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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Final Destination 2

October 24, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Final Destination 2

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #528: Final Destination 2

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that is now terrified of tractor trailer trucks carrying gigantic logs, motorcycles, and douchebags driving Trans-Ams, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number five hundred and twenty-eight, I take a look at the inventive, gory, and badass horror sequel Final Destination 2, which hit movie theatres in late January 2003.

Final Destination 2


Directed by the now late but always great David R. Ellis, Final Destination 2 is essentially a direct sequel to the first Final Destination. The characters that populate the sequel know all about the events of the first movie and the various people that died under mysterious circumstances. I wasn’t expecting that. I was expecting more of a “concept sequel,” where new characters in a different location experience the same basic thing as the characters in the first movie. I also wasn’t expecting the number of insane looking stunts and just the level of violence as compared to the first movie. This sequel isn’t fucking around.

Final Destination 2 stars A.J. Cook as Kimberly Corman, a somewhat hip and edgy young woman taking a road trip with her equally somewhat hip and edgy friends to Daytona Beach for spring break. When they get to the highway, Kimberly has a premonition that she, her friends, and several other people will die in a massive car accident involving a tractor trailer transporting giant logs, an out-of-control motorcycle, and various exploding vehicles. It’s an absolutely horrendous vision that causes Kimberly to freak out because it resembles the premonition reported to the public that caused the events of the first movie. Instead of continuing on with her road trip, she blocks the road and tries to tell everyone behind her about what she just “saw.” Blocking the road causes a nearby cop, Deputy Marshal Thomas Burke (Michael Landes), to question Kimberly and try to find out what the heck is going on. While questioning Kimberly, a massive wreck occurs, resembling the accident from her premonition (Kimberly’s friends are killed in the massive pile-up when Kimberly’s truck is hit by a speeding vehicle). As a result of Kimberly’s premonition, people who likely should have died in the highway accident didn’t and are now survivors that death will have to figure out how to kill in some other way. Those people include a douchebag lottery winner named Evan (David Paetkau), a mother and son (Nora and Tim Carpenter, as played by Lynda Boyd and James Kirk), a high strung businesswoman (Kat, as played by Keegan Connor Tracy), happy go lucky drug addict Rory (Jonathan Cherry), a high school teacher (Eugene, as played by T.C. Carson), a pregnant woman (Isabella, as played by Justina Machado), and the cop.

Now, as I said, everyone in the world knows all about the events of the first movie and the whole “survivors cheated death so now death has to find a way to kill the people who should have died” thing, and as soon as the survivors find out about Kimberly’s premonition, several of them start to freak out about what may happen to them. A few of them, like Eugene, are skeptical about Kimberly’s premonition and what it all means. No one knows what to do, though. How are they going to fight off/outsmart/”cheat” death again? Before the group of survivors can get together and research the specific details of the events of the first movie and come up with a game plan, survivors start dying in bizarre ways (Evan is the first to go, which is a damn shame since he just won the lottery and bought a new computer. The poor bastard didn’t even get to take it out of the box before bad shit started happening to him).

So then some stuff happens, Kimberly starts doing some research into the events of the first movie, and she finds out that Clear Rivers (the returning Ali Larter) is the only survivor from the first movie (apparently Alex died between movies) and that she has locked herself up in a mental hospital. Kimberly decides to go visit Clear in that mental hospital and get some advice from her about how to beat death. Clear isn’t too keen on talking with Kimberly as she just wants to hang out in the hospital and cheat her own death, but after talking to Kimberly face-to-face, she decides to get involved. Clear thinks she can help Kimberly and the others cheat death. Clear knows how to do that.

Kimberly, Burke (they sort of have a thing together), and Clear first head to talk with the creepy mortician Mr. Bludworth (once again, the immortal Tony Todd), as she knows more about death than seemingly anyone in the world. While cremating Evan (is this how it’s done in the real world?), Mr. Bludworth offers up some advice and perspective on what’s likely happening, but it isn’t really clear what the hell he’s actually talking about. Clear tries to figure it out. With this new knowledge, Kimberly, Burke, and Clear try to get the other survivors on board. They might be able to cheat death as long as they stick together. Maybe.

And so the rest of the movie is the survivors trying to survive while death, as death tends to do, taking out the survivors one by one in somewhat elaborate, sometimes shockingly violent ways. I don’t want to give away anything specific in terms of who dies and when and how, as there are a few surprises to be experienced and there’s a chance you may be shocked by some of it (I mean, you sort of know which survivors are likely to die, but it’s all about how they die). The details of how death works and how death “resets” itself are a little wonky at times as various characters talk out loud about what they think they need to do to stay alive. I have to admit that I couldn’t follow some of it. I might be able to follow it if I paused the movie and worked out the details on a piece of paper, but, ultimately, that lack of understanding really doesn’t hurt the movie’s forward momentum. As long as the characters believe they know what they’re doing, I’m willing to go along with whatever they think they need to do.

