Wendy Christensen

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Wendy Christensen
Final Destination character
Photo still from Final Destination 3..jpg
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Wendy Christensen
First appearance Final Destination 3
Last appearance Final Destination 5
(archive footage)
Created by Glen Morgan
James Wong
Portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Information
Full name Wendy Christensen
Gender Female
Occupation Former high school student
(graduated from McKinley High)
Family Julie Christensen
(younger sister, deceased)
Location McKinley, Pennsylvania
Status Deceased
Cause of death Hit by an oncoming subway

Wendy Christensen is a fictional character in the Final Destination series, portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Wendy serves as the protagonist of Final Destination 3.[1] She is a high school student from the fictional town McKinley in Pennsylvania, and is one of the survivors of the Devil's Flight roller-coaster crash. She is the tenth and final survivor; although it was ambiguous if she survived at the end of the movie. However, in 2011, franchise producer Craig Perry stated that he believes both Wendy and her sister Julie are in fact, dead.[2]

The character is depicted as an emotional, obsessive-compulsive "control freak" who becomes depressed over the course of the film as she fails to save the lives of those around her.

Character arc[edit]

Final Destination 3[edit]

Wendy lived in McKinley, Pennsylvania, with her sister Julie Christensen. She was shown to be a control freak. She was dating Jason Wise, and was friends with Kevin Fischer and Carrie Dreyer. She was the school photographer for the yearbook. Wendy and her friends celebrated at the amusement park for their senior field trip. At the start of the film, Wendy admits that she doesn't care for Kevin. Though as the movie goes on she slowly forms a caring relationship between herself and Kevin.

Before getting on a roller coaster ride known as Devil's Flight, Wendy began to have the feeling of "having no control". Shortly after being seated on the coaster, she suffered a premonition of the entire ride derailing and brutally killing her and all the other passengers. She panicked, and managed to get several of her fellow students off, before realizing her boyfriend Jason and best friend Carrie were still on the roller-coaster. She fails to get them off the ride in time and witnesses the derailment of the roller-coaster and the death of Jason and Carrie.

After the incident, she is determined to leave McKinley due to the bad memories, but begins noticing the photographs she took on the night of the roller-coaster ride carries ominous clues to how the other survivors eventually meet their end. She then pairs up with Kevin to save the other survivors; She ends up only managing to rescue Ian, her sister Julie and Kevin from their second intended deaths. Shortly after, Ian unintentionally helps Wendy escape her second death, but he himself is killed instead. Wendy, Kevin and Julie believe they have managed to escape Death, but five months later, during a chance reunion, Wendy receives another premonition that foretells their deaths in the subway crash. Her attempts to stop the subway are for naught, as the film cuts to black, with sounds of the train derailment being heard, just as she runs towards the exit door. Following this, Wendy's fate, along with Kevin's and Julie's following the premonition is unknown.

In an alternate ending found on the DVD, Wendy did not receive the premonition and the film ends with the subway barreling straight into her, explicitly showing her death.

Casting[edit]

In the DVD features, it is revealed by James Wong that he originally intended for Wendy to be a "perky blonde". Alexis Bledel was also revealed to have tried out for the role. Winstead, who had previously auditioned for the previous two films, eventually won the role as she brought emotion and character that impressed Wong and Morgan.

"Taking over for Devon Sawa and A.J. Cook before her, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (2005's "Sky High") is Wendy, the beleaguered heroine who experiences the premonition. More so than Cook, Winstead is fully convincing and even touching in her portrayal of a young woman struggling to handle the traumatic events thrown at her."

— Dustin Putman compliments Winstead's performance over Cook's from the previous movie

Reception[edit]

Winstead's performance was met with generally positive reception among critics. James Berardinelli says she "does as competent a job as one could expect in these dire circumstances." [3] Felix Gonzalez, Jr. speaks positively of Winstead and Merriman's performances, saying "the film is not entirely unwatchable. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ryan Merriman are likeable in the lead roles." [4] Frank Ochieng also calls Winstead a "passable leading lass" [5] and TheDailyMacabre even goes on to say "Winstead is a stronger lead than A.J. Cook".[6]

Louis B. Hobson however criticizes her and Merriman's performances, saying "Merriman and Winstead have basically two emotions. They're either grieving or terrified." [7] Waffle Movies adds "the performance is too much", likening her performance to "the person who shows up to a Halloween costume party wearing a formal evening gown." [8]

References[edit]