Before we begin, if you wish to pre-order a copy of my third and final novel in The Signs of the Zodiac series, you can do so here.
Today I am going to be ranking one of my favourite horror franchises ever: Final Destination. I have a lot of these types of posts coming, so get excited! Next Thursday, I am going to be sharing with you my five favourite deaths from the films but for today, I am going to order the movies from best to worst. Remember, this is my personal opinion and if I rank your favourite slightly lower, it doesn’t mean it’s bad or you’re wrong. It’s just personal taste. If you’re not sure what Final Destination is, I will briefly explain the concept. In each film, the protagonist (always a different person) has a premonition of a tragic accident, resulting in a lot of deaths. Because of their foresight, they are able to prevent the event from occurring but as they have now cheated fate, death stalks each and every person involved until nobody remains. It’s gripping, exciting and sometimes hilarious (the kills can get quite creative and ridiculous). Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1.) Final Destination 3
My absolute favourite film in the entire franchise is Final Destination 3. In fact, it is very popular among most horror fans. In this movie, Wendy Christensen has a fatal vision of a disastrous roller-coaster accident at a carnival that kills her and all her friends. She warns everybody and they get off in time, but what follows isn’t much better. There are several reasons why I believe this film belongs at the top of this list. 1.) The premonition. A roller-coaster derailing is terrifying for a lot of people. It’s so relatable and effective in scaring viewers. 2.) The deaths. Two of them are in my top five favourite list. Can you guess in advance what they are? 3.) The photographs. Wendy is able to deduce how the deaths will occur, according to the photographs she took of her friends at the carnival before the accident. It’s so creative and different to the rest of the films. Lastly, I want to share a personal anecdote about this movie. I went to see it in the cinema when it came out in 2006. On the drive home, we were behind a car with a license plate that read: 666. I took it as a horrifying omen and struggled to sleep that night, convinced death was after me!
2.) Final Destination
Ahhh Final Destination, the one that started it all. I adore the first film and that’s why it’s second on my list. Did you know, it was originally going to be a storyline on The X-Files? The creator, Jeffrey Reddick, liked the concept so much, he turned it into one of the greatest horror films of the early 2000s. Alex Browning (played by Devon Sawa) is set to board a plane (Flight 180) to Paris for a school trip with his classmates, when he has a premonition of it exploding mid-air. He convinces everybody not to get on and the events play out exactly as envisioned. As the survivors attempt to return to normal life, death takes them in the order they died in the premonition. I love the original movie because of the nostalgia but also because the idea of a plane exploding is terrifying. What makes horror so effective is when you can imagine it happening to you. Prior to the pandemic, hundreds of planes around the world took off everyday. It’s too close for comfort. I also like how Alex is able to deduce by the seating plan, who is likely to die next. The deaths are clever but not so outrageous that you find them unbelievable (like some later on in the franchise). It’s a classic!
3.) Final Destination 2
Final Destination 2 unlocked a new fear for viewers worldwide: being pulverised by a stack of logs on a highway. If you’ve seen the sequel, you’ll never drive behind a truck like that ever again. I still switch lanes immediately when I see them. Kimberley Corman is heading to Daytona Beach with her friends when she has a vision of a deadly pile-up on Route 23. She prevents passage to the highway but in doing so, messes up fate’s plans. One by one, her friends begin to die in brutally, violent ways. The second film links to the first, as one of the survivors from Flight 180, Clear Rivers, has committed herself to a mental asylum to stay safe from death’s clutches. Kimberley seeks out Clear for assistance on how to save herself and her remaining friends. In this movie, we learn that only new life can defeat death. I really loved the sequel, but it didn’t compare to the third and first in my opinion.
4.) Final Destination 5
The newest Final Destination film was pleasantly surprising. After the 4th, which was a total write-off (more on that later), the fans weren’t expecting much. Luckily, it redeemed itself on two counts. 1.) The vision. In this movie, Sam Lawton is on the way to a company retreat with his colleagues. While their bus crosses the North Bay Bridge, Sam has a premonition that high winds will cause the bridge (still under construction) to collapse. He’s able to convince the bus not to cross and the chase against death begins. Once again, this type of accident is understandably scary. A lot of people fear driving over bridges for this reason. 2.) The twist ending. At the end of the film, Sam and his girlfriend Molly, believing they have defeated death, board a flight to Paris where it’s revealed that they’ve stepped onto Flight 180 – the same aircraft from the first film. Yes, Final Destination 5 is a prequel to Final Destination. I’ll never forget the first time I saw it and realised what was happening. It’s ranked lower on my list because the deaths are a bit cheesy. They started to get ridiculous as the series went on. It also doesn’t compare to the first three movies.
5.) Final Destination 4
Last but not least, we have the worst film in the Final Destination franchise. Ironically, it generated the most revenue but received the lowest ratings. This was probably because it was offered in 3-D. The reason why it was loathed by so many fans was the vision. In this movie, college student, Nick O’Bannon, watches an auto-race with his girlfriend and their friends at the McKinley Speedway for semester break. Nick has a premonition of an accident on the racetrack, that causes the stadium to collapse and kill a lot of people. As usual, he makes his loved ones leave and they escape utter tragedy…but not for long. Firstly, a speedway accident is just lame, for want of a better word. It’s completely unrelatable. I wish they had picked a more realistic concept like the other four films. Secondly, it’s forgettable. I didn’t care about any of the characters and the plot was unmemorable. The only redeemable quality is one particular death. You’ll find out which next Thursday. It’s a shame it didn’t live up to the rest of the franchise.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks for reading! Please let me know your rankings down below. As mentioned, next Thursday will feature more Final Destination content. Now is a good time to binge watch all of the films. Apparently, a 6th is in the works!
Peace & Love xoxo
I love the Final Destination films (four was a definite dog). My favourite remains the first: I especially love (should one say love about a death scene?) Ms. Lewton’s death. It’s a wow.
The first one is such a classic and yes poor Ms. Lewton! The computer exploding? Ugh! I’m glad you love the film’s too. I’ve got my 5 favourite deaths coming this week!