DVD set containing all five films
|Directed by||Final Destination 1, 3
Final Destination 2, 4
David R. Ellis
Final Destination 5
|Produced by||Glen Morgan
|Screenplay by||Final Destination 1, 3
Final Destination 1, 3
Final Destination 2
J. Mackye Gruber
Final Destination 2, 4
Final Destination 5
|Story by||Final Destination 1
Final Destination 2
J. Mackye Gruber
by Jeffrey Reddick
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
|Music by||Final Destination 1, 2, 3
Final Destination 4, 5
|Distributed by||Final Destination 1, 2, 3,
New Line Cinema
Final Destination 4, 5
March 17, 2000
Final Destination 2
January 31, 2003
Final Destination 3
February 10, 2006
The Final Destination
August 28, 2009
Final Destination 5
August 12, 2011
|Total (5 films)
|Budget||Total (5 films)
|Box office||Total (5 films)
Final Destination is an American horror franchise composed of 5 films, comic books and novels. It is based on an unproduced spec script by Jeffrey Reddick, originally written for the X-Files television series, and was distributed by New Line Cinema. All five films center around a protagonist that has a premonition of a terrible accident that will kill numerous people. The protagonist and several other people manage to escape from the scene of the accident, before it happens, but are later killed in a series of bizarre accidents that frequently resemble Rube Goldberg machines in their complexity.
The series is noteworthy amongst others in the horror genre in that the "villain" of the movies is not the stereotypical slasher, but Death itself (very occasionally seen as a fleeting shadow), which manipulates the environment with the intent of claiming the lives of those who managed to escape their fates.
In addition to the films, a novel series (which includes the novelizations of the first three films) was published throughout 2005 and 2006 by Black Flame. A one-shot comic book titled Final Destination: Sacrifice was released alongside select DVDs of Final Destination 3 in 2006, and a comic series titled Final Destination: Spring Break was published by Zenescope Entertainment in 2007.
- 1 Films
- 2 Future
- 3 Structure of the films
- 4 Cast and characters
- 5 Novels
- 6 Comics
- 7 Reception
- 8 Spinoff works bibliography
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Final Destination (2000)
High school student Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) boards Volee Airlines Flight 180 for a field trip to Paris. Before take-off, Alex has a premonition that the plane will explode in mid-air, killing everyone on board. When the events from his vision begin to repeat themselves in reality, he panics, and a fight breaks out, which leads to a handful of passengers being left behind including Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), Carter Horton (Kerr Smith), Billy Hitchcock (Seann William Scott), Valerie Lewton (Kristen Cloke), Terry Chaney (Amanda Detmer), and Tod Waggner (Chad Donella), who witness the plane explode moments later. Afterwards, the survivors begin to die one by one through a series of bizarre accidents, and Alex attempts to find a way to "cheat" Death's plan before its too late. Six months later, Alex, Clear, and Carter travel to Paris to celebrate their survival, believing they have finally cheated Death; however, after Carter is crushed by a giant neon sign, they realize that Death's plan is still in action.
Final Destination 2 (2003)
One year after the first film, college student Kimberly Corman (A. J. Cook) is heading to Daytona Beach for spring break with her friends Shaina, Dano, and Frankie (Sarah Carter, Alex Rae, and Shaun Sipos) En route, Kimberly has a premonition of a massive car pile-up on Route 23, killing everyone involved. She stalls her SUV on the entrance ramp preventing several people from entering the highway, including state trooper Thomas Burke (Michael Landes), Eugene Dix (T.C. Carson), Rory Peters (Jonathan Cherry), Kat Jennings (Keegan Connor Tracy), Nora and Tim Carpenter (Lynda Boyd and James Kirk), Evan Lewis (David Paetkau), and pregnant Isabella Hudson (Justina Machado). While Officer Burke questions Kimberly, the pile-up occurs as she predicted. In the days following the accident, the survivors begin to die one by one in a series of bizarre accidents. After learning about the explosion of flight 180, Kimberley teams up with Clear Rivers, the only survivor of the first film and Flight 180, to try to save a new group of people from Death. This time the survivors are told that only "new life" can defeat Death, and must stay alive long enough for Isabella to have her baby. It is later revealed that Isabella was never meant to die in the pileup, and Kimberly drowns herself in a lake so that she can be resuscitated by emergency staff, thus granting her "new life"; saving her and Thomas.
