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Final Destination (franchise)

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Final Destination Series Collage

The Final Destination Series (2000-2011).

I've seen it all before; a lucky few survive a disaster and then one-by-one, Death comes for them all.

William Bludworth, Final Destination 5.

Final Destination is a horror film franchise created by Jeffrey Reddick. The series focuses on groups of people trying to avoid Death after living past when they were supposed to die causing a rift in Death's design. Death itself tries to set things right by killing all of those who have disturbed the balance of life and death.The series plays on themes of fatalism, predestination, precognition, fate vs. free will, etc.

James Wong directed Final Destination (2000) and Final Destination 3 (2006) with David R. Ellis directing Final Destination 2 (2003) and The Final Destination (2009). Steven Quale directed the fifth and the most recent installment of the franchise Final Destination 5 (2011) which has garnered the most favorable reviews from critics. 

The series is notable among horror film fans in that the franchise is like a slasher film series (like Friday the 13th or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) only there's no actual killer, but Death itself.

Films

Print publications

  1. Final Destination: Dead Reckoning (2005)
  2. Final Destination: Destination Zero (2005)
  3. Final Destination: End of the Line (2005)
  4. Final Destination: Dead Man's Hand (2005)
  5. Final Destination: Looks Could Kill (2005)
  6. Final Destination: Death of the Senses (2005)
  7. Final Destination: Sacrifice (2006)
  8. Final Destination: Spring Break (2006)
  9. Final Destination (2006)
  10. Final Destination 2 (2006)
  11. Final Destination 3 (2006)

The Story

Final Destination

Main article: Final Destination
Final-destination

Final Destination

Final Destination is the first entry in the series. It follows a high school student named Alex Browning who foresees a plane explosion that kills hundreds. He panics and is thrown off the plane along with six others including his best friend Tod Waggner, his arch rival Carter Horton, Carter's girlfriend Terry Chaney, and two fellow classmates Clear Rivers and Billy Hitchcock. His teacher Valerie Lewton volunteers to stay behind and look after the students. Initially everyone believes Alex is nuts but are stunned to witness the plane explode in mid air upon take-off.

Months after the incident, Tod is found strangled to death in his bathtub. His death is deemed a suicide but Alex is convinced this isn't just a coincidence, and after visiting him at the mourge learns from mortician William Bludworth that death is claiming the lives of those who were meant to die on the plane. This is confirmed when he witnesses Terry being hit by a bus first-hand. He also finds out that death is killing them in the order they were to die if they were to stay on the plane and deduces that Ms. Lewton will be next. He rushes to her house, but looks suspicious and is taken into custody.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Lewton's coffee mug leaks into her computer monitor causing it to explode. A shard slits her throat, she stumbles into the kitchen and her stove ignites causing her to fall to the ground. She reaches for a rag to stop the bleeding which is sitting on a rack of knives on the counter causing it to tip over, and sending a knife into her chest. Alex is released and finds Lewton bleeding on the floor near death.

Another explosion causes a chair to topple over, driving the knife deeper into her chest. By the time he pulls the knife from her chest she has already bleed to death. He flees the scene realizing it will look like he is responsible for her death. He goes into hiding but is found by Clear. He explains to Carter and Billy that death is after them and Carter stops his car on train tracks wanting to die on his own terms.

At the last moment he changes his mind but can not get out of the car. Alex saves him and a shard from the wreckage is sent flying through the air decapitating Billy. This leads Alex to believe that because he saved Carter, death has skipped him and went to the next person on its list, Billy. Alex realizes he is next and distances himself from Clear. He then remembers that Clear was meant to die before him in the plane explosion. He rushes to save her and finds her trapped in a car that is seconds away from exploding with an electric power cable flipping around outside. He grabs the cable electrocuting himself and allowing her to leave the car before it explodes.

Six months later it is revealed he has survived and is now in Paris along with Clear and Carter the three celebrate there victory over some drinks. Just then Alex says that he has saved Carter and Clear skipping them but, in his case he has never been skipped. He then he begins having a weird feeling and leaves the table he walks into the street and a bus swerves to avoid hitting him driving into a sign which swings off its hinges.

Carter wrestles Alex to the ground saving him from being hit by the falling sign. Alex tells Carter that death has skipped him just then the sign comes swinging back down killing Carter. This means that once death has skipped everyone on its list it will go back to the top of the list and start over again.

