Final Destination 2 (2003)

You can't cheat death twice.
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Final Destination 2 - You can't cheat death twice.

The sequel to James Wong's Final Destination follows the same premise as the original with death itself stalking a group of people who narrowly escape a major traffic pile up with their lives intact due to a premonition. As the reaper tries to repair the rift in the death-time continuum each of the fortunate survivors of the accident become unfortunate victims of bizarre accidents. Although this time directed by David R. Ellis, Final Destination 2 still delivers the remarkable series of events leading up to the rightfully-dead individuals eventual "accidental" death, which is always a brutal and blood splattered demise. The tension build up preceding the inevitable splatter is awesome and the attention to detail as all of the potential hazards are revealed to the viewer allows the imagination to run riot predicting what the final cause of death will be.

Kimberly Corman (A.J. Cook) and her friends are venturing off for a fun filled vacation when she is struck by a premonition of a major traffic accident (a truly spectacular traffic accident which is fantastically choreographed). Recognising that they are approaching the road where the foreseen accident happens, Kimberly blocks the road and saves the lives of the victims in her vision. Whilst explaining to the traffic police why she has blocked the entrance to the motorway, Death's design starts to make amends for the accident not going to plan. A lesson learnt from the prequel is that Death does not approve of this kind of interference and the spared motorists are destined to die very soon, soonest being her friends as a truck ploughs into their vehicle killing them all.

Whilst in the police station, the victims in the premonition of the Highway 180 pile-up begin to discuss the similarities between Kimberly's vision and the vision that (temporarily) saved the passengers on flight 180. Finding the story a bit tough to swallow everybody goes their separate ways and plans on living a normal and nasty-accident free life, but with the unfortunate ladder-impalement of Evan as he tries to escape his burning flat after a few spots of bad luck, Kimberly decides to investigate the story a bit further.

Discovering that there are too many similarities to the flight 180 fiasco, Kimberly enlists the help of the sole survivor of the incident, Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), who is currently voluntarily vacationing in a padded cell. As the accident prone players in this charade begin to expire in increasingly fantastic and gruesome situations Kimberly and Clear believe they have found the loophole in Death's decree and attempt to save the day at any cost.

Final Destination 2 is a very worthy sequel to the first movie in the franchise and sticks with the indomitable formula but builds on it in a number of ways. Even though the story ventures into the ambit of fantasy a bit more than the first which dulls down the realism a little, the way the story ties in with the first is quite inspired as the intricacies of Death's design ripples from the first set of impermanent survivors to the current ones. The gore is knocked up a notch but remains totally believable within the realms of the story being told with a number of very memorable deaths that are all the more impressive due to the gore-speculation inspired by the build up to the inevitable.

As a creative addition to the slasher genre, Final Destination 2 returns to a more traditional horror movie with the emphasis being on splattering the established characters in creative ways cobbled together with a simple yet effective story. Definitely one of the more original and memorable slashers of the era with enough inventiveness and gore to appeal to those who are not usually fans of the genre.
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Categories: Slasher Movies
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