Final Destination 3 (2006)
Five years after the explosion of Flight 180 and four years after the pile-up on Route 23, high school student Wendy Christensen (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), visits an amusement park for grad night with her friends Kevin Fischer (Ryan Merriman), Jason Wise (Jesse Moss), and Carrie Dreyer (Gina Holden). As Wendy and her friends board the Devil's Flight roller coaster, Wendy has a premonition that the ride will crash, killing everyone on board. When Wendy panics a fight breaks out and several people leave or are forced off before the accident occurs, including Kevin, Wendy's younger sister Julie (Amanda Crew), Ian McKinley (Kris Lemche), Perry Malinowski (Maggie Ma), Erin Ulmer (Alexz Johnson), Lewis Romero (Texas Battle), Frankie Cheeks (Sam Easton), and Ashley Freund and Ashlyn Halperin (Chelan Simmons and Crystal Lowe). When the survivors start to die one by one in a series of strange accidents, Wendy and Kevin set out to save those who remain. Most of their attempts are futile, with the exception of Julie, and themselves, leading them to believe they have cheated death. However, the three "coincidentally" cross paths five months later and are killed in a horrifying subway accident.
The Final Destination (2009)
Nine years after the explosion of Flight 180, eight years after the pileup on Route 23, and four years after the Devil's Flight roller coaster derailment, college student Nick O'Bannon (Bobby Campo) visits the McKinley Speedway for a study break with his friends Lori Milligan, Janet Cunningham, and Hunt Wynorski. While watching the race, Nick has a premonition that a race car crash will send debris into the stands, causing the stadium to collapse on the guests. When Nick panics a fight breaks out and several people leave before the accident occurs, including, Lori (Shantel VanSanten), Janet (Haley Webb), and Hunt (Nick Zano), security guard George Lanter (Mykelti Williamson), and spectators Jonathan Groves (Jackson Walker), Andy Kewzer (Andrew Fiscella), Samantha Lane (Krista Allen), Carter Daniels (Justin Welborn), and Nadia Monroy (Stephanie Honoré). Once again, the survivors are killed in a series of strange accidents except for Janet, who is rescued just moments before her death. This leads the remaining survivors to believe that they have cheated Death, until Nick has another premonition of a disastrous explosion at a shopping mall, which he manages to prevent, saving him, Lori, and Janet. Two weeks later, Nick realizes the mall disaster vision was only meant to lead them to where Death wanted them to be and they are all killed by a runaway semi-trailer truck.
Final Destination 5 (2011)
Sam Lawton (Nicholas D'Agosto) is on his way to a corporate retreat with his colleagues. While they cross the North Bay Bridge Sam has a premonition that the bridge will collapse, killing everyone on it. Sam manages to persuade several of his co-workers to get off the bridge before the accident occurs, including Molly Harper (Emma Bell), Nathan Sears (Arlen Escarpeta), Peter Friedkin (Miles Fisher), Dennis Lapman (David Koechner), Olivia Castle (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood), Isaac Palmer (P. J. Byrne), and Candice Hooper (Ellen Wroe). After Candice and Isaac die in bizarre accidents, Sam is warned that Death is still after the survivors and told that if he wants to live he must kill someone who was never meant to die on the bridge, and claim their remaining lifespan. Olivia and Dennis are killed before they have a chance to save themselves, but Nathan claims the lifespan of a co-worker when he accidentally causes his death in a warehouse accident. Peter attempts to kill Molly, jealous that she survived instead of Candice. He eventually gains the lifespan of an investigating agent, but is killed by Sam before he can kill Molly. Sam and Molly later board a plane to Paris, which is later revealed to be Flight 180 from the first film. It is therefore revealed that the fifth film was a prequel, and all of its events had taken place prior to the rest of the film series. Unable to get off the plane, both are killed in the resulting explosion. The landing gear is sent towards New York City and crashes into a cocktail bar, killing Nathan, since the life he claimed from his co-worker was not meant to be long.
On February 1, 2011, Tony Todd said in an interview with Dread Central that if Final Destination 5 was a success at the box office, then two sequels would be filmed back-to-back. On August 23, 2011, when asked whether he would be directing a sequel, Steven Quale elaborated, "Who knows. Never say never. I mean, it'll be up to the fans. We'll see how this one performs internationally and if it makes as much money as the fourth one, I'm sure Warner Brothers will want to make another one."
