Friday, August 28, 2009

"You play Chess, do you not?"

Having been out of town last week when this was published I'd missed it until now, but there was a terrific write-up on the pleasures of the Final Destination films at The New York Times last week. Yes, The New York Times. Praised the Final Destination movies. Egads! The world is weird. And wonderful! Here's a choice bit from the article (which seems to exist solely because they didn't release the fourth film, out today, for critics to view beforehand... and why would they have?):

"Contemporary scary movies are invested most in the spectacle of death, and compared with the torture-porn degradations of the “Saw” and “Hostel” movies, the “Final Destination” films are a refreshingly upfront and tongue-in-cheek admission of that fact.

Their first innovation is the casting of Death itself as the antagonist, which turns out to be quite pleasing from a design perspective. These are remarkably streamlined, clutter-free movies, unencumbered by the need to identify the killer or his motivation, let alone explain why he appears to die at the end of one film only to be revived at the start of the next. There is no supernatural or psychological back story and — a rarity in this most charged of genres —no sociopolitical subtext to speak of. At most, for those so inclined, the movies function as memento mori, posing cosmic questions about fate and mortality. The arc of any “Final Destination” film — a futile, movielong negotiation with Death — echoes that of the Bergman classic “The Seventh Seal.”"

Bergman and Final Destination, together at last! I've been saying this shit for years, though.

1 comment:

Michael Seth said...

new york magazine also threw it a backhanded compliment in their brief blurb this last issue.

i saw it last night. it was amazing. they pretty much removed all the needless dialogue from the film. and it actually gets meta toward the end.