As if that whole collecting-of-souls thing weren’t enough to do, Death has the additional responsibility of having to liaise extensively with Fate. At least according to the Final Destination franchise, in which Death’s performance has been so dismal that you suspect the guy might lack networking skills. Or maybe he just needs some time off. Think about it: Over the past six years, he’s allowed three groups of half-witted teens to evade his bony grasp for at least 90 minutes, which must be a blow to afterlife productivity, not to mention morale. In Final Destination 3, it’s with an almost perceptible sigh that Death gets up off his pale ass to take care of business when high-school senior Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has a roller-coaster-ride premonition of disaster, throws a hissy fit, and inadvertently saves the lives of (nearly) everyone we’re supposed to care about. Credit director James Wong, who also directed, co-scripted, and produced the series’s first installment, for knowing what his audience has come to see: Outside of having Wendy constantly remind everyone that she’s a control freak, he and co-writer Glen Morgan dispense with such cinematic subtleties as character development and get more or less straight to the killing. Unfortunately, by the standards the franchise has set for itself, that’s all you can give them credit for. The you-can-cheat-Death-if-you-figure-out-his-design concept hasn’t evolved since the original film: Everyone’s still supposed to die in a certain order, people still get skipped over if someone else intervenes, and clues as to how Death’s gonna git ya can still be found—this time in a series of photographs taken during the opening scene. Of course, these kids aren’t actually supposed to cheat Death; they’re just supposed to die—painfully. But no matter what your audience wants, it’s a problem when your franchise’s signature filmmaking gimmick—in this case, slow-moving sequences of seemingly unrelated minor events that lead up to each character’s demise—starts taking second place to the amount of blood it results in. With one eye on those numbers, Wong and Morgan seem to be having as little fun as their invisible protagonist, which provokes a question: If Death is that bored with his job, why should we watch him do it? —Matthew Borlik