Final Destination 3
|Final Destination 3|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James Wong|
|Produced by||Craig Perry
|Written by||Glen Morgan
|Based on||Characters created
by Jeffrey Reddick
|Starring||Mary Elizabeth Winstead
|Music by||Shirley Walker|
|Edited by||Chris G. Willingham|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
Final Destination 3 is a 2006 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wong and the third installment in the Final Destination film series. The screenplay was written by James Wong and Glen Morgan, both of whom had previously worked on the first film. The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ryan Merriman. Set five years after the first film, Winstead portrays Wendy Christensen, a teenager who has a premonition of the roller coaster she and her classmates are on derailing. While she manages to save some of them, Death soon begins hunting for the survivors. Wendy soon realizes that the pictures she took during the fair contain clues about how they're all going to die and tries to use them to save the rest of the survivors.
Development of the film began shortly after the release of Final Destination 2. Filming took place in Vancouver, as with the previous two installments. It was released on February 10, 2006 and the DVD release of the film was on July 25, 2006. The DVD includes commentaries, documentaries, a deleted scene and an original animated video. A special DVD edition called "Thrill Ride Edition" was also released, which includes a special feature called Choose Their Fate, that acts as an interactive movie and allows the viewers to make decicions at specific points in the film which alter the course of the story.
Final Destination 3 received mixed reviews from critics. Negative reviews described the film as "laughable", "a ridicolous teen horror movie" and believed that "the drama is reduced [as it's] clear to everyone who must die and in what order", while positive reviews praised it for being "fashioned with a fair amount of craft", "manag[ing] to push all the requisite buttons and then some" and "deliver[ing] a certain degree of over-the-top amusement". The film was a financial success and, at the time of its release, the highest-grossing film in the franchise. The film was nominated for six awards, including the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film.
High school student Wendy Christensen visits an amusement park with her boyfriend Jason Wise, best friend Carrie Dreyer, and Carrie's boyfriend Kevin Fischer for their senior class field trip. As they board the Devil's Flight roller coaster, Wendy has a premonition that the hydraulics securing the seat belts and roller coaster cars will fail during the ride, killing everyone on board. When she panics, a fight breaks out and several people leave or are forced off the ride, including Kevin; best friends Ashley Fruend and Ashlyn Halperin; alumnus Frankie Cheeks; athlete Lewis Romero; and goth couple Ian McKinley and Erin Ulmer. As they leave they witness the roller coaster derail, killing the remaining passengers, including Jason and Carrie, leaving Wendy devastated.
Several weeks later, Kevin tells Wendy about the explosion of Flight 180 and the subsequent deaths of the survivors. Believing that Kevin is mocking her, Wendy dismisses his theory and leaves. Later on, Ashley and Ashlyn are killed at a tanning salon when a loose shelf falls and locks them in the overheating tanning beds. Now convinced that Death is still after them, Wendy and Kevin set out to save the remaining survivors using omens hidden within photos that Wendy took of them the night of the accident.
Frankie dies next at a drive-thru when a runaway truck crashes into the back of Kevin's truck, causing the engine fan to blow out and slice off the back of Frankie's head. The next day, they try to save Lewis at the gym, but he tells them he doesn't believe them shortly before two iron weights from the machine he is using swing down and crush his head. Next, they find Ian and Erin working at a hardware store. Wendy manages to save Ian before he is impaled by falling planks of wood, but a chain reaction causes Erin to fall backwards onto a nail gun, and she is shot repeatedly through the head. This leaves Ian devastated, and causes him to resent Wendy.
Later, Wendy learns that her sister Julie and her friend were also on the roller coaster and rushes to the county fair to save them. She and Kevin are able to prevent Julie from being impaled on a harrow while being dragged by a panicked horse and Wendy asks Julie who was sitting next to her on the roller coaster, as they are next on Death's list. Her question is quickly answered when Julie's friend Perry Malinowski is suddenly impaled by a flagpole that is launched by a rope tied to the horse. Wendy saves Kevin from an exploding propane canister caused by all the commotion and is confronted by a deranged Ian, who blames her for Erin's death. A set of fireworks go off in their direction and nearly hit Wendy, but she ducks and they strike a nearby cherry picker instead. As Ian shouts that Death cannot kill him, the cherry picker collapses and crushes him. Wendy believes the cherry picker was meant for her, but Ian inadvertently took her place.
