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It's just that I've seen this before; a lucky few survive a disaster and then one-by-one, Death comes for them all.

William Bludworth, Final Destination 5.

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Final Destination is a horror film franchise created by Jeffrey Reddick. The series focuses on groups of people trying to avoid Death after one of them has a premonition where they are all supposed to die and saves them, causing a rift in Death's design. Death itself tries to set things right by killing all of those who have disturbed the balance of life and death. The series plays on themes of fatalism, predestination, precognition, fate vs. free will, luck, etc.

James Wong directed Final Destination (2000) and Final Destination 3 (2006), with David R. Ellis directing Final Destination 2 (2003) and The Final Destination (2009). Steven Quale directed the fifth and the most recent instalment of the franchise, Final Destination 5 (2011), which has garnered the most favorable reviews from critics.

The series is notable among horror film fans for its inventive death scenes and resemblance to typical slasher film series (like Friday the 13th, Scream or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), only there's no visible killer, instead being Death itself.

Films

Print publications

  1. Final Destination: Dead Reckoning (2005)
  2. Final Destination: Destination Zero (2005)
  3. Final Destination: End of the Line (2005)
  4. Final Destination: Dead Man's Hand (2005)
  5. Final Destination: Looks Could Kill (2005)
  6. Final Destination: Death of the Senses (2005)
  7. Final Destination: Sacrifice (2006)
  8. Final Destination: Spring Break (2006)
  9. Final Destination (2006)
  10. Final Destination 2 (2006)
  11. Final Destination 3 (2006)

Movie Plots

Final Destination

Main article: Final Destination

Final Destination

Final Destination is the first entry in the series. It follows a high school student named Alex Browning who foresees a plane crash on May 13, 1999 that kills everyone on board. He panics and is thrown off the plane along with six others including his best friend Tod Waggner, his arch-rival Carter Horton, Carter's girlfriend Terry Chaney, and two fellow classmates Clear Rivers and Billy Hitchcock. His English teacher Valerie Lewton volunteers to stay behind and look after the students. Initially, everyone believes he is nuts, but are stunned to witness the plane explode in mid-air upon take-off. Afterward, the survivors are interviewed by Agent Weine and Agent Schreck. Almost everyone believes that Alex was responsible for the plane crash.

Thirty-nine days later, Tod is found strangled to death in his bathtub. His death is at first thought to be a suicide, but Alex is convinced that Tod didn't kill himself, and after visiting him at the morgue learns from mortician William Bludworth that Death himself is claiming the lives of those who were meant to die on the plane. This is confirmed the next day when Alex witnesses Terry being hit by a bus first-hand. He also realizes that Death is killing them in the order they were to die if they were to stay on the plane and deduces that Ms. Lewton will be next. He rushes to her house but looks suspicious and is taken into custody by Agent Weine and Agent Schreck. Meanwhile, Mrs. Lewton's is left injured by a computer explosion that ends with a knife falling into her chest. Just as Alex enters the house, the stove explodes, sending a chair falling onto the knife, pushing it deeper and instantly killing her. Alex flees the scene after realizing that he realizes that it will look like he was responsible for her death. He hides but is found by Clear. Together with Carter and Billy on a car ride, he explains to Carter and Billy that Death is after them. Realizing that he is next, Carter stops the car on train tracks in the path of a train wanting to die on his own terms. At the last second, he changes his mind but is unable to start his car or escape from the car. Luckily, Alex pulls him out of the car at the last second, only for Billy to decapitated by the car wreckage seconds after. Realizing that Death skipped Carter and went for Billy, Alex believes that he himself is next. He hides out but realizes that Clear is actually next. Rushing to her home, he finds Clear trapped inside her car by a power cable. Alex causes an accidental fire trying to move the cable. Seconds before the car explodes, Alex sacrifices himself by grabbing the cable, electrocuting himself, and allowing Clear to escape from the car.

Six months later, Alex is revealed to have survived the electrocution. Together with Clear and Carter, they head to Paris to celebrate their victory over Death. While celebrating, Alex recounts the fact that he was there to save both Clear and Carter, allowing them to be skipped. Realizing this, he panics and leaves. Just as he was about to cross the street, Alex is nearly hit by a bus but is warned by Clear. The bus swerves to avoid hitting him but crashes into a lamppost. The lamppost launched into the air, breaking a nearby sign. The sign nearly hits Alex just as Carter manages to push him out of the way. Realizing that he just got skipped, Alex tells Carter. Immediately afterwards, the sign swings back down, crushing Carter.