The various death set pieces are nothing short of spectacular. The tractor trailer accident sequence, with bouncing giant logs causing all sorts of brutal mayhem, is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. It’s a terrific mix of practical stunt work, CGI, editing, and gore, and you can see why it’s one of the franchise’s major “calling card” scenes. It’s the kind of sequence that YouTube was invented for, so you can watch it over and over again and catch stuff you likely missed on first viewing. The sequences after that opening set piece are cool and nasty in their own way, but they also don’t try to top the insanity of that opening scene because, really, how could they? My favorite sequences? The one that takes place in the dentist’s office is terrifying. The one that takes place right after the dentist’s office is incredibly gross (but kudos to the special effects people making an effort to show just how fucking squashed that character gets when that giant pane of glass falls on him). And I’m always going to be a fan of someone being blown up with what amounts to an explosive, and when I say “blown up” I mean goddamn blown up. Body parts go everywhere. Awesome shit.

A.J. Cook does a great job as Kimberly. She’s smart and resourceful and she wants to live, even though she may not completely know how to do that under the circumstances. She also has good chemistry with Michael Landes, who plays the cop Burke. I didn’t think he was going to last beyond the opening sequence, I really didn’t.

Ali Larter gets to be more hip and edgy and stylish as Clear this time, which is sort of off putting because I just wasn’t expecting it (but then I wasn’t expecting her to be in the movie anyway). I was surprised by what happens to Clear, though. I should have known something was going to happen to her, but I didn’t know what that would be. Still, all in all, Larter does a decent enough job here.

T.C. Carson does a great job as Eugene, the ultimate skeptic. I was also surprised by what happened to his character. And is it me, or does Keegan Connor Tracy look like Christina Ricci here? For a few brief seconds I actually thought she was Christina Ricci. Jonathan Cherry is funny most of the time as the stoner Rory. And, good God, Lynda Boyd and James Kirk, as the mother and son, are just depressing. I like them both, they both do good jobs, but, man… you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see the movie.

And then there’s the great Tony Todd as the creepy mortician Mr. Bludworth. His scene in this movie is weirder and creepier than in the first movie, and, as usual, he does a bang up job. I still want to know why he doesn’t have a bigger role in these movies. And by bigger role I mean why doesn’t he get two scenes per movie instead of just one? I mean, shouldn’t he get like the last scene in the movie so he can look into the camera and say something witty and creepy?

And kudos to director Ellis, for making this sequel bigger, better, nastier, and more out and out entertaining. I didn’t understand some of the “rules of death” stuff, but that’s a minor quibble compared to the number of explosions, blood geysers, and “holy shit” moments. Because that’s what Final Destination 2 is filled with, and it’s why it’s one of the best horror sequels of all time. I loved Final Destination 2.

See Final Destination 2. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 27 (I am counting the unseen people announced to have died in the car crash)

Explosions: Several, both large and even larger.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: A news show recapping the events of the first movie, some guy explains stuff, a hot babe watching TV in bed, a stain on the driveway, a scary bag lady, a bus filled with idiots. Joint smoking, joint throwing, leaf burning, check engine light hooey, a pregnant woman, a crotch rocket douchebag, a truck driver drinking a beer, hot coffee, a guy doing cocaine while driving, tractor trailer hooey, runaway bouncing giant logs, massive decapitation, body smashing, motorcycle slide with more body smashing, a wild fucking flip, exploding car, water bottle under the brake, more exploding cars, a wild flipping truck, exploding Trans Am, a wicked burning man bit, another exploding truck, blatant Apple product placement, a shithole apartment, flagrant spaghetti throwing, shirtless food cooking, a gold watch, garbage disposal hooey, exploding microwave, burning food hooey, a shitty fire extinguisher, window breaking, exploding apartment, a faulty fire escape ladder, a spaghetti hazard, metal pole right through the eye, smoking while exercising, more cocaine hooey, more blatant Apple product placement, internet search hooey, mental hospital hooey, middle finger hooey, a creepy “dentist molests people” joke, fish tank attack, pigeon attack, up close dental surgery, stuffed animal into the mouth, person crushed by giant pane of glass, nipple ring removal, body cremation, gas station hooey, a stubborn elevator, a glass bottle of milk, skepticism, a kayak attack, attempted duct tape over electrical outlets, attempted closet attack, a basket full of prosthetic arms, creepy hair smelling, decapitation via elevator, attempted suicide by gun, unsafe driving, a wicked double car accident, a collapsed lung, head impalement, exploding van, barbed wire attack, a bad pregnancy, exploding hospital room, an almost drowning, a family barbecue, and exploding person with bloody body parts everywhere.