Structure of the films
The movies are different in themselves, but all have the same theme and structure.
The movies begin traditionally with the main character in a place prone to accidents (an airport, a highway, an amusement park, a race track, and a suspension bridge, respectively). They start to realize that something strange is going on. There are ironic signs such as plates, numbers, music, people, talking characters or places in poor storage conditions. All this refers to death or accidents. Soon after, the main character says they have a strange sensation and then an accident starts claiming several victims. The main character snaps out of it and they conclude that it was a dream or a premonition: the vision ends a few moments before the actual accident happens and the main character concludes that it was true, because some things they saw in the premonition start happening. This is the time to try to prevent. Confusion always happens, causing some who should die in the accident to survive. But some people (either friends, colleagues or even strangers) end up dying in the accident. A memorial happens and the main character realizes something is still wrong. After a few survivors die, the main character seeks an explanation and realize that Death is seeking one by one, and in the same order that they should have died in the accident. The character begins to have premonitory visions concerning the upcoming deaths. At that time, some characters come together to prevent death, while others disagree, thinking that's insane, and eventually die. Generally, the main characters survive to the end. But the film ends when the main characters think they have defeated death - but it was just waiting for the right moment to strike again.
Signs are always present throughout the films, and some just are perceived by the protagonist and others can be perceived by other characters. They can be words, visions, signs, photos, banners, songs, numbers and etc. The visions are present in detailed forms on the first, second and fourth films. They must decipher who is the character and how they will die, which is not always clear. The same happens in the third film, however, unlike visions, the characters have photos. On the 5th film, the victims themselves recognize the signs (finger cut or broken picture, for example). Some songs are also present in the movies like "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver (who died in a plane crash), "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC in Final Destination 2, "Turn Around, Look At Me" by The Lettermen in Final Destination 3, "Dust In The Wind" by Kansas in Final Destination 5. The number 180 (flight number of the first film) is an important number in the franchise. It appears in all the films, referencing Death.
Examples of signs
- Wherever the number 180 appears something happens.
- Alex's father tells him that "he has a whole life ahead". (Final Destination)
- The beer brand (Ice Pale Ale) that appears in the truck (Final Destination 2), could be understood only by those who saw the first movie, because it was the beer Alex, Clear and Carter drink in Paris.
- Alex sees the reflection of the bus that moments later kills Terri Chaney in the window of the coffee shop he is outside of, but the bus was not actually there at the time. (Final Destination)
- The contents of a closet all come crashing down and the shadows of a trophy and fishing hooks look like a man with hooks. A man holding prosthetic arms gets the hooked ends caught in Nora's hair, leading to her death. It was seen by Rory. (Final Destination 2)
- Wendy's desk lamp overheats and the bulb explodes right before Ashley and Ashlyn burn to death in their tanning beds. (Final Destination 3)
- Ian pointing a fake pistol at Erin at the amusement park foreshadows Erin's death later on when she is impaled by nails from a nailgun. (Final Destination 3)
- Nick's signs on the fourth film were all dreams with vivid images of the upcoming deaths. (The Final Destination)
- Death creates an ominous breeze while Candace uses the bowl of talc powder before her gymnastics routine. The talc powder later causes her death. (Final Destination 5)
- Olivia's picture of her at the Devil's Flight (Final Destination 3) falls and cracks over her right eye, which is later burned with a laser during her LASIK surgery. (Final Destination 5)
Death is represented in the films as an evil presence that follows the characters. There is no representation of Death in the movies, but in Final Destination it is portrayed as a dark shadow seen by many characters. There are no answers on how the main character manages to have a premonition, but according to William Bludworth (present in the films): "In death there are no accidents, no coincidences, no mishaps, and no escapes." It is known that Death has a scheme for everyone alive and that every person's actions can decide the way they will die.
The way Death acts in the movies makes this information true. Each object or action of the character can help in the event of death. An example of this is in the first death of Final Destination 2, where Evan Lewis throws the spaghetti out of his apartment, he later ends up slipping on it and gets impaled by an escape ladder. Death sometimes acts supernaturally (moving objects mysteriously) or naturally, such as machine malfunctions, winds knocking things over, and explosions.