Final Destination 2

Main article: Final Destination 2

Final Destination 2

Final Destination 2 starts exactly one year after the first film. College student Kimberly Corman is headed to Florida with her friends. On route, she foresees a deadly highway pileup. She stalls the on-ramp, saving several motorists from entering Route 23. Seconds after the main pileup ended, Kimberly is nearly hit by a car carrier that kills her friends but is pulled of the way by a police officer named Thomas Burke. Everyone is taken in for questioning and after hearing of the events of the first film they all storm off. Soon after, Evan Lewis is impaled by an escape ladder after escaping an apartment fire.

Hearing this, Kimberly seeks help from Clear Rivers, the only remaining Flight 180 survivor as Alex is revealed to have been killed off-screen by a falling brick. She refuses to help, believing herself responsible for Alex's death. Shortly afterwards, Kimberly and Thomas track down Tim Capenter and Nora Capenter at the dentist. Just as they arrive to warn them, Tim is crushed by a glass pane. At the same time, Clear changes her mind about helping the group. Clear, Kimberly, and Thomas visit William, who tells them that only way to defeat Death is with new Life. Believing that the birth of Isabella Hudson's child would invalidate the list, Thomas makes a warrant for her arrest for her safety. While Isabella is arrested by Deputy Adams, the survivors meet at Thomas's apartment. Nora Carpenter leaves shortly afterwards, only to be decapitated while trying to escape an elevator.

The next day the survivors leave to meet with Isabella at Lakeview Hospital after she goes into labor. On route, the survivors realize that Death is killing them in reverse order because each of their deaths were intervened by the Flight 180 survivors. Shortly afterwards, they get into a car crash, injuring Eugene Dix and trapping Kat Jennings inside the SUV. After Eugene is taken the hospital, Kat is killed when the airbag pushes her head into a PCV pipe. The lit cigarette she drops falls into a gasoline leak, causing a news van to explode and launching a barbed wire fence that slices through Rory Peters. Afterwards, the remaining survivors rush to the hospital, just in time to witness the birth of Isabella's child. Believing that they are now all safe, Kimberly realizes Isabella was meant to survive the pile up. Shortly afterward, Eugene and Clear are killed in an oxygen explosion. The explosion sends a trolley flying towards Thomas and Kimberly just as they jump to the floor to save themselves. Knowing what she needs to do, Kimberly sacrifices herself by driving an ambulance into a lake. After drowning, she is revived by Dr. Ellen Kalarjian, invalidating the list.

Months later, Kimberly, Thomas, and Micheal Corman join the Gibbons for a barbecue. During the barbecue, Peter Gibbons mentions to them that Brian was nearly hit by the news van but was saved by Rory. Realizing this, Kimberly and Thomas look at Brian with concern as the barbecue suddenly explodes, blowing him to pieces. Brian's mother screams in horror when his arm lands on her plate,

Final Destination 3

Main article: Final Destination 3

Final Destination 3

It has been five years since the second film. A high school student and photographer Wendy Christensen, her boyfriend Jason Wise, her best friend Carrie Dreyer, Carrie's boyfriend Kevin Fischer, and their graduating class attend an amusement park for graduation night. During the festivities, Wendy takes pictures of each of her classmates before they all board Devil's Flight. Seconds before the coaster takes off, Wendy has a vision of the coaster derailing, killing everyone on board. She demands to be let off, along with Kevin and several others. Unfortunately, Jason and Carrie stay on the coaster and are killed during the derailment.

Two weeks later, two survivors Ashley Freund and Ashlyn Halperin, are burned alive in a tanning bed fire. At the same time, Wendy realizes that the pictures she took the night of the derailment foreshadow how they are going to die. During their funeral, Wendy and Kevin find that Death is claiming those who were meant to die on the roller coaster. Knowing that Frankie Cheeks is next, they try to find clues in his picture. Meanwhile, they realize a truck is rolling down, and is head for their direction. Seconds before the truck crashes into the car, Wendy and Kevin escape through the windshield. The impact launches the car engine into the motorist in front of them, slicing his head open. Wendy and Kevin are horrified when they realize the man was Frankie. Afterwards, they go through each of the pictures again, realizing that there were two more survivors.

