Saturday is Horror Day #108 – The Order, Final Destination 2

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

The Order

Alex Bernier (Heath Ledger) is a young priest with special talents he uses in the service of the Church. He is devastated to learn of the death of his mentor, Dominic (Francesco Carnelutti).  They belong to the dwindling order of the Carolingians. A priest named Driscoll (Peter Weller) sends Alex to Rome to investigate the death. Before he leaves, he is visited by Mara (Shannyn Sossamon), a young woman whom he exorcised a year before. She attempted to kill him and has been in a mental institution ever since…until she makes her escape and rejoins the priest she has a crush on. He lies in order to hide her presence and take her to Rome with him.

In Rome, he is reunited with an old friend and fellow order member, Thomas (Mark Addy). Alex does not believe the official story that Dominic committed suicide. He bribes a morgue attendant to allow him to view the body and discovers unexplained wounds which may be the sign of a Sin Eater. Alex turns to a mysterious hooded figure, head of a pagan cult, who reveals that this man is William Eden (Benno Fürmann), who was born during the Renaissance. His duty is to perform the last rites for those the Church deems unworthy of more traditional rites.


Alex is a priest in conflict, having feelings for Mara that he should not have. Eden reveals his life as a sin-eater to Alex, in the hopes that he will take his place. But he decides to take a chance on love instead and leaves the priesthood instead in order to be with her. Will this decision place the ones he cares about in harm’s way? Is this really an offer Alex can refuse?


To be honest, I watched this because it has Heath Ledger, and I have to say he does very well. Shannyn Sossamon does okay. I don’t think she’s a particularly good actress, but she isn’t terrible either. I loved the relationship between Alex and Thomas – you may recall Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon from Game of Thrones. These two have done at least one other film together, A Knight’s Tale. Peter Weller, of Robocop fame, is chilling as Driscoll. However, that being said, the film isn’t really all that interesting. I’m including it as horror, but using the term loosely. There are a lot of slow parts, and I didn’t feel particularly engaged other than with Ledger. Would I recommend it? Not really. I’ll give it 3 Stars, and that only because of Heath Ledger. If you aren’t a fan of his, give it a pass.

Final Destination

A year after the events in the first movie, Kimberly (A.J. Cook) is headed off to fun in the sun with a few friends over their break. Just before getting on the highway, AJ experiences a strange vision, involving a horrific chain accident set off by a truck bearing huge wooden poles, one that culminates in many deaths. Freaked out, Kimberly blocks the highway entrance, refusing to move, much to the annoyance of other drivers. A passing state trooper,  Officer Burke (Michael Landes) stops to see what the problem is. She tries to explain, but he is understandably skeptical. Just then the truck she saw passes by and before their eyes, the accident occurs, with Kimberly, her friends, the officer, and the people she blocked all surviving. But does that mean they’ve only postponed the inevitable?

Knowing this was the anniversary of Flight 180, Kimberly is determined to figure out the meaning 

behind what happened. The only survivor of the crash still alive is Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), so Kimberly goes to visit her. The paranoid Clear isn’t very forthcoming with either sympathy or answers, so Kimberly leaves. But people are still dying, and Clear can’t ignore the facts.


Okay, so maybe the premise is a little lacking and doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Death making a list? Then what, checking it twice? The personification of Death is a little weird. Also the premise that when your number is up, it’s up, and Death will still get you. But beyond that, it’s entertaining, especially seeing all the innovative “accidents” that culminate in some rather gruesome deaths. One definite plus is the all-too-brief appearance of Tony Todd. I hope he returns in the next two films. I think it’s worth watching, so I’ll also give this film 4 Stars.


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