The Shallow Man DVD Review: The Final Destination

The Film

Like Death himself, the people behind the “Final Destination” series have a plan and they stick to it. What’s more, they love to leave clues as to what Devilishly Inventive Executions they have in store. A bit like this:

Declare Intentions Early
Young person foresees carnage and freaks out, resulting in others having to leave the scene thus being spared a terrible fate. In this instance, race-goer Nick (Bobby Campo) envisions one small error at the pit stop that ultimately triggers the collapse of the rickety grandstand around him. And so it comes to pass in a sequence that’ll have palms sweating and hearts pounding even before the credits start.

Dimwits Immediately Expire
Survivors get their comeuppance in the order they would have died in the carnage. But the stupid ones generally go first. So here you can place your bets on: Nick, his girlfriend, their two friends (she’s okay but he’s a total jock), a racist redneck, a nice security guard (Mykelti ‘Bubba from Forrest Gump’ Williamson), a mechanic, a cowboy, and a mom who puts tampons in her kids’ ears.

Danger Is Everywhere
The joy of the Destinations is that Dread Infuses Everything. Once you know someone’s number is up, absolutely anything can kill them. But while everyone is wary around heavy machinery, inflammable liquids and sharp objects, you have to keep your eye on the little things. Pebbles and spectacles, for instance.

Decapitations. Immolations. Eviscerations.
You can take it for granted that all victims will ultimately go out in spectacularly splattery fashion. But as the movie titles suggest, it’s all about how they get there. So it’s important to make Demises Increasingly Elaborate. Happily, FD4 manages to sustain the momentum of its opening with nerve-jangling build-ups in a beauty salon, an auto workshop, a car wash, a swimming pool, a hospital and a coffee shop called Death By Caffeine—all the way to a self-referencing climax involving a 3D movie in a shopping mall.

Dialogue Is Entertaining
While the plots are identical, there’s no denying the series’ gleefully morbid sense of humor featuring a fine array of macabre sight gags and lines that veer from the genius (“Have you all gone out of your fucking minds?!” screams one lady, just before literally losing hers) to the why-am-I-laughing ridiculous (“I’ve been trying to kill myself all day”).

If you’ve come this far, you know exactly what to expect: a blood-and-guts joyride with Death In Excess. And the wonderfully in-your-face 3D will knock your block off. James Cameron and the folks at Pixar may disagree, but this is what 3D was made for: To make audiences scream and duck as Death hurls lethal objects from the screen.


Visual: This is a glossy looking film and at times maybe it looks a little over-sharpened but color reproduction is spot on while black levels stay strong and deep throughout. The ruby red of the bloodshed and the various colors of goopy helpings of gore that splatter across the screen all look, um, nice and sticky while detail stays strong throughout the presentation.

Audio: This is a movie that lends itself to some pretty bombastic sound design and this mix proves more than capable of bringing all of the punch and power home. This is a very aggressive mix with near constant use of the rear channels to ensure that you're always right in the middle of the chaos and the carnage. The opening racecar scene sounds terrific and sets the stage nicely for what’s to come, with each subsequent death scene sounding just as good.

Subtitles: English SDH is included.

Extras: Aside from both 2D and 3D versions of the movie are seven minutes worth of Deleted Scenes which contain some alternate gore footage and two different Alternate Endings which run a combined four minutes in length and which are presented without finished effects work.

Grade ★ ★★ 1/2 out of 5 stars

Distributed by C-Interactive Digital Entertainment

Available at all Astrovision and Astroplus branches nationwide
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