Olivia Castle (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) knows things are about to be bad. Despite her doctor’s kind assurances that her laser eye surgery is routine and harmless, despite the stuffed bear she clutches, Olivia cannot help but shudder. Strapped to a table, her head held still and her eyelids pulled open, Olivia only grows more agitated. In contrast, the doctor goes through the setup process in a patient monotone, calmly talking her through the process. So confident is he, that the doctor doesn’t even worry about stepping out for a moment, leaving Olivia temporarily unattended.
Of course, he doesn’t know what we know. After her life was saved by co-worker Sam Lawton (Nicholas D’Agosto), who convinced her and others to get off of a bus minutes before it was involved in a horrific accident, Olivia and her fellow survivors have been hunted by Death. Everything in the office could be an instrument of death, no matter how innocuous. Even a cup of water, perched precariously atop a bubbling water cooler, could lead to her demise.
But Final Destination 5 director Steven Quale understands that he’s making a movie for franchise veterans, viewers well aware of “the rules”, so he uses his camera to highlight the tools of Olivia’s demise. He slowly pushes into the laser, suggesting that it’s closing in on Olivia. He watches her eye squirm in extreme close-up, fluttering desperately, even as her head remains confined to the bed. He dispassionately pans up the water cooler, following the spilled water to the sparking outlet, and then along the wires that will eventually make the laser turn on, boring directly into Olivia’s eye. Perhaps most cruelly of all, the camera simply watches as Olivia claws for the emergency shut-off button, just out of reach.