While attending a car race, Nick (Campo) has a vision of impending disaster and drags his girlfriend Lori (VanSanten), womanising pal Hunt (Zano) and Lori's best friend Janet (Webb) out just in time. But of course, Death won't let them off so easily, and everyone who escaped is killed in outrageous freak accidents in the order they should have died. So these four young people, with the help of an equally doomed security guard (Williamson), try to break the gruesome chain.
Anyone who has seen one of the other three films will know how this plays out, and it's a pity that the screenwriter hasn't come up with a single plot twist.
Still, the formula works simply because of the elaborate scenarios in which seemingly innocuous things add up to big messiness. And since we're seeing this in 3D, all manner of sharp things, explosive flames and body parts are hurled right into our faces. It's pretty hard to watch this film without laughing all the way through.
The cast of anonymous hotties know exactly what they're in for, stripping off layers to tantalise the audience with their young, gym-toned bodies in underwear or swimwear. For the most part, they manage to keep straight faces while uttering the clunky expository dialog; they're adept young actors who hopefully will break out of the teen slasher genre. Some side characters even get to have personalities.
It's pretty hard to generate suspense when we know everyone is fated to meet a grisly end. So the filmmakers pull out the stops to keep us entertained with knowing references and corny puns (the favoured hang-out is the Death by Caffeine cafe, while the movie they watch, Love Lays Dying, is in 3D of course). The writer and director also briskly set up each calamity without wasting even a moment on grief or sadness. These films have no time for tragedy; it's all about the next set piece.
Run time: 82 mins
In Theaters: Friday 28th August 2009
Box Office USA: $66.4M
Box Office Worldwide: $152.6M
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Production compaines: New Line Cinema
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Fresh: 28 Rotten: 67
IMDB: 5.1 / 10
Director: David R Ellis
Screenwriter: Eric Bress
Starring: Bobby Campo as Nick O'Bannon, Shantel VanSanten as Lori Milligan, Nick Zano as Hunt Wynorski, Haley Webb as Janet Cunningham, Krista Allen as Samantha Lane, Andrew Fiscella as Mechanic, Justin Welborn as Racist, Stephanie Honoré as Mechanic's Girlfriend, Lara Grice as Racist's Wife, Jackson Walker as Cowboy, Mykelti Williamson as George Lanter
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