With one of the scariest airplane crashes ever set to celluloid, "Final Destination" never stood a chance of being sold as an in-flight movie. Sawa and a group of homeboys (and two girls) are psyched to be going to Europe together. But when Sawa freaks out just before the plane takes off, claiming he had a vision of the craft crashing, his friends follow him out into the airport, assuming he's crazy.
Naturally, the plane does crash. It isn't long before the teens find themselves dying one by one from strange, seemingly supernatural causes. The deaths are a bit reminiscent of what we saw in the "Omen" series -- freak accidents that only a paranoid could dream up. After a discussion with undertaker Tony Todd ("Candyman"), who isn't in this movie nearly long enough, Sawa comes to the conclusion that fate is killing off his friends in the same order they would have died on the plane, had they stayed aboard. The deaths are very creatively designed and supremely executed by director Wong. I won't spoil them for you by describing them here.
Like "Scream," "Final Destination" is a slick teen horror film, safe enough for these politically correct times (little gore, no naked babes) while freaky enough to scare up a storm at suburban cineplexes. The movie was a big hit and, at the time of this writing, sequels were already in the planning stages. "Destination" tackles the oldest fear in the book -- death -- in a direct and creative way.
Still, it's a little too slick. While "Scream" had high production values and beautiful actors, it still had a Craven-esque edginess that qualified it as a disturbing movie. There were moments that reminded one of "Last House on the Left" in that film. Not so in "Final Destination." It's all style, no guts. Still, it's a fun ride and in a year that didn't see much quality horror product, it was a welcome addition to the genre.