*It’s baaaack. One of the scariest horror franchises returns with its blockbuster fifth installment, “Final Destination 5.”
This summer popcorn flick and Warner Bros./New Line Cinema release is a nail biting, bone shattering 90 minutes where our young protagonists cheat death once again, only to be stalked and picked off one by one in some of the most spectacular death scenes ever filmed.
“Final Destination 5” in 3D will no doubt thrill you, chill you and even elicit a laugh or two.
This time around, unsuspecting co-workers are bussing their way to an employee retreat. But as the bus slows on a suspension bridge, the protagonist Sam Lawton (Nicholas D’Agosto) has a premonition that the bridge is about to crumble, toppling pedestrians, cars and trucks into a watery grave below.
Minutes later, Sam frantically urges everyone to escape the bus. Just as he predicted, the bridge collapses, causing disaster and death in its wake. Everyone is saved – or so it seems.
“Death doesn’t like to be cheated,” intones Tony Todd’s character, Bludworth the coroner after the funeral for the unlucky souls who perished. (Todd, makes his fifth appearance in the Final Destination franchise.)
And what follows is unrelenting bloody mayhem as each protagonist meets their demise in gruesome and shocking ways (how about getting bludgeoned by hot oil, metal hook, fires, acupuncture, electrical blowout or Lasik machine – take your pick)
“I think watching the movie is a very cathartic thing,” declared Todd, (“Candyman,” “Hatchett II”) who portrays the mysterious coroner (William Bludworth) in the film. “Having fortunately been in five of these wonderful movies, it’s like people (watching the film) go on a roller coaster ride. It’s a slow climb to the top and all of a sudden, you’re in this car and you’re screaming and you can’t get out. There are thrills of joy. It sort of makes people feel childlike, I think. People want to be tickled.”
Todd is one of three African American actors featured in the film, with Courtney B. Vance and newcomer Arlen Escarpeta rounding out the cast. Their savvy portrayals deftly disprove the long-held myth that “brothas” are the first to get “chopped up” in horror flicks.
Todd, whose cryptic and mysterious character brings a sense of gravity to the unrelenting bloodbath, said that fans question him all the time about his recurring character.
“They ask, ‘Who is this guy-is he the Grim Reaper? Is he the Angel of Death? But he’s none of these things,” insisted Todd. “When I first got the script, I made a choice–and one day that choice will be revealed.”
Vance, who plays FBI agent Block, said that “Final Destination 5” was his first foray into the horror genre.
“I’m not a horror film guy,” he confessed. “I just wanted to work with Steve (director Steven Quale, making his major feature film directorial debut). I didn’t know anything about the genre. I read the script and I was screaming and yelling. I didn’t know anything, but I trusted Steve. He’s such a nice guy and we all wanted to help him.”
Vance said that after reading one over-the-top death scene after another in the script, he felt his on-camera demise lacked pizzazz (his character gets killed by routine gunfire). “I was upset when I saw how I died. I felt bad,” said Vance. “I was asking, ‘Why does my death have to be so boring?”
Vance added that the gory special effects really touched audiences. “It’s beautiful that people are screaming (during the movie),” he observed. Vance added that his actress wife, Angela Bassett, was affected by the film early on. “My wife was screaming. She didn’t expect to be that involved,” he chuckled.
Actress Emma Bell, who portrays Molly Harper, said that the young “Final Destination 5” cast were really supportive of each other-especially while filming the death scenes. “It was like, ‘Oh, man, your death scene is the best. No, your death scene is the best. That’s what the film was about-dying in the most horrific way. As an actor, you really want to claim that trophy.”
D’Agosto added, “There are a couple of twists in the movie. We had an amazing time.”
Todd, who holds a master’s degree in writing, said the “Final Destination 5” deserved major ‘props’ for its special effects.
“‘Final Destination 5’ is as good as the first one, I think,” he observed. “The first ‘Final Destination’ movie was groundbreaking. I’m really shocked that people are still coming to watch this whole game of death that we play and I’m sure that there’ll be a marathon of the Final Destination franchise on TNT soon.”
“Final Destination 5” is playing in theaters now. For more info go here.