Final Destination 2

Main article: Final Destination 2
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Final Destination 2

Final Destination 2 starts exactly one year after the first film. Kimberly Corman is headed to Daytona beach, Florida with her friends for spring break but she has a vision of a car pile up on route 23 killing her and her friends. She stalls the on ramp and is saved by officer Thomas Burke from being hit by a large truck which kills her friends. Everyone is taken in for questioning and after hearing of the events of the first film they all storm off. Soon after Evan Lewis gets impaled by an escape ladder, and Tim Carpenter is  crushed by a glass pane.

Kimberly seeks help from Flight 180 survivor Clear Rivers who is now a willing inmate at an insane asylum. She is the only remaining survivor after Alex was killed by a falling brick. Initially she refuses to help Kimberly but eventually agrees. Clear, Kimberly, and Thomas all visit William Bludworth a mortician who tells them the only way to defeat death is via new life. This leads them to believe that by Isabella Hudson, a survivor of the pile, having her baby death's design will be messed up and they will all be scratched off deaths list.

That night they call a meeting so all the survivors can look after one another. Nora Carpenter storms off to plan her son's funeral but is alarmed by a man with hooks standing behind her. Her hair is caught by a hook and as she tries to leave the elevator her head is crushed by the sliding doors and she is decapitated. The next day the remaining survivors leave to find Isabella who has just gone into labor. They learn that death is working in reverse because all of them are alive because of the survivors of flight 180.

Kimberly should have been killed by car theives along with her mother, but she was distracted watching a news report on Tod Waggners death. Thomas should have been killed in a shoot out with his partner but was called to the scene of Billy Hitchcock's death. Rory Peters would have been killed in a theater collapse in France, but was too shaken up to attend after witnessing Carter being crushed by the fallen sign. Eugene Dix replaced Mrs. Lewton after her death, and avoided being killed by a student at his former job. Kat Jennings would have been killed by a gas leak in her hotel, but her bus was delayed after hitting Terry Chaney.

Just then they get in an accident and Eugene's lung is punctured by a pipe. The Gibbons family, who witnessed the accident, try to help by calling firefighters to the scene. A firefighter tries to help Kat, who is trapped in the van, and accidently sets off the air bag which pushes her back into a pipe protruding from the head rest. She drops her cigarette which falls into gas leaking from the van causing an explosion, and sending a barbed wire fence flying through the air, which trisects Rory. Kimberly, Clear, and Thomas follow Eugene to the hospital and witness the birth of Isabella's child.

Just then Kimberly realizes Isabella was never supposed to die in the pile up and Eugene and Clear are killed in an explosion. Kimberly drives an ambulance into a lake to ruin death's design, and save Thomas, but she is revived thus granting her new life. Months later they join the Gibbons for a barbeque where they are told that their son Brian was saved from near death by Rory, who pulled him out the way of an oncoming ambulance. Just then the grill malfunctions and Brian explodes with his arm landing on his mothers plate who screams in horror.

Final Destination 3

Main article: Final Destination 3
It has be
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Final Destination 3

en five years since the second film. Wendy and her graduating class attend an amusement park for grad night. With her is her boyfriend Jason, her best friend Carrie and Carrie's obnoxious, and immature boyfriend Kevin who also happens to be Jason's best friend. They are about to board a roller coaster called Devil's Flight when Wendy has a vision of the Roller coaster derailing. She demands to be let off along with Kevin and several others. Unfortunately, Jason and Carrie are killed in the accident. Days later Ashley and Ashlyn, two survivors, are incinerated while tanning.

During their funeral, Wendy and Kevin find that death is claiming those who were meant to die on the roller coaster meaning that Frankie is next. They deduce that there are hints as to how the next person will die hidden in photos that Wendy took the night of the accident. They go through a drive through trying to find clues in Frankie's picture, when they realize a truck is rolling down the hill, and headed in there direction.

They are trapped in the drive through and break through the wind shield escaping near death. The impact causes the engine in Kevin's truck to fly out killing the man in front of them who they find out was Frankie. Next they try to warn Lewis Romero convinced that a weight will come crushing down on his head. Sure enough they find him at a gym. He fails to believe them and weights crush his head as they predicted.