Kim Richards?: Yes. Sort of. It depends on how you want to look at it.

Gratuitous: Picking up right after the events of the first movie, “And Tony Todd,” douchebag friends, AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” on the radio, a kid with toy cars, a massive highway accident, multiple premonitions, blatant Apple product placement, Ali Larter, Ali Larter in a mental hospital, someone reading Reader’s Digest, pigeon attacks, and Tony Todd.

Best lines: “Dad, it’s Daytona, not Somalia,” “Can we go get the guys? I’m getting horny,” “Is that someone coughing?,” “Dude, look at those titties!,” “Look at that guy! He’s drinking a beer!,” “You ever hear of the ozone layer, asshole?,” “Oh my God! There’s going to be a huge accident!,” “That’s it! That’s the truck that’s going to kill everybody!,” “Mrs. Carpenter, please!,” “You gotta help me! I don’t have to do anything,” “Did you see that? See what? Pigeons! Pigeons?,” “Would you rather have the laughing gas?,” “Pigeons!,” “This is really happening again, isn’t it?,” “Hello, Clear! I’ve been expecting you,” “Only new life can defeat death,” “You have to follow the signs, Kimberly,” “What the fuck are you thinking? Thinking of you sucking my junk, beyotch,” “Is that dog shit, dude?,” “If you’ll excuse me, I have a funeral to plan,” “I control my life!,” “It wasn’t his turn to die. Can we find the pregnant woman, please?,” “Watch out for power lines!,” “Get Kalarjian,” and “We made it. Thanks to you we cheated death.”

Rating: 9.0/10.0


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Things to Watch Out For


Satanic Panic: The always gorgeous Rebecca Romijn stars in this low budget horror comedy about a young woman who delivers pizzas for a living, ends up delivering to a house filled with rich Satanists, and then has to fight them off as they try to sacrifice her. Yes, it’s apparently a comedy. Romijn’s husband Jerry O’Connell is also in it, as are AJ Bowen (You’re Next, Hatchet II, among others), Jordan Ladd (Death Proof), Jeff Daniel Phillips (Three from Hell), and the immortal Skeeta Jenkins (Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich). Horror comedies are usually very hard to pull off, but, based solely on the trailer, I have a good feeling about this one. Definitely want to check this out. If you’re looking for this at Walmart I’ve been told that the movie is simply called Panic there, so be aware of that.


Haunt: This appears to be one of those low budget horror movies where a group of young people go to some sort of haunted location/travelling haunted bullshit thing and get terrorized after they go in. Or something like that. The clown mask on the DVD cover is pretty messed up, and while we’ve all no doubt seen this exact same story a million times now (when will people figure out that it’s never a good idea to go anywhere that’s haunted? Even if ghosts and evil spirits and all that are total bullshit, just stop going to these places. That way nothing bad will ever happen because you didn’t go there), I’m still intrigued enough to rent it to see what it’s really all about. The Eli Roth connection is distressing, though. It really is.


Bloodline: Stifler hisself, Seann William Scott, stars in this low budget horror flick that almost sounds like a riff on The Stepfather. How often does that kind of thing happen? And how often do we see Scott play a bad guy? It’s probably happened, but I can’t remember the last time it happened. I mean, Stifler was a bad guy, right? Anyway, this looks chilling, and, hey, if it works out maybe Scott will start playing more bad guys. I mean, it could happen, right?


Red Spring: This is one of those post-apocalyptic things where vampires take over the world and there’s a band of survivors that have to figure out how to, well, survive. Yes, it almost kind of sounds like Jim Mickle’s Stake Land but, once you see the trailer, Red Spring may have been inspired by Stake Land but it is very much its own thing. The reviews I’ve read for it have been fantastic (it’s played at several film festivals over the last year or so), and I can’t wait to see it. The world is always in need of another new badass post-apocalyptic vampire movie.


Next Issue: Final Destination 3!


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Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.

Final Destination 2

A.J. Cook– Kimberly Corman
Ali Larter– Clear Rivers
Michael Landes– Deputy Marshal Thomas Burke
David Paetku– Evan Lewis
Lynda Boyd– Nora Carpenter
James Kirk– Tim Carpenter
Keegan Connor Tracy– Kat
Jonathan Cherry– Rory
T.C. Carson– Eugene Dix
Justina Machado– Isabella Hudson
Tony Todd– Mr. Bludworth

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by David R. Ellis
Screenplay by J. Mackye Gruber and Eric Bress, based on a story by J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress, and Jeffrey Reddick and based on characters created by Jeffrey Redick.

Distributed by New Line Cinema and New Line Home Entertainment

Rated R for gory horror violence, language, and some drug use
Runtime– 90 minutes

Buy it here or here