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Feature
Death is just as omnipresent as ever, first revealing its menacing reality to a group of coworkers headed for a corporate retreat. During the bus ride, Sam (Nicholas D'Agosto) has a premonition in which he and most of his friends, as well as numerous others, die in a horrific bridge collapse. When his vision ends, events begin to mirror what he had seen, and he frantically ushers as many of his colleagues--including his friend, Peter (Miles Fisher), and girlfriend, Molly (Emma Bell)--away from the disaster before Death can claim them. But these unsuspecting souls were never supposed to survive and, in a terrifying race against time, the ill-fated group tries to discover a way to escape Death's sinister agenda. No matter where you run, no matter where you hide...you can't cheat Death. Or can you?

I enjoyed Glen Morgan and James Wong's first Final Destination, but have never counted myself a fan of any of the proceeding sequels with each one growing more tired and watered down than the last. Needless to say I didn't expect much from Final Destination 5, but thankfully the latest entry in the series is by far the best of the sequels and comes awfully close to matching the original. The key is that the filmmakers hit the right mix of horror and humor quite often, and once the ill-fated group of characters figures out a way they could possibly get off Death's hit list the plot gets a bit more interesting. The movie kept me on my toes since the once stale Rube Goldberg like deaths of the characters were given new life through the clever use of multiple red herrings and often comical outcomes. When a movie such as this can make you almost instantaneously wince and giggle you know it's working, and there are plenty of moments where you will do that here. When you add in the fact that the obligatory twist ending is really satisfying, you've got yourself a pretty entertaining horror flick.

Video
Warner presents the digitally shot Final Destination 5 on Blu-ray with a very slick 2.40:1, 1080p, AVC encoded transfer. Fine detail throughout is excellent and the transfer contains a rich color palette with natural flesh tones and usually strong black levels. The only problems I noticed with the presentation were a few instances of video ringing that occurred from time to time and some black crush here and there, but these probably have more to do with the digital nature of the film itself and not the actual transfer over to Blu-ray. As expected from a newer theatrically released film--and one that was no doubt transferred over completely in the digital realm--there aren't blemishes on the video originating from the source used. Overall the video here very closely represents the version of the film I saw in theaters this past summer.

Audio
If there's an area where the disc excels in the technical department it's definitely here. Warner's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a real treat that easily delivers the excellent sound design of the film home. The track is a bit unassuming at times, but each time Death approaches an intended victim there are plenty of directional effects and heavy bass to be found for your sound system to play with. Dialogue is clear and easily understood throughout and quieter scenes are handled well too. Overall this is an excellent audio presentation and a textbook example of a horror mix done right.

Extras
The letdown on the disc are the high definition extras as there aren't many, they're pretty brief and they aren't all that great. First up are two alternate death scenes (16-minutes), but if you're inclined to check these out make sure to keep the forward button on your remote handy to get through them quickly since both are nearly identical to what is actually in the film save for about a minute of the feature's running time. The next featurette, "Circle of Death" (6-minutes) is a quick rundown of the film featuring the principle cast and filmmakers and shouldn't be watched before the main feature as it gives a lot of surprises away. The most interesting of the features included is "Visual Effects of Death" (12-minutes), which offers a split-screen comparison between two sequences as filmed and the finished product. The two-disc set also includes a standard definition copy of the film on DVD and an UltraViolet digital copy for PC, Macs and mobile devices.

Overall
Final Destination 5 is easily the best of the sequels in the long running series so far, and outside of the horror/comedy Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil provided me with the best experience of watching a horror film on the big screen this year. You do lose a little something viewing movies like this at home and without the crowd, but this one still holds up quite well. Warner's Blu-ray presentation offers excellent picture and sound, but the extras are rather brief and not that interesting. Overall this is a disc worth owning, especially if you're already a fan of the series.

* Note: The below images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Final Destination 5
 Final Destination 5
 Final Destination 5
 Final Destination 5
 Final Destination 5
 Final Destination 5
 Final Destination 5
 Final Destination 5


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