Final Destination

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Details At A Glance

Category Horror Menu Audio and Animation
Scene Selection Audio and Animation
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer - 1.78:1, 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0 
Featurette - The Perfect Soufflé: Testing Final Destination (13:22)
Featurette - Pam Coronado: Intuitive Investigator (19:38)
Biographies - Cast and Crew
Audio Commentary - James Wong (Director), Glen Morgan (Writer/Producer), James Coblentz (Editor) and Jeffrey Reddick (Writer)
Game - Your Psychic Eye
Game - Death Clock
Dolby Digital Trailer - Rain
DVD Credits
Year Released 2000
Running Time 93:57 minutes
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (75:07)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director James Wong
New Line Cinema
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Devon Sawa
Ali Larter
Kerr Smith 
Tony Todd
Kristen Cloke
Case Transparent Brackley
RPI $34.95 Music Shirley Walker

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    The past decade has seen an almost endless parade of decidedly B-grade, or worse, teen slasher films that have broadly given the horror genre a rather bad name, mainly as they merely just ripped each other off. Many of them have thankfully mostly disappeared without trace, but more than a few have actually made a name for themselves, and have regrettably already made it out onto DVD. So where in the grand scheme of things does Final Destination fall? Well, if you listen to the audio commentary, the crew responsible would have you believe that this is going to rejuvenate an ailing genre with its fresh ideas...which possibly indicates that some form of test for artificial stimulants should be administered on people before they record an audio commentary. I will give you the tip - this is no classic and is yet another B-grade horror flick endowed with A-grade production values that barely sustains one view of the film. It certainly is nowhere near the shot in the arm that the teenage horror film needs to rise out of the garbage. The hope is that Final Destination will not spawn a whole succession of copycat films, and if you really want to try and sustain one view, please make sure that you watch the feature first - the extras give everything about the film away.

    The story is exceedingly simple: what if you cheated Death and Death is not too happy about it? The class of Mt Abraham High School is embarking upon its school outing - to Paris, France. After boarding the Boeing 747 for the journey to Paris, Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) has something of a premonition about the flight. After creating a disturbance, he and some of his classmates, as well as one teacher, are removed from the plane. As Alex, Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), Carter Horton (Kerr Smith), Todd Waggner (Chad E. Donella), Terry Chaney (Amanda Detmer), Billy Hitchcock (Seann William Scott) and Valerie Lewton (Kristen Cloke) sit in the gate departure lounge, their flight departs - and promptly explodes, killing all on board, and so begins something of an ordeal, as Alex invokes fear in some and suspicion in others, most especially the FBI who are investigating the possibility of the explosion being an act of crime - not unlikely considering that seven people manage to get taken off the plane just before the disaster. However, the seven have undoubtedly cheated Death, and Death wants to balance the ledger, so they have bigger problems to worry about than the FBI. And Death surely does come calling in some rather bizarre ways, as well as some rather bloody ways. Eventually Alex works out Death's design and knows who is destined to die.

   True fans of the horror genre will probably pick up on the meaning of the names of the characters, and that is about the cleverest part of the whole show. The story is nothing much to write home about, and to be honest the scares here are first time only deals - especially as they are in general the most utterly contrived efforts I have seen for a long while. After you have seen the film, you will probably see what I mean. However, the cast here is up to the task of the riveting stuff they are blessed with interpreting. To be honest, the only reason I stuck up my hand to review this film was the presence of Ali Larter and Kristen Cloke, and they do a pretty fair job. However, there is certainly nothing here that is liable to be confused with Oscar-winning stuff. Amongst the male cast, Devon Sawa sometimes gives the impression of being missing in action, with the rest being competent at best. Director James Wong has done an adequate enough job overall, but there is nothing here that one could call remotely memorable.

   If you are into B-grade horror flicks, then this is another one to add to the rather large pile available in Region 4. However, the rest of us will probably find nothing much here to entertain and in general I would stick this one into the rental only category.

Transfer Quality


    The film may be decidedly B-grade but once again Village Roadshow have come up with an A-grade transfer that is marred by only a few rather minor problems. Interestingly, this effort is authored and mastered in the Czech Republic by Sonopress.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is, naturally enough from Roadshow Home Entertainment, 16x9 enhanced.

    There is not much of a story to tell about the broad transfer. Generally very sharp throughout, without resorting to edge enhancement, this is a very nicely detailed transfer indeed. Even in those numerous scenes that are inevitably filmed at night - what horror flick could survive without the fear of the night? - there is plenty of detail in all but one scene (the walk into the beach by Clear), which was just a little too dark. Shadow detail is just a little restrained owing to the night time shots, but otherwise is better than good throughout. This is a very clear transfer and there is no problem with grain at all here. There is also no low level noise in the transfer.

    There is also nothing much wrong with the colours either and they come up very well with a nice degree of vibrancy where it was required. The overall palette is quite believable. There is no problem with oversaturation here at all, and colour bleed is not an issue.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, apart from what looked to be a slight loss of resolution on a pan shot at 81:14. Regrettably the transfer is blessed with a minor problem with aliasing that is most noticeable in some of the clothing worn by Alex - just check out the zipper at around the 44:00 mark. The overall problem is very minor and apart from this noticeable instance, there is nothing overly distracting about the problem. Whilst this is generally a clean transfer that is free from film artefacts, there is a rather large and noticeably ugly hair mark at 42:21.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD and the layer change comes at 75:07 which is right at a scene change and is barely noticeable, and not at all disruptive to the film.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are three soundtracks on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and an English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. I listened to both the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and the English Audio Commentary.