Next they try to warn Ian McKinley and Erin Ulmer who don't believe them either. Wendy saves Ian from being impaled by fallen planks of wood skipping him. Death moves onto Erin and she is shot multiple times through the face by a nail gun. Later on Wendy views a picture taken on the roller coaster realizing her sister Julie was on the ride as well and is next. She rushes to a tricentennial celebration were she finds Julie being dragged by a horse. Kevin cuts the rope saving her before she is impaled by spikes. Wendy demands to know who was sitting beside her on the roller coaster, as they are next. Julie's friend Perry backs up in fear and is impaled by a flag pole, which was sent flying through the air.

Kevin is next and is almost killed when a fire ignites in his face, but he is saved just in time by Wendy, only suffering minor burns. Ian, blaming Wendy for Erin's death, attempts to kill her, but Wendy, Kevin, and Julie dodge a set of fireworks that go off in their direction, causing a cherry picker to tip over and crush Ian, and leading them to believe that since they have all been skipped they have cheated death.  

Months later, Wendy meets Kevin and Julie on a train which crashes causing a tire to fly through mid air killing Julie, Kevin to be ground between the train and the tunnel wall and Wendy to be hit by a second train. Wendy realizes this was just another vision and they attempt to stop the train, but to no avail. The screen then fades to black and the train can be heared crashing presuming all three dead.

The Final Destination

Main article: The Final Destination
405px-The final destination poster

The Final Destination

Four years after Final Destination 3, Nick O'Bannon and his friends visit a speedway. Nick has a premonition of a car crash sending cars into the the stands and causing the stadium to collapse on him his girlfriend Lori, and friends Hunt, Janet and several innocent by standers.

He panics and pushes past several people to escape the iminant accident. Several people leave the stadium seconds before it collapse as he foresaw. Days later Carter Daniels blaming George Lanter for the death of his wife attempts to burn a cross on his front lawn. But his plan back fires and he ends up being dragged down the street on fire before the truck finally explodes.

The next day, another survivor Samantha Lane has a rock propelled through her eye. Nick, after hearing of the three previous incidences, returns to the race track to try to remember who was next to die in his premonition. George shows him several security tapes of the accident helping him refresh his memory and he deduces that a man named Andy Kewzer will be next.

They find him working in a mechanic shop. As they try to talk to him a Co2 tank is sent in his path knocking him into a grid linked fence. Lori and George go to find Janet while Nick tries to find Hunt. George and Lori find Janet at a car wash saving her from near death. Nick is not as successful and Hunt has his intestines sucked out of his body by a pool drain.

George realizes he is next and attempts to commit suicide but, all his attempts fail. This leads them to believe they cheated death, but Nick realizes that in his premonition he switched seats with a man who would have died in the accident, but because he fled the stadium before switching seats with him, he survived the accident, even though he never left the stadium. They find him at a hospital, but he is killed when an overflown bath tub in the room above him falls through the ceiling and crushes him. George is then hit by an ambulance and Nick rushes to save Lori and Janet. He gets to the mall cinema in time to save Lori, but Janet refuses to come with them and is killed when the screen explodes. Lori and Nick are then killed by a faulty escalator, while attempting to escape.

Nick realizes this was just another vision and after George is killed he rushes to save Lori and Janet, successfully stopping the fire that would have caused the explosion. Weeks later they celebrate their apparent victory, at a coffee shop, when Nick suddenly realizes that death has actually been manipulating them the whole time so they would be in that exact place, at that very moment. Just then a truck crashes through the window crushing Janet's spine, twisting Lori's neck and throwing Nick into a wall breaking his jaw and killing him.

Final Destination 5

Main article: Final Destination 5
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Final Destination 5

Two weeks before Final Destination, Sam Lawton, an employee at presage paper, boards a bus for a two day business retreat, and has a vision of a fatal bridge collapse. He grabs his ex-girlfriend Molly Harper, and exits the bus, followed by his boss Dennis Lapman, and a handful of his co-workers. During a memorial service, the survivors are warned by coroner William Bludworth, that death doesn't like to be cheated, however, they ignore his warning. Sometime later, Candice Hooper is killed in a freak gymnastics accident, causing her boyfriend, and fellow survivor Peter Friedkin to become unstable.

