Giddily gruesome and perversely entertaining, Final Destination 3
proves, yet again, that horror franchises will thrive as long as teenagers keep finding spectacular ways to die. A stand-alone sequel to the first two Final Destination
thrillers, this one begins when a group of seven high-school graduates luckily escape from a deadly roller-coaster disaster, only to discover that their own deaths have been only temporarily avoided. Cute brunette Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) spots clues of impending doom in digital photos of her soon-to-be-expiring classmates, and an ill wind follows her everywhere, suggesting the presence of a supernatural force that makes her a catalyst for gory events, as each of her friends is dispatched in the order they were meant to die. Returning to give their brainchild a suspenseful, low-budget makeover, franchise creators and former X-Files
writers James Wong and Glen Morgan cleverly play on our collective fears (the roller coaster sequence is genuinely terrifying) with a knowing nod to violent urban legends, which explains their inclusion of the '70s hit "Love Roller Coaster" on the soundtrack when two stuck-up girlfriends pay an ill-fated visit to a tanning parlor. And that's just for starters: With Wong as director, FD3
serves up its grisly deaths with tight pacing and humor, and the cathartic carnage is discreetly edited yet gory enough to satisfy hardcore horror buffs. When morbid mayhem is this much fun, it's a safe bet that another sequel is just around the corner. --Jeff Shannon
In this third installment of the Final Destination
series, a student's premonition of a deadly rollercoaster ride saves her life and a lucky few, but not from death itself which seeks out those who escaped their fate.