Final Destination 2 (2003)

(In theaters, February 2003) Splatter fans should rejoice, because the most distinguish characteristic of this sequel to 2000’s creepy supernatural thriller isn’t the plot as much as the appalling disregard shown for the human body. In this version of reality, receiving a plate glass window pane on the head isn’t going to give you a fatal cerebral commotion; it’s going to liquefy your body in a mass of reddish organic material. Such gore is commonplace in this movie, which pushes the envelope of its hard-R rating to levels seldom seen nowadays. On one hand, I’m sort of glad to see that the film doesn’t wuss out. On another, even the jaded moviegoer that I am isn’t terribly compelled to encourage this gratuitous school of schlock cinematography. It doesn’t help that the story is a thin re-tread of the original. But whereas the previous film had a nasty little unnerving focus, this one feels looser and filled with nonsensical plot holes. (Why should a suicide attempt fail while another one succeeds?) The tone of the sequel may be more consistent compared to the first film’s shifting atmosphere, but there’s something distasteful in the Grand Guignol level of so-called humorous gore shown here. It’s even out-of place with the showcase sequence of the film, a horrific traffic accident that will make everyone’s teeth grit together for several continuous minutes: There are plenty of spectacular explosions and crashes, but scarcely any enjoyment in seeing dozen of people being graphically dismembered. Oh well; at least the movie kills off some unexpected victims. This is one for the gore fans; you know who you are. I don’t think we need a third film, though.

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