Five months later, Wendy is on a subway train with her roommate Laura and friend Sean. After seeing more omens, Wendy attempts to leave the train but encounters Julie as she enters the carriage and decides to stay. Wendy then notices Kevin sitting at the back end of the carriage. Suddenly, the train derails and everyone on board dies: Julie is hit by a stray wheel; Kevin is ground between the train and tunnel wall; and Wendy survives the crash but is hit by another train. This turns out to be another premonition and the three attempt to stop the train. The screen then cuts to black, followed by the sound of screeching metal.
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Wendy Christensen
- Ryan Merriman as Kevin Fischer
- Amanda Crew as Julie Christensen
- Kris Lemche as Ian McKinley
- Alexz Johnson as Erin Ulmer
- Texas Battle as Lewis Romero
- Chelan Simmons as Ashley Fruend
- Crystal Lowe as Ashlyn Halperin
- Sam Easton as Frankie Cheeks
- Jesse Moss as Jason Wise
- Gina Holden as Carrie Dreyer
- Maggie Ma as Perry Malinowski
- Ecstasia Sanders as Amber Regan
- Tony Todd as Devil's Voice / Subway Voice Announcer
As with the previous two films, numerous characters are named after horror movie directors, actors and producers: Wendy and Julie are named after director Benjamin Christensen, Lewis is named after George A. Romero and Ashley's name is a reference to Karl Freund
|"[W]e really felt that the idea of Final Destination, or the fact that Death can visit you and you can cheat death, that that could happen to anyone. And so we wanted to divorce from the first film character wise. We didn't want to follow that same thread. Part of the difficulty in that is when a character understands what happened to them before; it's a whole different way in which they react to what's happening now. We felt the franchise could exist with a new group of people, instead of following those older characters all the way through. We wanted to see if this could work".|
|— James Wong on developing the story of the film.|
Final Destination 3 was originally considered as the final part of the trilogy and was in talks since the release of Final Destination 2, according to the interviews of the filmmakers on the DVD. The idea of death omens appearing in photographs was taken from the 1976 horror classic The Omen, in which characters are impaled and decapitated. The film's original title, Cheating Death: Final Destination 3, was changed during development. The film was also meant to be filmed in 3D but the plans were abandoned.
According to Wong, the idea of using a roller coaster derailment as the opening scene disaster came from New Line Cinema executive Richard Bryant and dispelled rumors that it was inspired by the incident at Thunder Mountain. Additionally, he revealed that unlike the second film, which was closely tied to the first film, Final Destination 3 was always meant to be a stand-alone sequel that featured new characters.
On March 21, 2005, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ryan Merriman, co-stars of The Ring Two, portrayed the main characters Wendy Christensen and Kevin Fischer. Winstead, who had previously auditioned for the previous two films, eventually won the role as she reportedly brought emotion and character that impressed Wong and Glen Morgan. In the DVD features, it is revealed by Wong that he originally intended for Wendy to be a perky blonde and states that the actors are right for the roles of the characters. “The moment Ryan came in I thought he was the right guy to play Kevin,” says Wong. “Kevin needed to be the kind of guy you want to hang out with, your goofy best buddy, but also someone who could rise to the occasion and become a hero. He had to straddle that line, and also have an all-American, boy-next-door quality. Mary brings a kind of soulfulness to her role as Wendy,” Wong continues. “She is deeply affected by the accident, but she’s strong, and fights to maintain control.” Merriman states his character that he "start off as the happy-golucky guy, the jokester. I play football with my boys, I got my girl, but then losing my sweetheart kind of makes me stop – I start wondering about life and why things happen the way they do. Wendy’s just angry at first, but the accident affects me in a way that makes me want to know what happened,” he continues “I’m the one who finds out about the Flight 180 disaster, which starts the whole ball rolling of Wendy and I trying to interpret the clues in the photos.”
In April 9, 2005, Ginger Snaps actor Kris Lemche and Canadian singer Alexz Johnson took the roles of goths Ian McKinley and Erin Ulmer. Johnson, who recently appeared in the television program Instant Star is the youngest actress to be cast in the film. She originally auditioned for the role of Wendy's sister, Julie but the role later went to Amanda Crew who also originally auditioned for Johnson's new role. “I read twice for the part of Julie, Wendy’s younger sister,” Johnson stated. “I had this real rocker jacket on at the second reading, and I was in a real bad mood. As I was leaving, they called me back to read for Erin. Her dialogue in the scene was very sarcastic and I’ve got a pretty dry sense of humor, so I think the filmmakers picked up on that.” Lemche delivered his character a lot of best lines in the film. The actors says “He does spout some interesting facts that seem to be just right there on the tips of his fingers, And most of the weird stuff that I’ve talked about I have gone and researched. On the very first day of shooting I had a line about a concept called paradol, which is this human thing of seeing bizarre and, what we’d interpret as sort of prophetic images in very simple things – like seeing the Virgin Mary in a piece of burnt toast and how human beings seem to have this. The first day I had no idea, I had never heard of it before and it was just thrown in there in the script and it’s something I had to sort of ramble off". Lemche continued "During the readthrough I asked Glen Morgan about it and he wrote me notes on it, he gave me websites to look at and it’s been sort of an ongoing education, dealing with these random insertions of weird information.”
