Final Destination 3
If you feel a burning sensation, that means it’s working.

Theatrical Release Date: 02/10/2006
Director: James Wong
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ryan Merriman, Kris Lemche, Alexz Johnson

There’s a common expression that the third time is the charm. Not surprisingly, that statement doesn’t really apply to “Final Destination 3”. Frankly, to call any of the films in the series ‘charmed’ is a little ridiculous but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a good time watching them.

This is the third installment (hence it’s number 3) of teen horror films centered around the idea that death has a plan and only a clairvoyant teenage girl can hope to put a stop to that plan.

The key to enjoying this series has been the inventive ways the characters have been killed. Each film starts out with a catastrophic incident that kills all but the core group of teenagers who the audience gets to watch die as the film progresses.

The first film involved a trans-Atlantic flight that explodes in mid-air just after take-off. The second film has a massive car crash scene, involving more exploding cars than a Universal Studios stunt show. The third film bring the carnage to an amusement park where a roller coaster accident starts the frenetic fun … alas without the explosions.

After the initial accident, death hunts down the escapees using the game Mousetrap as its motis operandi. While this is a common theme, where a combination of elemental and environmental factors set in motion a death chain, this latest foray into the series takes it to another level.

You can practically see the eyes of the characters moving from each setup to the next until death gets its way. It was akin to watching a crowd at a tennis match as the players volley back and forth.

Let’s be clear, I really do enjoy a movie with dumb teenagers, good deaths, and a thin plot. This is the kind of experience that allows me to set my brain on “voyeur” and just sit back and enjoy.

While I’m all for the small independent film about a suicidal pregnant teen who’s been abused by her stepfather and falls in love with a dwarf from the wrong side of town, I also really look forward to dumb teen horror.

I thought about listing the cast but I don’t see the point (although one of the actors is named Texas Battle which is pretty damn cool). I thought about listing the director but I don’t see the point. What I do see the point of is waiting for the “Final Destination” trilogy pack to be released on DVD so I can relive the wonderful deaths over and over again from the comfort of my couch.

If you saw the first two films, you know what you’re getting here. While the second film still ranks higher in my opinion, (for best deaths and hilarious use of Ali Larter), the third film had me laughing and giggling more than any film since “The 40 Year Old Virgin”.

I’m giving “Final Destination 3” an appropriate 3 out of 5. You know what you’re going to get and it delivers just that. If there’s anything to learn from these films, it’s to listen to the raving mad, yet attractive, teenage girl who says your vehicle is going to meet a fiery end. And as a bonus, if you stay close enough to her, you’ll probably end up sleeping with her as well as getting to live through it all.