Why Final Destination star now sees death everywhere

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Bobby Campo, the star of the upcoming 3-D sequel film The Final Destination, told SCI FI Wire that being exposed to the complicated and connected incidents leading up to each character's death bled into a real-life awareness of accidents waiting to happen.

What sets the Final Destination movies apart from other horror films is the "mousetrap" device, in which characters find themselves in environments that ought to be safe—but where death lurks behind a cascade of seemingly minor events. The Final Destination is the fourth film in the franchise.

"I can't go anywhere without seeing the mousetrap," Campo said in a group interview last month on the film's New Orleans set. Campo plays Nick, whose vision of a stock car race disaster at the film's start saves himself and his friends from a horrible death at first, but which sets them up for a gruesome demise later on.

"It's something I've been working on so much, trying to get it right for the movie, that it's become second nature," Campo added about his newfound awareness of death's close presence. "The movie's definitely made me understand how fragile we are, because you don't think about it day to day. You're caught up in monotony—going to work, getting coffee. You don't think about how close you are to death until you have a near-death experience. I think that changes your perception."

Campo spoke with a group of reporters in a massive white tent outside a former truck warehouse transformed into a movie studio. The wind kicked up from the Gulf of Mexico, rocking the seemingly flimsy tent poles. Whenever the poles groaned, everyone sitting inside the tent looked up nervously, probably thinking the same thing: Will the tent hold up, or will it come crashing down, threatening to suffocate the people underneath? Like everyone else, Campo glanced up nervously when the tent's metal structure creaked with a sudden shift in the wind. After all, the Final Destination series is about death's efforts to claim anyone who first escapes its grasp.

Unlike the first three movies in the series, Nick has a series of premonitions, not just one. "David and I have worked really hard on making Nick into someone who is almost a servant," Campo said. "Someone who is willing to do anything for his friends, and that's something that's never been done before in this movie. There's a sense of good vs. evil in this movie that the other ones didn't have—it was all just running from evil. This one is going to do what the others couldn't do."

The Final Destination is scheduled for release on Aug. 28.