ITV2: Thursday 13 August, 10.45pm
Excited at the prospect of a school trip to France, New York teenager Devon Sawa is nonetheless bothered by a couple of chance remarks before he’s boarded the plane: his father tells him his whole life is ahead of him and the lady at the check-in remarks that the9.25pm flight departure corresponds to his birthday, September 25th. Hearing Rocky Mountain High on JFK’s muzak system is the clincher – John Denver died in a plane crash. A terrifying vision of Flight 180’s fate prompts Sawa to freak out, and he’s ordered off the aircraft with six other members of the school party. The plane duly explodes shortly after take-off and the distraught Sawa is considered with deep suspicion. The FBI takes a particular interest in his whereabouts when the people who disembarked begin to depart this mortal coil in a series of horrific deaths. The Grim Reaper’s grand design is exposed in an outrageously plotted, deeply disturbing teen horror flick filmed in an admirably straight-faced style. The first half-hour in particular deals with unusually distressing material for a mainstream Hollywood picture, but thereafter it reverts to more conventional teen fare. As Death comes calling for his lost souls, the elaborate staging of the victims’ unseemly ends assumes almost farcical Heath Robinson proportions. There is wit but not much humour, and a palpable atmosphere of panic exemplified by Shirley Walker’s terrific score, resonantly echoing Bernard Herrmann’s heavy work for Hitchcock. Walker’s mournfully eerie music powerfully suggests that life for these kids is a pre-ordained tragedy. Final Destination locks on to primal fears – premonition and superstition, destiny, dreams and death. Even the snooty critics were taken aback. Hokum, of course, they hemmed and hawed – but, blimey, it’s a bit intense, isn’t it? So’s the ingenious Final Destination 2. It resisted the temptation to pander, neither going for cheap shots nor soft-pedalling the original’s morbidly fatalistic philosophy. There were three more sequels to come but the original’s legacy survives.
|Other Showings||Date & Time|
|Film4||Saturday, 15 August at 11:25PM|
|ITV2||Tuesday, 18 August at 10:00PM|
|Film4||Saturday, 22 August at 2:25AM|