rise in 3D films. Is this a new way to return to the excitement of going to the theater in the age of fancy home theaters, or just a gimmick that's being exploited?
How does the 3D affect the impact of the movie's gory, grisly murder scenes and other violence?
What's your opinion of the nature of fate, chance, and bad luck? What, if anything, can be done to avoid the random chance of death that fills life's every corner?
- In theaters: August 28, 2009
- On DVD or streaming: January 5, 2010
- Cast: Bobby Campo, Nick Zano, Shantel VanSasten
- Director: David R. Ellis
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 82 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violent/gruesome accidents, language and a scene of sexuality
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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