Final Destination 2 is a serious case of déjà vu. Unlike most horror franchises, Final Destination had a formula that needed to be followed as closely as death’s design. Final Destination 2 is a direct sequel that goes deeper, but also more elaborate with the kills. As a pre-Saw horror flick, it’s bloodier with at least one topless biker chick. I vaguely remember when Final Destination 2 came out, but I probably didn’t care at the time. David R. Ellis is the replacement director who’s paired with a new cast of TV actors. Keegan Connor Tracy being the only actress I recognized.
The new lead is college student Kimberly Corman. Her premonition is a terrible log related car pile-up on highway Route 23. It’s a well constructed sequence with CGI logs mixed with practical cars. Kimberly’s friends don’t make it, but her stalling manages to save 8 people. This time the survivors are police officer Thomas Burke, lottery winner Evan Lewis, mother & son Nora & Tim Carpenter, uptight businesswoman Kat Jennings, skeptical teacher Eugene Dix, stoner Rory Peters, and pregnant woman Isabella Hudson. A. J. Cook is a decent replacement lead since Alex was unceremoniously killed between movies. Leaving Clear Rivers as the only survivor who keeps herself in a padded cell.
Ali Larter is now a full scream queen who helps the new survivors understand death. The most interesting aspect is having the survivors somehow connected to the original victims. Tony Todd returns as the creepy coroner who tells them new life might be the answer. Which they interpret as saving the pregnant lady. Of course death comes for them one by one regardless. Now the deaths are deliberately messing with the audiences expectations. Death by fire could end up being impalement. Death by dentist could end up being falling glass. There’s more unsettling deaths like one in an elevator and a twofer involving an airbag and someone being cut in pieces. Though the ending feels hopeful, death starts all over again. Final Destination 2 makes the most of a familiar setup.