ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  david r. ellis

RATED  -  r

GENRE  -  horror

LENGTH  -  90 minutes

RELEASED  -  31 january 2003

DISTRIBUTOR  -  new line cinema

OFFICIAL SITE  -  final destination 2

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $26,000,000
final destination 2 - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from final destination 2 at

buy the dvd from final destination 2 at

when kimberly has a violent premonition of a highway pileup she blocks the freeway, keeping a few others meant to die, safe... or are they?

the sanatorium that Clear places herself in is the same sanatorium used in the opening of halloween: resurrection.


picture from final destination 2

picture from final destination 2

picture from final destination 2


zero out of four possible stars

By the time Final Destination 2 reaches its conclusion, the audience will doubtlessly have spent the entire last half of the film thinking about nothing more than how the next person on death’s list will be killed, mangled, strangled, sliced, diced, or decapitated. Though this sequel has more energy to it than the first in what is surely to become a “series” of Destination films, the movie resembles any one of a million teen horror sequels with lots of gore, lots of death, and rather shoddy performances. Though an appropriate moniker for this film might be “anyone can die at any time,” meaning no one in the cast is safe enough in their character to make it to the end credits, the film still rolls along like any other horror film.

Frankly, it’s hard to really care whether a character will indeed make it to the very last frame. If one is content in amusing one’s self with the interesting ways the writers have thought up to kill various characters, the film might hold one’s interest for a while after the rather well done (actually, it’s very well done) opening accident sequence. But making it to the end of the one-hundred minute film with one’s interest in the script intact is not as sure a thing. The screenwriters have tried to twist a yarn about the philosophy involving “Death” and the idea that no one can hide from his or her fated time to die, but those ideas are really just placed in the film as plot markers, allowing the production to move on to the next gorier, more hideous death sequence.

Strangely, the opening of the film is a sequence that is worth seeing more than once, as it is quite impressive in its scope and look. But the way the film descends into well-known teen scream territory is too familiar a path for audience members wishing for more intelligence in the story. And if anything, the strange sense of humor present in the film is more baffling than funny, as it makes the ideas and psychology put forth in the plot seem less meaningful. In point of fact, the comedy in this film borders on the hilarious in certain scenes and even goes so far as to lessen the impact of the death scenes. Of which there are several.

The emphasis on CGI enhanced death scenes and a video game or MTV type sensibility in the editing makes this film a slicker ride than the first, but not a more intelligent one. And though the first film did have an iota of originality behind it, this film is simply a rehashing of that story with better effects and lamer dialogue. They try and tie the two films together with a few plot turns, but the whole excuse for the film to exist is so that the special effects department can bask in the glow of creativity. The death sequences had the most time spent on them by the production, much to the detriment of any effort placed on the screenplay.

The dialogue is just so badly written in spots that it becomes easy to laugh at what the characters say, even when a joke is not intended. And with the rather weak performances throughout the cast, one won’t lose sleep over the fortunes of these characters. The actors just had to look really scared until their death scene came up and then look suitably dead when whatever foreign object that crushed, decapitated, or sliced him or her to bits came about. For actors performing in a horror film, ability to present convincing drama is probably never an overriding concern, since looking wide-eyed and scared is an easy enough job for most people. (hence the cast contains few veterans and several low price-tags)

The idea that this film might appeal only to rabid fans of the horror genre might be a. One would be a fool to consider this film “high art,” as it was obviously not intended to be that type of film, but the filmmakers probably won’t lure in anyone to the theater who is not already a fan of this type of film or a fan of the first film. It is hard to say whether fans of the first film will enjoy the second as true fans of horror films tend to be quite picky about complimenting sequels, as their requirements tend to be higher than the general population.

But let’s face it: the IQ requirement for Final Destination 2 is not that high, and it was probably created in an unintelligent fashion on purpose. The film’s whole reason for existing is so that viewers can get a taste of hideously gory scenes filled with blood, intestines, and gray matter. While it might fall on deaf ears to say that films as violent as this, that have no historical or educational value (like a war film, for example) don’t represent the best Hollywood has to offer. No one should have to sit through a “lesson” every time one visits the theater, but completely unredeemable films like this won’t impress the majority of audiences. If you like blood, guts, and gore, this film is probably suitable for horror fans. If you don’t like extremely graphic horror, this film is not the film for you.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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