    The dialogue comes up well and is clear and easy to understand through out the transfer. There did not seem to be any issue with audio sync here at all.

    The original music score is from Shirley Walker and is a better than acceptable effort that is perhaps a little too good for this film. Whilst it uses the odd cliché, there is certainly enough here to elevate the score above the norm for the genre at the moment.

    Another sterling job has been done with this soundtrack and there is little to worry about here at all. The sound is nice and open, with a very believable soundscape. Whilst I would have personally preferred a little more action out of the surround channels, especially the rears, what use is here does the job very well. The bass channel gets a decent workout, and is given plenty of opportunity to do so.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    And another sterling job too from Roadshow Home Entertainment in the extras department. Whilst I would personally would have
preferred a slightly more readable font in the menus, their presentation is very different.


    As usual, Roadshow Home Entertainment has come up with something a little different and apart from my personal quibble about the font, these are certainly quite effective. As usual, they are 16x9 enhanced and come with quite extensive audio and animation. One thing to note - there are a few different menu animations here and the different ones can be found by selecting the little New Line logo on the main menu. I have not quite worked out how many and how they are all accessed, but it looks to me to be four different menu animations that come up at random when the menu button is pressed or the New Line logo is selected.

Deleted Scenes (7:49)

    Although the commentary would indicate that there are others, there are three on the DVD comprising the alternate love scene, the pregnancy test and the alternate ending. All are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, are 16x9 enhanced and come with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The quality is very high, as these were scenes deleted from the film after the test showings, so were pretty much completed. I thought that the general thrust of the scenes would have provided a more meaningful finish to the film, but then again I am slightly outside of the target audience.

Theatrical Trailer (2:02)

    Another typical example of modern promotion that gives away a fair chunk of the film. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, it is 16x9 enhanced and has what my player says is a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded soundtrack. For the life of me it sounds like a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and there is bass channel action.

Featurette - The Perfect Soufflé: Testing Final Destination (13:22)

    Quite why this is shown on the menu as "Interviews with Executives", I do not know for this is much, much more. This is a fascinating look into the testing procedures employed for this film in particular, and films in general - a topic I have not seen covered before on a DVD. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, it is 16x9 enhanced and has Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Something quite different and possibly unique (certainly in my experience), this is one of the most essential extras I have seen on a DVD for a while.

Featurette - Pam Coronado: Intuitive Investigator (19:38)

    This one is shown on the menu as "Featurette on Premonitions". What it actually is is an interview with a lady with enhanced psychic ability who has been used in cases in the United States to track down missing persons, usually victims of crime. She seems to be able to dream of events and under hypnosis provides the details used to track down the person. Whilst it has little to do with the film, other than the psychic premonition thingy, it is an interesting enough piece. I would hardly consider it an essential inclusion though. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, it is 16x9 enhanced and has Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Biographies - Cast and Crew

    The obligatory shortish and not necessarily complete bios for the main cast and the director.

Audio Commentary - James Wong (Director), Glen Morgan (Writer/Producer), James Coblentz (Editor) and James Reddick (Writer)

    This would seem to be an edited effort comprising two separate recordings. Whilst there are some useful insights here, and plenty of things that you will miss in the film are explained, I found this to drag just a little at times. Some of the edited commentary was obviously not specific to the on screen action. By no means the worst that I have ever heard, but neither is it the best I have ever heard, and the fact that they seem to think that they made a classic does not help either.

Game - Psychic Eye

    This comprises the equivalent of twenty five flash cards and you have to pick the correct symbol. You select the symbol you believe is the correct one, it tells you whether you are right or wrong, and at the end of the twenty five "questions" your score is given. If you get ten correct or better you are supposed to have some form of heightened psychic ability. If you cannot guess five, then you are probably a statistical anomaly. Hardly something to rave over.

Game - Death Clock

    This comprises a series of questions that are used to predict when you are going to die. The DVD confidently predicts that on the basis of my lousy health, my being overweight, my family history of cancer, heart disease and the like, my very inactive lifestyle, my predilection for junk food and the fact that I smoked but quit, I shall live until precisely 8.50 p.m. on 31st October, 2038. Since that would probably make me the longest lived male member ever in my family, I think we can certainly say that this is not something to be relied upon at all - and I have plenty of medical evidence to back up that certainty (as well as a strong belief in voluntary euthanasia).

Dolby Digital Trailer - Rain

DVD Credits

R4 vs R1

    Well, according to the one review I could find of the Region 1 version of the film, the Region 4 release misses out on:     The Region 1 release appears to miss out on:     As good a job as Roadshow Home Entertainment has done on the overall package, I would have to say that the missing audio commentary and isolated music score would place the balance of favour for the Region 1 release - especially as the DVD seems to have the usual excellent quality video and audio transfer from New Line Home Video.


    Final Destination is another in a long line of B-grade horror flicks that have been released with monotonous regularity over the past decade or so. Whilst it is certainly presented with some quality, I would doubt that this is a film that would be returned to after the first viewing by anyone but a devotee of those B-grade horror films. I certainly have no real complaints about the overall package that Village Roadshow have put together however.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
17th December 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL