Written by: Eric Zinkhon
So, recently I went on a business trip for my new job. This entailed flights, food expenses, and, of course, paid hotel stops on my travel across the country back to my home market with my company vehicle.
While I am glad to be home now, my thoughts are still lingering on my dreadful weekend stay in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Mainly, the movie experiences I subjected myself to, all in the name of comedic review.
I'm going to set the stage for you:
It's been a long drive on Friday and I'm ready to crash for the day. I'm about 15 miles from my hotel; cruise control cuts out, check engine light turns on, and panic sets in. “Well, this can't be good”. Unfortunately, for me and my anxiety, I can't look into anything dealing with the mechanical issues of the company vehicle until Monday.
Begrudgingly, I managed to roll the vehicle into the lot and check in for the long weekend. I had planned on walking around and enjoying the scenery of Cheyenne, but mother nature had other plans and dumped a shitload of snow for the first night and morning of the second day. The TV remote hardly worked for the television in my room and, even after a call to room service, hotel management could not fix the issue.
When I did manage to get the TV on, the channel would usually get stuck. The abominations that my sight unwillingly fell upon ensued.
These are the 3 movies I endured on that fateful night:
- The Final Destination (4th movie, for those not keeping up with this awful series)
- Alien vs. Predator
This is part 1 of a 3-part series in which we delve into the mind of a man trapped in a room with the only entertainment option being to endure a series of films that may or may not prove to defile his very sanity. The horrors described in this series are not for the faint of heart or bladder.
You have been warned.
The Final Destination
The first thing that I noticed with this movie is that it was intended for 3D glasses. This is already a bad sign I'm in for a hellish hour or so. This movie came out during the insanely saturated 3D movie marketing days of 2009 to 2010, right at the height of its popularity. Every movie during that time had 2 versions available to watch at the theater: regular 2D, and 3D. A few notable films of the time, just to pick a few, were Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, and How to Train Your Dragon. While these movies may have executed the 3D genre well, The Final Destination feels like they dumped a shitload of work off onto some poor CGI animator, and had only a week to get it all done.
The movie opens how any other Final Destination movie opens up; with a big disaster that ends up killing a large amount of people. The scene usually ends with the killing of it's last victim and panning out from their eyeballs to a scene in which carnage has yet to begin. The big disaster to kick off this film? A NASCAR crash into the stadium seating.
What a fitting premonition to start this car crash of a movie.
Once our main cast and supporting characters manage to escape, a tire flies from the top of the screen downward, absolutely obliterating one of the supporting characters wives and leaving a pile of mush and guts on the ground. This was the moment I determined that this movie was meant to be viewed in 3D, as I stated above. The reason this moment stuck out to me, and not the opening carnage in the main character’s premonition, was due to the fact I was still reeling over the fact that this shit was happening at a NASCAR race track and had to text a few people and ask them why the fuck this was happening to me.
From the CG tire perfectly framed for an optimal “WOW” shot, to the long hold at an awkward camera angle to make sure you knew something was coming, I knew I was in danger.
It was at this moment that I wanted out. I frantically grabbed the remote and smashed the channel buttons in an effort to get this filth off my television screen. No use. I was strapped into this experience whether I wanted to be or not, because what else am I going to do at 3 AM on a snowy Friday night in Cheyenne? I had already gotten comfortable under my hotel sheets. There was no chance in hell I was going to get up and physically change that channel! What do you think I am, a caveman?!
Anyways, after my short lived rebellion, the movie abruptly cuts from this trainwreck to a terribly CGI animated title and cast screen of various skeletons being “killed” in different gruesome ways.
After that, we get some boring opening dialogue in front of a memorial service for all the people who lost their lives at the track. This sets the stage for all of these B-list actors to interact with one another in all their stereotypical, dull, half-assed, horror movie shenanigan ways.
We’ve got all of our standbys on deck: The average guy, the jock, the hot girls, the black guy, the jackass who is openly racist, the MILF... You name a terrible horror movie character stereotype, and it’s visible in this movie. The director might as well have stuck their hand in a fucking trucker hat filled with paper scraps to come up with these character traits. I’m still not entirely convinced he didn’t do that, if I’m being honest.
The main character, Nick, starts to get premonitions of how everyone that escaped death at the race track are supposed to die now, and this is where the corny level CGI gets ramped up to the nth degree.
From stupid looking tow truck hooks, to ridiculous snake models; it is quite literally the worst CGI I have ever witnessed in a movie. The only thing that comes remotely close to how bad this is would have to be Scooby Doo from the live action Scooby Doo movie.
There were huge inconsistencies in some shots. The most notable of these inconsistencies would have to be the car wash scene. The one black haired woman couldn’t get her sunroof to close in one shot, the next shot it’s closed, and then it’s open again.
Another shot in this movie that made me audibly ask, “What the fuck, really?” was this shot in the movie theater backstage area, where a nail gun fired and stuck Nick to the wall while he desperately tried to set off the sprinkler system to put out a chemical fire.
Let me break down how fucking stupid this is:
First off, a nail gun can’t be set off without pulling the trigger and also being pressed up against wood or object in general. It could never have shot like it did in the movie. A movie about death looking to rectify the fact these people survived a catastrophe they were supposed to die in is not an excuse for lazy, poorly executed shots that take you out of suspension of disbelief. If you’re going to make an unbelievable movie, you should at the very least ground some of the execution of shots in reality.
Second, not only can water not put out a chemical fire, but the classification for the drums of chemicals that are supposed to blow up are labeled as class 4. Now, I took a horrendous class for a semester in community tech college on workplace safety. The dumb book they assigned to us that I had to waste 60 damn dollars on made me want to blow my brains out. HOWEVER, it just so happens to be useful in this particular breakdown of movie practical effects. For those of you unfamiliar with classifications on hazardous material, Class 4 are flammable solids, NOT LIQUIDS. Once again, I will reiterate: Just because it’s a ridiculous movie doesn't mean you shouldn't ground your flashy, stupidity-injected death scenes somewhat in reality.
At this point, I was practically begging for this torment to end. My wish was granted shortly after this stupid scene.
The main 3 characters that are still alive after Nick somehow stopped a chemical fire with water (I’m sorry, but really?) sit at the same table they sat at near the beginning of the movie. They laugh and talk about dumb shit. I don’t know what, I was tuning them out at this point. It was at this time that Nick started looking around and noticing similar items from his premonitions beforehand. He realizes that they didn’t escape death at all, and I excitedly shouted with glee, “Oh fuck yeah!”. The other premonitions were red herrings meant to put them at this exact table, at this exact moment. A shit eating grin formed on my face that would put the Grinch to shame.
A semi truck crashes through the window into their table, the scene cuts to the same CGI skeleton animations from the opening credits scene and finally puts an end to this nightmare.
I could go more in depth on a few of these other ridiculous scenes, but thinking about this “film” anymore than I already have is giving me a migraine.
I seriously let out a sigh of relief and sank a bit into my sheets, exhausted from the experience once it was over. Little did I know that this was only the beginning of my night of horrors at the hotel...