Fatality lurks around every ceiling fan, shampoo bottle, and espresso machine in the fourth entry in New Line Cinema’s improbably long-running death-by-misadventure franchise, focused on yet another group of friends who narrowly escape a catastrophic accident only to learn the hard way that when your number’s up, it really is up. The Grim Reaper seems to have taken a hit from the lean economic times, judging from The Final Destination’s el cheapo Canada-as-Anytown, USA, production values and sub-One Tree Hill cast; but as usual, all that is merely fuel for the series’ signature domino-effect death scenes, here rendered in shlock-o-riffic 3-D by director David R. Ellis (Final Destination 2, Snakes On a Plane), bringing all manner of bodily impalement and dismemberment as close as the butter on your popcorn. Ellis and screenwriter Eric Bress even go all meta on us with an Inglourious Basterds-esque finale set inside a 3D cinema, though their set-pieces never quite muster the giddy brio of Final Destination 1 and 3 auteur James Wong at his best. They come close, however, in what I’m fairly certain is the silver screen’s first episode of pool-drain disembowelment. And to think, people say there are no fresh ideas in Hollywood anymore.
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