Set Visit: Final Destination 5
Knowing the filmmakers' distaste for CGI blood, we wondered how that practical content figured into Final Destination 5. Toby grinned and explained, "Throughout the process we've gotten consistently gorier. We must be sitting around 15-20 gallons of blood right now, just to give you a scale, and we'll probably make it past 30 by the time we're done. We're getting into a lot of the wetter stuff over this past week." After some laughter and light bulbs going off over heads, we were treated to an awesome tale of maggots and police intervention. "A few years ago we were moving our shop, and a body from the third picture that gets severed at the waist on the roller coaster, it ended up going into storage at our old shop. It got wrapped in plastic, and blood being corn syrup-based (and we were adding chocolate to our blood and changing tones so it becomes more of a petri dish), it got pretty sour before we moved it to the other shop. When it came out of storage, it was still wrapped in plastic so we put it out in the alley. It was a Friday, and we put it out in the alley next to a bin in our gated yard. And on Sunday I had like six calls from the police while I was in the water with my daughter, and so I had to rush back. They had sent out 50 forensics investigators and cordoned off two blocks. So that speaks for the authenticity of it. It had that added level of authenticity with a bit of mold and a good smell happening, too, which is always convincing."
The Final Destination films have always set out to present a cast of characters from all walks of life; a sharp contrast to the countless horror films packed with hot teens or twenty-somethings. The filmmakers mentioned that those fans who have stuck around since Episode 1 are now in their 30's and 40's so this cast includes a range of ages, allowing for a closer connection with the cast. To that end, in this fifth installment the filmmakers are seeking a deeper connection between the viewer and those about to die with a further emphasis on character development as well. Craig Perry explains, "One of the things that we strove to do was to give them more that they could chew on because I think the more that they are wrestling with as persons, the more the possibility of losing all that by dying will impact their decisions and force them to do things so I think one of the things that's most interesting is that there's an idea of real loss. One of the things that we've been accused of, and I think rightly so, in the franchise is that we don't allow the characters to mourn the deaths of the other ones. We have found a way to accommodate the idea of one of the characters mourning the death of one of the other people in their cadre in a way that is actually related to the story so that it doesn't slow down the movie. That's one of the twists that we've come up with, and it's a really interesting thing. I think it's going to allow for something - a third act confrontation that none of the other movies have been able to facilitate, and I will leave it at that. But what I like about what we have done here is create a character-based drama in the third act where they're not just running around trying to save people – there are a lot bigger things at stake." Craig went on to promise that the characters are given more to do, providing greater challenges for the actors and (hopefully) providing a more satisfactory story for the viewer.
Steven Quale weighed in on the topic of characterization saying, "I'm a filmmaker and I love to go see movies, and I want to see good movies so I strive for excellence, and to me it always starts with the characters and the cast and how to transform that written page into an actual living, breathing person, and that's why we worked really hard at that … and that was everybody, the executives at New Line, myself, the producers … to try to make that happen, and it was beyond my wildest dreams. I'm thrilled to death with what we got. In some of the other Final Destination movies, some of the characters were so, how shall I say, non-desirable, just in their character, that you were happy they got killed, and that's fun, too, but if you really care about the characters, then it can be that much more horrific and sudden when they're gone so you build up to that. That's drama. You want conflict and surprises, and that paradigm makes for a better movie."
Speaking of characters, let's meet em'! This motley crew all work at the same large industrial paper company. The relationships of some of the characters are still relatively new so there are people completely comfortable and those still finding their way in the group. The crew goes on a corporate retreat to build on those relationships. Of course, no one wants to be there. As they cross a massive suspension bridge, the mayhem begins.
Emma Bell (of Frozen and "The Walking Dead" fame) plays Molly Harper, just coming out of a tumultuous, sexually charged relationship with Nick ("Heroes") D'Agosto's character, Sam Lawton. Sam is the "premonition boy" of the film. Their love affair started in the copy room and then continued onto the copier itself. Now Molly is giving Sam his walking papers, but he is trying his best to win her back. Perhaps some shared personal tragedy and the rush of survival against all odds will bring them back together? Might happen! The two are basically worker bees in the office.