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 horror film, and the third installment of the Final Destination franchise. It was directed and co-written by James Wong, who also directed and co-wrote the first film, and was produced by Wong and his writing partner Glen Morgan, with franchise producers Craig Perry and Warren Zide. Released on February 10, 2006, the film performed well at the box office and gained a mixed reception from critics.
Wendy Christensen, a high school student, 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 harnesses and roller coaster cars will fail, 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 goths 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.
Afterwards, 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 loosened 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 were taken of them the night of the accident, and realize that the survivors are dying in the order they sat on the roller coaster.
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. 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 as he is about to be impaled by falling planks of wood, but a chain reaction causes Erin to stumble 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 was also on the roller coaster, and rushes to the county fair to save her. She and Kevin are able to prevent Julie from being impaled on a harrow, 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 answered when Julie's friend Perry Malinowski is suddenly impaled by a flagpole that is launched by a rope tied to a horse, as Wendy and Julie watch in horror. 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 off 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 in half.
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 she 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
- Kris Lemche as Ian McKinley
- Alexz Johnson as Erin Ulmer
- Texas Battle as Lewis Romero
- Chelan Simmons as Ashley Freund
- Crystal Lowe as Ashlyn Halperin
- Sam Easton as Frankie Cheeks
- Amanda Crew as Julie Christensen
- Jesse Moss as Jason Wise
- Gina Holden as Carrie Dreyer
- Maggie Ma as Perry Malinowski
- Ecstasia Sanders as Amber Regan
- Dustin Milligan as Marcus
- Cory Monteith as Kahill
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 last-mentioned film's makers. The idea of death omens appearing in photographs was taken from the 1976 horror classic The Omen, in which characters are impaled and decapitated.
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's performance was met with generally positive reception from critics.
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." In the DVD features, it is revealed by James Wong that he originally intended for Wendy to be a perky blonde. 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 April 9, 2005, Ginger Snaps actor Kris Lemche and Canadian singer and former Instant Star actress Alexz Johnson took the roles of goths Ian McKinley and Erin Ulmer. One of the critics wrote in The Philadelphia Inquirer: "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." Jesse Moss, who was also starred in Ginger Snaps, joined the film to play Jason Wise, Wendy's boyfriend. Texas Battle, known to star in 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 popular girl Ashley Freund. Underclassman's Sam Easton portrayed school alumnus Frankie Cheeks and novice actress Gina Holden played Kevin's girlfriend 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, Amanda Crew portrayed Wendy's sister Julie Christensen, 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.
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 grossed $19,173,094 on its opening weekend. At the end of its run, March 30, it made $54,098,051 in North America while grossing $63,621,107 overseas, for a worldwide gross of $117,719,158. For a time, it was the highest grossing film in the Final Destination franchise until the arrival of 2009's The Final Destination, which grossed $186,167,139 worldwide.
The film was released on DVD on July 25, 2006 in both widescreen and fullscreen. There is a second disc of special features, including three documentaries. Two of these documentaries involve the making of the film, while the third is about the final girl character in horror films.
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.
Final Destination 3 received mixed reviews from critics. Rating site Rotten Tomatoes reports that the film holds a 43% approval rating, based on 115 reviews and an audience rating of 58%. The site's consensus is: "Final Destination 3 is more of the same: gory and pointless, with nowhere new to go." BBC film reviewer Stella Papamichael described the reference to the 9/11 attacks as tasteless and gave the film 3 stars out of 5; she awarded the first installment four stars and the second three. Positive reviews praised the death scenes, such as the tanning bed and nail gun deaths, describing them as "gruesome" and "painful". Most of the critics praised Winstead's performance, stating: "...the real tragedy is that promising young actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead must endure this torture."
The film was nominated at the 33rd Saturn Awards for Best Horror Film and Best DVD Special Edition Release for the Thrill Ride Edition on May 10, 2007, but lost to The Descent and Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, respectively. It was also nominated at the 2006 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for Highest Body Count, Line That Killed (Best One-Liner) for Crystal Lowe, Most Thrilling Killing for the drive-thru scene and Sickest FX (Best Special Effects).
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