The survivors end up dying in the same order that they should have died in the initial accident (but in reverse order in Final Destination 2). Some movies don't show the Death's entire list, that should logically be discovered by the characters (as in Final Destination 3 and Final Destination). Some survivors don't have their death shown in the premonition nor do they join the others characters before the real accident occurs. The way to break the list is when the next to die is saved, and then Death passes on to the next. Meanwhile, as seen in the movies, you cannot die before it's your turn. When the list is complete, Death restarts its cycle. You can see that the protagonist is always the last on the list (even in Final Destination 2, where Kimberly would be first on the list and after being saved, she becomes the last).
Flight 180 and connections
As shown in the second film, deaths are connected with each other (flight 180 survivors indirectly engaged with the highway survivors), and so on. Clear Rivers says Death was working in the opposite way to repair the edges left in the first film and that leaving the airplane changed the whole scheme of Death. Thus, we can say that the death of all the characters in the franchise are connected to the flight 180 survivors. Hadn't they come out and hadn't Sam left the bridge before the airplane crash, all the characters of the films would already be dead.
Saving the next person is practically impossible. So there are several theories of how to defeat the Death:
- Save a person/break the list: The characters think if they break the list or save a specific person, it will eventually end Death's plan. As shown in all the movies, this is not possible, as it always comes back around.
- Kill the last on the list: This theory occurred to Ian in Final Destination 3. If the last person on the list took the decision to commit suicide, Death could end its plan. However, you cannot die before it is your turn as shown in Final Destination (2000) and even more explicitly in The Final Destination (2009) when George attempts suicide multiple times, but death intervenes every time since he was not the next person in line on the list.
- New life or birth unforeseen by Death: This theory raised in Final Destination 2 maintains that if a person is born of one of the survivors, Death would be forced to start over. Another theory raised in this film is the last on the list could try to commit suicide and be saved, so they would have a "new life". This is proven successful.
- Kill people who aren't on the list: This theory occurred in Final Destination 5. If a survivor kills someone who is not on the list, they could escape Death's plan and the person they killed takes their place. This theory was used by Peter, Nathan and Sam, but the survivor can only live up to the day that the person they killed should die.
Cast and characters
Throughout 2005, publishing company Black Flame released a series of Final Destination books which faithfully follow the premise of the films, with each involving a group of people who find themselves targeted by Death after surviving a catastrophe of some sort due to a character experiencing a precognitive vision.
- The first novel, entitled Dead Reckoning, has punk rocker Jessica Golden saving herself and several others from the collapse of Club Kitty in Los Angeles, earning Death's ire.[Novels 1]
- Destination Zero, also set in LA, has magazine employee Patricia Fuller and few others survive a train bombing and afterward, while being stalked by Death, Patti learns this is not the first time her family has been hunted by the entity.[Novels 2]
- End of the Line has a group of New York subway crash survivors, led by twins Danny and Louise King, trying to escape Death, who uses an unknowing agent to hasten its acquisition of the survivors.[Novels 3]
- In Dead Man's Hand a group meant to die in the crash of a Las Vegas glass elevator are stalked by both Death and the FBI, the latter believing the group's savior Allie Goodwin-Gaines was responsible for the elevator crash.[Novels 4]
- Looks Could Kill has beautiful New York model Stephanie "Sherry" Pulaski stopping her friends from boarding a yacht when she has a vision of it exploding, but is left horribly disfigured and comatose by flying debris moments afterward when her vision comes true; eventually awakening the embittered Stephanie makes a deal with Death, aiding it in claiming her friends in exchange for having her good looks restored.[Novels 5]
- After the run of the original series of books Black Flame released novelizations of the first three films in January 2006.[Novels 6][Novels 7][Novels 8] Black Flame's last Final Destination novel was Death of the Senses released in mid-2006. Taking place in New York the book has a homeless man named Jack Curtis saving policewoman Amy Tom from a maniac after having a vision of Amy's death; Amy's attacker is later revealed to be a serial killer who was meant to murder six other people (representing the first five senses and a sixth) who Death begins targeting as Jack and Amy rush to find and warn the intended victims.[Novels 9] It was, due to a printing error, only available for a short period of time before being recalled, leaving only a few copies in circulation.