Jesse Moss, who also appeared with Lemche in Ginger Snaps, was cast in the film to play Jason Wise, Wendy's boyfriend. Texas Battle, known to star as a supporting role in the film Coach Carter, portrayed athlete Lewis Romero. Chelan Simmons, who portrayed in television films It and the 2002 television remake of Carrie, took the role of Ashley Freund. Sam Easton, recently appeared in Miramax's film Underclassman, portrayed school alumnus Frankie Cheeks. Novice actress Gina Holden played Kevin's girlfriend and Wendy's best friend Carrie Dreyer. Crystal Lowe joined the cast as student Ashlyn Halperin. Tony Todd, who appeared in the first two films of the franchise, did not return for his role as the mortician Bludworth but provided the voices of the devil statue at the roller coaster and a subway conductor in the end. Other cast members, Maggie Ma and Ecstasia Sanders portrays Julie's friends Perry Malinowski and Amber Regan. Dustin Milligan, Cory Monteith and Harris Allan appeared in the film with small roles.
As with the first two films, Final Destination 3 was shot in Vancouver. The Corkscrew roller coaster, located in Playland amusement park, was used as the Devil's Flight coaster. For the premonition scene where the roller coaster derails, the actors had to ride the coaster 26 times on the same night to shoot the scene. Winstead and Merriman revealed in an interview that the film required three months of shooting; the first two weeks were entirely spent on filming the roller coaster sequence, with the rest of the film being shot out of order. Additionally, the cast members would often rehearse with each other to have better on-screen chemistry.
All the death scenes required varying degrees of 2D and 3D graphic enhancements. The roller coaster sequence alone comprised 144 visual effect shots. The coaster was custom-designed based on the events described in the script. Most of the model was hand-built, with some MEL scripts helping out for specific elements. All the scenes of the roller coaster crash were shot on the green screen with CGI background, capturing the partial model roller coaster in green screen where the actors will perform in the crash sequence. Multiple carts were suspended in bungee ropes to film the effect of the crash. The deaths of the victims in the roller coaster crash required CGI effects on screen. Every actor had a corresponding CG double employed.
While Meteor Studios tackled the roller coaster and subway crashes, Digital Dimension was handled the death scenes. The death of Ian McKinley, in which a cherry picker cuts him clean in half, proved especially challenging. Originally a clean plate of the lift falling was shot, along with a plate of Lemche miming being crushed and falling to the ground, with his bottom covered in a partial green screen suit. After setting those plates, the director felt "he wanted more of a gruesome punch for the shot". A standard CG body that matched Lemche's height was used and several animation simulations of crushing the body with a CG object were performed, with Wong picking the version he liked the most. A new plate was then shot with Lemche acting out the previous animation and getting his body into that end position. The tanning bed death scene was assigned to Soho VFX. It consisted of about 35 shots featuring CG skin, glass, fire and smoke mixed with live fire and smoke elements. In filming the effects of the subway crash in the epilogue of the film, a CG environment reproducing the main volumes of the set was generated.
The soundtrack for Final Destination 3 was composed by Shirley Walker, who composed the scores for the first two films. Final Destination 3 is also the only film in the series to not have a released musical score.
Songs that are featured in the movie are:
- "Smokin" – Performed by Boston
- "Amos Moses" – Performed by Jerry Reed
- "Turn Around, Look at Me" – Performed by The Lettermen
- "New York City" – Performed by the Statler Brothers
- "One Step Forward" – Performed by The Desert Rose Band
- "Bed of Rose's" – Performed by the Statler Brothers
- "Turn" – Performed by Eddie Rabbitt
- "I Love a Rainy Night" – Performed by Eddie Rabbitt
- "Love Train" – Performed by Tommy Lee (main theme)
- "Killing Time" – Performed by (hed) p.e.
