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Final Destination  (2000)

Cast: Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith, Kristen Cloke, Chad Donella, Seann William Scott, Tony Todd
Director: James Wong
U.S. Distribution: New Line
U.S. Release Date: 3/17/00
Running Time: 1:37
MPAA Rating: R

This movie would have been a great episode of "The X-Files". To be sure, my main reason for wanting to see Final Destination is the fact that it was co-written by a couple of "X-Files" vets - James Wong and Glen Morgan (with Jeffrey Reddick). Just when it looks as though it could turn into yet another disappointing teen slasher flick like Urban Legend or I Know What You Did Last Summer, Wong (who also directed) keeps the thrills coming, crafting a competent and mostly-entertaining film.

In the unsettling opening sequence, Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) has a horrific premonition of a plane exploding shortly after takeoff killing everyone on board. He awakens to find himself strapped in with his high school French class and awaiting takeoff for Paris. Alex panics and is physically removed from the plane along with five classmates and a teacher, whose disappointment turns to disbelief upon witnessing the fiery end of Flight 180 from an airport holding area.

All attention turns to Alex, including that of the FBI who wants to know how the boy could have known about the crash before it happened. What he soon realizes is that he and his fellow "survivors" have only momentarily cheated "death". Not the black-robed skeleton with a scythe, but rather as an unseen force that is far more interesting and scary than anything the filmmakers could have shown us. (Think: Blair Witch.)

My main fault with Final Destination is that the ending seems more than a little patched together. I am also left wondering what purpose Tony Todd (Candyman) serves, if any?

While the future of "The X-Files" is uncertain, Wong and Morgan will undoubtably be green-lighted to bring more tales of terror to the big screen. I, for one, am hoping for a feature-length movie continuing the story of the inbreeding Peacock family, first (and last) seen in my all-time favorite "X-Files" episode ("Home"). Call me a dreamer.

© 2000, Delton Perrodin

"Best Horror Film" of 2000

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