Final Destination 3: The Ghost of Murder on Ice!

Ah, FD3 – the movie in the series that I have the most contempt for (to date). Now while it’s true that most of this contempt is due to the relative lack of Tony Toddity in the film (he appears in two brief vocal cameos), it also has to do with the film’s utter failure to make any kind of sense at all. As proof, I give you – the disaster that kicks off the plot:

Wendy and friends climb aboard a devil-themed rollercoaster whose voice is provided by Tony Todd. While they’re being strapped in the hydraulic system that keeps the seat arms in place springs a bit of a leak-

Letting us know that it’s not the best-maintained ride in the state. Then an a-hole further back on the ride asks the hot girls in front of them to flash him while they’re going through the loop – although I’m not entirely clear how he thinks this could possibly happen, both because he’s an ass, and the small issue of the girls having restraints on that both limit their movement and cover their breasts.

Perhaps the line is leftover from when the script imagined they would be in a more old-fashioned rollercoaster? Anyhow, here’s what the a-hole gets up to when the ride is actually happening:

That’s him tyring to film the girls. They slap the camera away, and its strap causes it to wrap around the tracks like so-

Where it’s hit by the wheels of the roller-coaster-

This impact causes hydraulic system to fail, releasing everyone’s restraints, and the wheels come flying off, which makes the front car of the roller-coaster wobble dangerously, detach, and fly off on the next turn. Things get worse when the grinding of the front car shakes a piece of fiberglass loose from the body, which flies through the air and knocks part of the track loose, which then sends the last survivors plummeting off to their deaths.

Okay, let’s take a moment and run that down – train hits camera, causes a cascading failure that leads to everyone dying. Simple enough, right?

So Wendy, the main character, freaks out about her premonition, getting the whole second car kicked off the ride. Despite the fact that a few people also want to get off the first car the operators won’t allow them to, which will no doubt lead to some serious lawsuits when everyone dies in a horrific accident. As they immediately do.

But how does this accident happen, exactly? The camera, right? Well guess what-

That’s the A-hole getting off the ride, and taking his camera with him. The camera that caused the accident. Is not on the ride when it leaves the station.

Yes, the hydraulic system was a little wonky, but it wasn’t just a bad hydraulic system that caused the accident. It was the way the wheels came flying off when they hit an obstruction on the line. An obstruction that could not have been there when the train left the station.

Yet the accident still happens, despite the fact that it could not have.

God, this was an awful movie.

The rest of part 3’s plot isn’t really worth talking about because the filmmakers don’t bother trying to do anything new with the premise. It’s basically the exact same movie again, with only the specific ways that the Ghost of Murder kills people having changed.

In fact there are only two other really notable items in the entire film, and each one is notably stupid. First off is the pictures. Ah, the pictures.

You see Wendy, the main character, is constantly taking pictures of everyone at the carnival for the ‘yearbook’. Except the film is set two weeks before the end of the school year. Which means the yearbook would have had to have been locked down months ago.

Seriously, why did the filmmakers think the main character would need a reason to be taking pictures? Isn’t taking pictures at social gatherings just something people normally do? They all have digital cameras – it’s not like taking photos costs something.

But let’s overlook the stupid overexplanation of the pictures and take a look at the pictures themselves. It seems that, in a plot development stolen wholesale from ‘The Omen’, pictures taken of people at the carnival reveal the manner in which they’re going to die.

At this point you might be saying ‘but wait, if that’s true, shouldn’t all the pictures provide hints that everyone was going to die in a rollercoaster disaster?’ That’s a really good point – but no, the pictures don’t show a rollercoaster over and over again. Instead they show pictures of the way that the Ghost of Murder is going to kill them later on in the story after a premonition saves them from the disaster.

That’s right – despite the fact that the Ghost of Murder planned to kill them on the roller coaster, he’d already developed his backup plan for how to kill them if they received a premonition. Which raises an important question – would pictures taken of other people that night hint at the ways they would have died if they’d gotten a premonition as well?

The other option is far more preposterous, but actually fits nicely with the evidence that the film provides – that option? That the Ghost of Murder is the one sending people these premonitions, specifically so that he’ll have a chance to murder them in a more hilariously elaborate way then he otherwise would have.

What proof is there for this theory? Check out the bad-taste photos that the film offers for proof of the ‘there’s clues in photos’ idea.

That’s supposedly the last photo taken before Lincoln was shot, and an error in the plate signalled where the bullet was going to hit. That’s a little icky, sure, but here’s the second photo, supposedly taken weeks before 9/11.

Yeah. That happened.

But here’s my point – there’s no suggestion made that Abraham Lincoln, or the Twin Towers, for that matter, had previously screwed up the Ghost of Murder’s plan to kill them (although there was that ’92 bombing…). No, the only suggestion is that once the Ghost of Murder has developed a plan to kill you, if you have a photo taken a clue about that plan will appear in it.

Not only does this mean that the Ghost of Murder planned both the 9/11 attacks and the Lincoln assassination, but also that Wendy and friends getting off the roller-coaster and getting brutally murdered later on was always his plan. The only logical conclusion to draw from this is that the Ghost of Murder is the one sending the premonitions – because if he didn’t, how could the murder he’d planned ever come to pass?

I just realized that I’ve now officially put more thought into this movie than the people who made it did.

Okay, so that’s the pictures taken care of – and damn, do I wish the movie had sped through the photos as quickly as I did. Nearly a third of the film is devoted to Wendy looking over photos and trying to figure out what their meanings could possibly be – when they’re painfully obvious to even the slightest glimpse.

Here’s one that proves to be a real puzzler for the characters.

Wow, it’s like I’m watching Medium here.

Hey, geniuses – she’s going to get shot in the head, he’s going to have spikes dropped on him. Let’s move on, shall we?

This scene actually brings me to the one other interesting part about this movie – a conversation which suggests that the people who made this movie never actually saw Final Destination 2.

Gothy Guy (from the photo, remember? The one right up there!) theorizes that Death’s Plan could be thwarted by someone further down the list killing themselves, thereby saving all the other survivors. Of course no one actually tests the theory – which there’s no point in doing, since black teacher already tried it last movie, and found that Death makes it completely impossible for people to die before it’s their turn.

That’s him pulling the trigger over and over again-

And here are the six live bullets that the cop keeps in his gun.

It’s an interesting idea that the Ghost of Murder won’t let anyone else steal his kills, and one that the movie might have done well to explore. But doing new, interesting things isn’t what this franchise is about, damn it! It’s about brutally murdering people in disgusting ways! Sometimes in 3D!

Well, that’s it for the film Final Destination 3 – it looks like they’ve saved the day, but then everyone dies in a subway accident. In a hilariously twist the Ghost of Murder sends Wendy another premonition about his accident, but this time he’s kind of tired to waiting to kill her, so he does it after it’s already too late to change anything.

Because, like Jigsaw after him, the Ghost of Murder is a dick.

That’s it for Final Destination 3. All that’s left is to finally get around to watching FD4 – which is good, because as of the time of writing this this DVD is already a day late. Whoops.

I wonder what I have to look forward to in the fourth film? Seeing how regressive part 3 was has me wondering just where they’ll go in part 4 – will another stab be made at expanding the mythology, or will we just get another redo of the exact same premise?

Most importantly, will Tony Todd be included somehow?

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