- A tenth novel, titled Wipeout and written by Alex Johnson, was planned, but cancelled; the book would have featured a pair of surfers and several others, after surviving a plane crash in Hawaii, being hunted by Death and the survivor of another disaster, an unstable soldier who had nearly died in an ambush in Afghanistan.[Novels 10]
The first Final Destination comic book, entitled Sacrifice, was published by Zenescope Entertainment and came packaged with a limited edition DVD of Final Destination 3 sold exclusively at Circuit City. The premise of the story involves the survivor of a terrible accident and his friend jim, who continually experiences images of other people's deaths, isolating himself from the rest of the world to escape the visions that torment him. Zenescope later released a five issue miniseries, subtitled Spring Break, which involves a group led by Carly Hagan being stalked by Death after surviving a hotel fire and becoming stranded in Cancún, Mexico. The miniseries was later released in a trade paperback collection, which included the Sacrifice comic as bonus content.
Box office performance
|Film||Running time||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Ref(s)|
|North America||Outside North America||Worldwide||All time
|Final Destination||98 min||March 17, 2000||$53,331,147||$420,543||$112,880,294||#1,187||$23 million|||
|Final Destination 2||90 min||January 31, 2003||$46,961,214||$43,465,191||$90,426,405||#1,372||$26 million|||
|Final Destination 3||93 min||February 10, 2006||$54,098,051||$63,621,107||$117,719,158||#1,166||$25 million|||
|The Final Destination||82 min||August 28, 2009||$66,477,700||$119,689,439||$186,167,139||#907||$40 million|||
|Final Destination 5||92 min||August 12, 2011||$42,587,643||$115,300,000||$157,887,643||#1,523||$40 million|||
Critical and public reception
|Final Destination||34% (94 reviews)||36 (28 reviews)||B-|
|Final Destination 2||48% (109 reviews)||38 (25 reviews)||B+|
|Final Destination 3||43% (115 reviews)||41 (28 reviews)||B+|
|The Final Destination||29% (94 reviews)||30 (14 reviews)||C|
|Final Destination 5||61% (129 reviews)||50 (24 reviews)||B+|
Spinoff works bibliography
- "Final Destination #1". Zenescope Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "Final Destination #2". Zenescope Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "Final Destination #3". Zenescope Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "Final Destination #4". Zenescope Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "Final Destination #5". Zenescope Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "Final Destination Trade Paperback, Spring Break". Zenescope Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
- Rhodes, Natasha (2005-03-15). Final Destination: Dead Reckoning. Black Flame. ISBN 1844161706.
- McIntee, David (2005-03-15). Final Destination: Destination Zero. Black Flame. ISBN 1844161714.
- Levene, Rebecca (2005-06-07). Final Destination: End of the Line. Black Flame. ISBN 1844161765.
- Roman, Steven (2005-09-13). Final Destination: Dead Man's Hand. Black Flame. ISBN 1844161773.
- Collins, Nancy (2005-11-29). Final Destination: Looks Could Kill. Black Flame. ISBN 1844163164.
- Rhodes, Natasha (2006-01-03). Final Destination. Black Flame. ISBN 1844163172.
- Collins, Nancy (2006-01-31). Final Destination 2. Black Flame. ISBN 1844163180.
- Faust, Christa (2006-01-03). Final Destination 3. Black Flame. ISBN 1844163199.
- McDermott, Andy (2006-08-01). Final Destination: Death of the Senses. Black Flame. ISBN 1844163857.
- Johnson, Alex. Final Destination: Wipeout. Black Flame. ISBN 1844164098.
- "Exclusive: Tony Todd Talks Final Destination 5! Parts 6 and 7 Already in the Cards?". Dread Central. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
They expanded my part, and the producer told me as we were leaving Vancouver that if it opens at Number 1 – which statistically it has – they're going to shoot the next two simultaneously.
- See: #Further reading
- "Final Destination (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Final Destination (2003)". IMDb. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Final Destination 2". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Final Destination 3 (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "The Final Destination". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Final Destination 5". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Final Destination". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- "Final Destination". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
- "Final Destination 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- "Final Destination 2". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- "Final Destination 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- "Final Destination 3". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- "The Final Destination". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- "The Final Destination". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- "Final Destination 5". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- "Final Destination 5". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
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