So, as a lot of you know, we watch a LOT of horror movies in this house, and it came to light that one of the ones that I’ve never seen is this franchise, Final Destination, so I thought, just for fun, I’d share this series with you. Yes, I watched all of them.
Final Destination is a series of films that started to be released in the early 2000’s. It generally involves a teen having a vision or premonition of a huge accident, which they then manage to avoid while saving some of their friends. But as they’ve cheated death, it hunts them down one by one. The deaths are huge and elaborate, and often really gory, and only get more dramatic and startling as they go along.
Things To Look Out For
If you want to play a little Final Destination drinking game or bingo, here are the things to look out for that appear in every film.
- the central couple crushing on each other
- an asshole who you can’t wait to see die (usually a racist or sexist type)
- a surprise drive by sudden death
- a very angry young man who tries to start a fight
- anyone being cut in half
- Tony Todd (Candyman) as a mortician or potentially Death himself
- someone killing themselves to save another
- a song that played during the vision that portends Death
- references to McKinley
- the number 180, the date of the first crash on the Paris flight or the memorial
- someone relaying the “rules” and suggesting that they can survive
- tenuous connections to the first film, suggesting it’s all connected…
- the words “six months later” towards the end of the film
Ready? Here goes…
Final Destination (2000)
All ready for their school trip, a teenage boy (Devon Sawa, remember him?) cheats death by having a premonition and getting off the plane to Paris, with a small group of his friends. Everyone thinks he’s mad til the exact events he saw in his mind take place, and the plane goes down. At first relieved to be safe, people are suspicious of this kid, and the FBI start looking into events. But it soon becomes clear that you can’t outwit death that easily, as the survivors start to die one by one in inexplicable accidents. The whole thing is so very of it’s time, and feels dated now in the best possible way, the clothes, the stars (Stifler from American Pie and the gay kid from Dawsons Creek, Ali Larter as the stock goth chick). It’s actually pretty fun to watch for that reason, and the crazy, convoluted deaths hold up pretty well, as Devon Sawa struggles to figure out the rules and save them all. But there’s that point that has to be made… Why was he able to have a vision in the first place, if you can’t cheat death?
Favourite Death: Elaborate chain of events in the kitchen.
Final Destination 2 (2003)
Same basic plot, but way better deaths! This time, a girl on a road trip with her friends starts to get a bad feeling about it all, and has a vision of a huge car pile up. She blocks traffic and saves lives, only to find that what happened to Alex and his friends on flight 180 is now happening to her and the people she managed to save. Ali Larter is still hanging on, though she’s chosen to lock herself up in an institution for safety. But can any of them be saved? And have the rules changed? Maybe! There’s a clue that a new life might be able to save an old one, and they figure that if they can find the pregnant woman who was at the accident they might be able to save themselves, but can they get to her in time?
Favourite Death: Take the stairs, the elevator is out of order.
Final Destination 3 (2006)
Ever been at a fairground or theme park and thought that the rides looked a little dodgy and unsafe? Then this installment is for you. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane) has a bad feeling about things, and manages to get kicked off the ride with a few others right before it starts slaughtering teens. And then they start getting killed off one by one… the characters are far more comical and stock in this one, if you can imagine that, and this time the characters use photographs taken at the theme park that suggest how each person will be killed. And I’d say personally I think it’s much better than the previous one, because Winstead is a great lead, and the franchise is really hitting it’s stride. And the deaths are ridiculous!
Favourite Death: The moody goth guy is crushed (literally) that his girlfriend is dead.
The Final Destination (2009)
That car is about to flip over the barriers, and the stadium is about to collapse on everyone… This the film starts at a rally driving event, and rather being numbered has a dubious “The” at the start of the title and relied on 3D to make things even sillier and more gory. This time death is more proactive and direct in his killing, and the lead character has extra visions, not just the initial one. For a 3D movie it actually plays OK as a 2D film, and has some fun plot developments, but it’s I think everyone’s least favourite entry. It has to get some points for creatively stupid deaths though. And those opening and closing credits are really something.
Favourite Death: tow truck red neck. Maybe it’s not the fanciest, but it’s definitely the silliest.
Final Destination 5 (2013)
Kids on a bus trip barely escape a bridge collapse this time, in which many die, but by now we know, you really really can’t cheat Death. By this point, people are practically exploding like ketchup filled balloons as soon as danger even looks at them, and the actors are all people who look like they coulda beena contender, but you’ve never seen them in much else, but this who cares? That opening scene on the bridge is an incredible set piece, and maybe this time, the young lovers will finally figure out deaths plan and… well, maybe not.
Favourite Death: The gymnast, hands down. Possibly my favourite death of the series! Yuck!
Final Destination 6 2017?
There are plenty of rumours circulating about a troubled 6th installment due out this year. Because the internet is a strange place there are plenty of fake trailers and things, so it’s hard to tell what’s true, but IMDB does not have any entry for a sixth movie, which it would normally list as being in pre-production so it seems unlikely.
For those of you who are true fans of the franchise, this stomach lurching compilation of all the deaths in order should amuse you, by Ruben VH on YouTube. HERE
Also, if you like these films, what’s your favourite death?