Two 'B' films posing as first-run fare bring down the curtain on 2011's DVD schedule. 'Final Destination 5' is the latest installment in the death-defying series that has a group of people cheating death in a spectacular opening sequence, only to have the grim reaper come after each survivor to get his due. The other release is the sci-fi horror "found footage" film 'Apollo 18,' about a doomed "secret" Apollo manned mission to the moon; the horror in this one is horrible. Read on.
'Final Destination 5'
In this fourth sequel in the famous series about the impossibility of cheating death, the grim reaper is just as omnipresent as ever, going after eight co-workers -- on their way to a company retreat -- who are saved from a terrifying suspension bridge collapse. Naturally, as is the wont with the series, each meets an unusual and bloody death.

It's Kinda Like: 'The Final Destination' meets 'Final Destination'

What We Say: Based on the film's closing sequence (which we won't reveal so it won't spoil the ending), this may be the final installment in the series ('The Final Destination' certainly wasn't the last stop). And that's just as well, since the filmmakers have run out of steam in figuring our unique ways in which to kill off the cast. Aside from the spectacular suspension bridge accident, the subsequent deaths are fairly mundane. To spice things up, there's a subplot about "buying" more time by killing someone and taking their years, and there's some interesting tricks in the outcome of a couple of the deaths, but for the most part 'Final Destination' has hit a dead end.

• Extras: Alternate death scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes.
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'Apollo 18'
What It's About: "Found footage" film purports to document the ill-fated voyage of Apollo 18, which was sent to the moon on a secret U.S. Department of Defense mission a year after Apollo 17. According to the history books, Apollo 17 was the last manned mission to the lunar rock, and this film reveals the reason the U.S. has never returned to the moon -- the astronauts encountered something horrible on the satellite's surface.

It's Kinda Like: 'The Blair Witch Project' meets 'The Quatermass Xperiment'

What We Say: Enough with the "found footage" films. Though technically well put together, 'Apollo 18' is a scrubbed mission, ultimately boring with few scares, characters we don't give a hoot about, and moon monsters that aren't as horrible as the build-up given to them. In space, no one can hear you snore.

• Extras: Commentary, deleted and alternate scenes, alternate endings.
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Other New December 27 Releases:
  • 'Brighton Rock': (2010) The rise and fall of a vicious gangland punk, based on Graham Greene's chilling 1938 novel. Stars Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, Helen Mirren, John Hurt.
  • 'A Good Old Fashioned Orgy': (2010) A thirtysomething party animal famous for his lavish summer parties at his father's swanky Hamptons pad organizes one last blow-out before his circle of friends disbands and his father sells the estate. Stars Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Bibb, Lake Bell.
  • 'Hostel: Part III': (2011) While attending a bachelor party in Las Vegas, four friends are enticed by two sexy escorts to join them at a private party way off the Strip, where they find themselves the subjects of a perverse game of torture.
  • 'The Hunters': (2011) A group of friends decide to spend time in the one place that was forbidden to them as kids -- the woods, where they come upon what they believe is an abandoned fort, until they find the walls dripping with blood and decomposing bodies lining the floor.
  • 'In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds': (2011) A lethal, ex-Special Forces soldier finds himself transported back to a mystical age of sorcery, dragons and savage hand-to-hand combat to defeat the forces of darkness and fulfill an ancient prophecy. Stars Dolph Lundgren, Natassia Malthe.
  • 'The Pool Boys': (2011) Comedy follows a pool boy and his friends who, tired of working dead end jobs, scheme to get rich quick by turning an empty mansion into a home for the hottest escorts in Beverly Hills. Stars Matthew Lillard, Rachelle Lefevre, Efren Ramirez, Brett Davern, Tom Arnold.

Check out more December 27 DVD releases at OnVideo.

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Final Destination 5
Based on 24 critics

Survivors of a bridge disaster learn that they cannot cheat Death. Read More

Apollo 18
Based on 19 critics

Lost footage from a secret mission to the moon reveals a terrifying alien encounter. Read More

categories Dvds, Movies, Blu-Ray Dvds