Next is Isaac Palmer who visits a spa for an accupuncture, and is killed when a large buddha statue crushes his head. Sam, Molly, Peter, and Nathan Sears arrive at the scene, and encounter Bludworth for the second time, who tells them of deaths design. He also tells them they can make an exchange with death by killing someone who will take their place on deaths list, and they will in turn gain their remaining life span. Sam, Molly, and Nathan attempt to warn Olivia Castle, who is in the middle of lasik eye surgery.

A series of events causes the laser to burn Olivia's eye, and she trips and falls out the window, plummetting to her death, before they can reach her. Sam discovers they are dying in the order they would have died in the bridge collapse, and deduces that Nathan is next. Nathan, meanwhile, accidently kills antagonistic factory worker Roy, and thus claims his remaining life span. Death then skips Nathan and moves on to Dennis, who is killed when a wrench is propelled at his face. 

That night Sam and Molly, having rekindle their relationship, have dinner at Le Cafe Miro 81, and Sam admits he has accepted a job as a chef in Paris, and Molly agrees to accompany him. Peter arrives soon after, and attempts to kill Molly, as she would have survived the initial bridge collapse, but ends up killing Agent Jim Block instead. Peter continues to pursue Molly since she witnessed Block's murder, but is killed by Sam, who impales him with a stake (unwittingly adding Molly to death's list).

This leads Sam to believe he has Block's life. Following these events Sam, and Molly board Flight 180, and witness Alex, Carter and the other passengers being removed from the plane before it takes off, and explodes in mid air. Meanwhile, Nathan learns that Roy had an enlarge blood vessel in his brain which could have burst at any moment. Just then Debris from Flight 180 falls from the sky, and crushes Nathan.

Trivia

  • The Final Destination films alternate between the time of day that the opening cataclysm takes place. The Flight 180 plane crash happened at night, the Route 23 pile-up happened at daytime, the Devil's Flight derailment happened at night, and the McKinley Speedway crash happened at daytime. Final Destination 5 seems to break from this tradition as the bridge accident also occurs during the daytime, but it is revealed that the events in Final Destination 5 happen chronologically before to the Flight 180 plane crash.
  • Each film follows the same format:
  1. Someone foresees a catastrophe, and manages to avoid their impending fate and the fate of others
  2. Death re-claims those who were meant to die in the accident
  3. The last of the survivors come together in the climax were the protagonist believes they have finally cheated Death (Clear's Home, Lakeview Hospital, McKinley Tricentennial, Tagert Cinema, Le Cafe Miro 81)
  4. The last 2 or 3 survivors learn they haven't changed anything and that death is inevitable (Paris, France, the Gibbons barbeque, Train 081, Death by Caffeine, Flight 180)
  • The Final Destination series is somewhat notable among horror fans in that there are currently no survivors (with the possible exception of William Bludworth). Alex and Clear were the survivors of the first film but in between the course of the first and second film Alex had died. Clear dies in the second film and it is revealed in Final Destination 3 in a newspaper article that Final Destination 2 survivors Kimberly and Thomas had died as well. And as for the third, fourth and fifth film every one dies in the end (although the deaths of Wendy, Kevin and Julie can only be seen in premonition).
  • It appears that the first death in every movie is solo. No one is present to witness the death of the first victim, although this slighty changes in The Final Destination (Final Destination 4) and  Final Destination 5.
    • Another theory related to this is that almost every 4th survivor/pair (Carter, Brian, Ian, Nathan) appears to be skipped, and the 5th survivor/pair dies almost instantly afterwards (Billy, Kat and Rory, Erin, Roy and Dennis).
  • Due to its immense popularity and the fact there is no actual killer in the movies, the franchise has often been mention in pop culture.
  • In the first 3 films, the visionary never sees the first death. Alex did not see Tod die, Kimberly didn't see Evan die, same with Wendy and Ashley and Ashlyn. Only Nadia's death was seen by Nick and Candice's was seen by Sam.
  • In commercial air travel, "final destination" is a quasi-industry term that refers to a passenger's ultimate intended location. For the franchise, it is a metaphor for Death; the ultimate fate or "destination" that everyone has. The title carries this double-meaning specifically concerning the events of the first film. However, it may vaguely apply to the next 3 films in the way that the subsequent events are all possibly byproducts of a ripple-effect created by the survivors of Flight 180. The 5th film of course is the big exception as it takes place prior to the crash.

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