- "Make the World Go Away" – Performed by Mickey Gilley
- "Tribal Dance" – Performed by 2 Unlimited
- "Turn Around, Look at Me" – Matt Ellis
- "Love Rollercoaster" – Performed by The Ohio Players
Final Destination 3 premiered on February 10, 2006, in 2,880 theaters across the United States and Canada, earning $19,173,094 in its opening weekend, with an average of $6,657 per theater. The movie placed #2 in the United States box office in its opening weekend, behind the remake of The Pink Panther, which also premiered on the same day and got $20,220,412 domestically. The film dropped to #5 during its second weekend and #7 during its third weekend. The film dropped out of the top-ten list in its fourth weekend. Its last screening in 135 theaters occurred in its tenth weekend, with the movie grossing $105,940 and ending in place #37. Final Destination 3 ended up grossing $54,098,051 in the domestic box office and $63,621,107 in all other territories, with an overall gross of $117,719,158 worldwide.
The film was released on DVD on July 25, 2006 in both widescreen and fullscreen. The special features includes audio commentary, one deleted scene, three documentaries, the theatrical trailer and an original animated video. The audio commentary is done by Wong, Morgan and director of photography, Robert Mclachlan. The deleted scene is an extended version of Wendy and Kevin's discussion after they've been questioned by the police. The first documentrary, titled Dead Teenager Movie, examines the history of the slasher genre. The second documentary, Kill Shot: Making Final Destination 3, focuses on the making of the film and includes interviews from both the cast and crew. The last documentary, Severed Piece discusses the special effects, pyrotechnics and gore effects that were used in the film. A sevent minute cartoon titled It's All Around You, which explains the various ways people can die, is also included. The DVD also includes an optional Choose Their Fate feature which allows the viewers to make different decision at few points in the film. Most provide only a minor alternate scenes, but the first choice allows the viewer to stop the four characters from getting on the roller coaster before the premonition, ending the film immediately.
As with the previous two installments in the franchise, Final Destination 3 received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes reports that 43% of critics gave the film positive write-up based on 122 reviews, with an average rating of 5/10. The site's consensus reads: "Final Destination 3 is more of the same: gory and pointless, with nowhere new to go." On Metacritic, the film achieved an average score of 41 out of 100, based on 28 critics, signifying "mixed or average reviews". CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film a "B" on an A+ to F scale.
Justing Chang of Variety wrote, "As yet another gaggle of clueless teens runs around trying to postpone their appointments with Death, the question inevitably arises: Will there ever be a final “Final Destination”? Not as long as this durably gimmicky series, admittedly one of the wittier horror franchises in recent years, continues to dispense sadistic Rube Goldberg death traps with all the dramatic import of a kid frying ants under a magnifying glass." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that "The problem with "FD3" is since it is clear to everyone who must die and in what order, the drama is reduced to a formula in which ominous events accumulate while the teenagers remain oblivious." IGN awarded the movie a "good" 7.0 out of 10, writing that "if Rube Goldberg were the Grim Reaper, this would be the result". Den of Geek also ranked FD3 as the best one in the franchise stating that "Final Destination 3 is what the Final Destination movies should always have been: a brightly coloured, fast-paced, slightly silly meditation on how we’re all gonna die one day, so we might as well do it explosively." BBC film reviewer Stella Papamichael described the reference to the 9/11 attacks as tasteless and gave the film 1 star out of 5; she awarded the first installment four stars and the second three. The deaths scenes received positive reviews by critics, especially the tanning bed and nail gun deaths, which were described them as "gruesome" and "painful".
Winstead's performance was universally praised by critics, stating: "...the real tragedy is that promising young actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead must endure this torture." James Berardinelli says she "does as competent a job as one could expect in these dire circumstances." 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." Some of the supporting characters have also been well received with The Philadelphia Inquirer writing: "The characters are so loathsome, you're glad to see them go. Except for two: the goth couple Ian and Erin. He's a cynical know-it-all, like Dennis Miller with black fingernails; she's like Parker Posey with raccoon mascara." 
|Year||Award / Film Festival||Category||Recipient||Result||Ref.|
|2006||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Highest Body Count||Final Destination 3||Nominated|||
|Line That Killer (Best One-Liner)||Crystal Lowe||Nominated|
|Most Thrilling Killing||Final Destination 3||Nominated|
|Sickest FX (Best Special Effects)||Final Destination 3||Nominated|
|2007||Saturn Awards||Best Horror Film||Final Destination 3||Nominated|||
|Best DVD Special Edition Release||Final Destination 3 (Thrill Ride Edition)||Nominated|
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