The next day, they come up with a plan to convince Lewis Romero that he is next. While working out, Lewis's head is crushed between two gym wieghts. Afterwards, they try to warn Ian McKinley and Erin Ulmer. Wendy saves Ian from getting impaled by falling planks of wood, skipping him. During the chaos, Erin is shot multiple times through her head by a nail gun.

The next day, Wendy figures out the identity of one of the two mystery survivors. Now knowing that her sister Julie Christensen is next, she rushes to the McKinley Tri-Centennial. After arriving, Julie is dragged by a horse. Seconds before being impaled by a harrow, Kevin saves her by cutting the rope, skipping her. Wendy demands to know who was sitting beside her on the roller coaster, as she says that they're next. Julie's friend Perry Malinowski backs up in fear just as a flagpole flies through her chest, killing her. While trying to capture the horse, Kevin is kicked by it, throwing him near a grill. Just as the propane tank explodes, Kevin is pulled back in time by Wendy, only suffering minor burns. Knowing that her is next, they try to leave only for Ian to show up. Blaming Wendy for Erin's death, Ian antagonizes her just as a set of fireworks that go off in their direction, causing a cherry picker to tip over and crush Ian, and leading them to believe that they cheated death once and for all.

Six months later, Wendy coincidently meets Kevin and Julie on a train and foresees another vision of the train crashing, killing them all. Realizing this, they attempt to stop the train, but to no avail. The screen then fades to black, and the train can be heard crashing.

The Final Destination

Main article: The Final Destination

The Final Destination

Four years after Final Destination 3, College student Nick O'Bannon and his friends attend a race at the Mickley Speedway. Nick has a premonition of a chaotic racecar crash leading to the stadium collapsing in on itself. He panics and tries to drag his girlfriend Lori Milligan, and their friends Hunt Wynorski and Janet Cunningham out of the stadium, only to cause a fight between them and the other spectators. The spectators chase them out of the stadium. Seconds after the disaster occurs as predicted, one of the spectators that followed Nick out, Nadia Monroy, is killed by a tire launched from the stadium.

The next day, after a memorial service at McKinley Speedway for the casualties, one of the survivors, Carter Daniels, blames another survivor, George Lanter, for the death of his wife, Cynthia Daniels. For revenge, he attempts to burn a cross on Geroge's front lawn. But his plan backfires as he ends up being dragged down the street and set on fire before the truck finally explodes. The next day, another survivor, Samantha Lane, has a rock launched through her eye and out of her head. Nick, after hearing about her death the next day, returns to the racetrack to try to remember who was next to die in his premonition. To help him refresh his memory, George shows him the security tapes at the time of the disaster. From that, he deduces that Andy Kewzer will be next.

The next day, they go to the mechanic shop that Andy works at. As they try to talk to him, Andy is killed when he is thrown into the fence by a CO2 tank. Afterwards, the group splits up to save Hunt and Janet. After tracking her down at a car wash, George and Lori save Janet from being crushed. Meanwhile, Nick arrives to the country club pool that Hunt is at and is unable to find him in time as he was trapped underwater in the pool by the drain, allowing him to be disemboweled. Knowing that he is next, George tries to commit suicide but to no avail. Because of this, they believe that they successfully defeated Death.

However, four days later, Nick realizes that in his premonition he would have made a cowboy, Jonathan Groves, move seats before the disaster occurred. Knowing that he is actually next, he and George go the hospital he is at, only to witness him being crushed by a bathtub. Shortly after leaving the hospital, George is hit by an ambulance. Knowing that Lori is now next, he rushes to the mall cinema to in time to get Lori to leave with him, but Janet refuses to come with them and is left injured when the theater screen explodes. After a series of explosions occur, an escalator left is exposed, devouring Lori and gruesomely crushing her to death. But Nick realizes that this was from another premonition and tries to warn George, only for the ambulance to kill him before Nick is able to warn him. Nick rushes to the mall cinema and manages to stop the fire that would have set off the series of explosions.

Two weeks later, Nick, Lori, and Janet celebrate their victory over death at Death by Caffeine. Then, Nick suddenly realizes that Death has actually been manipulating them the whole time so they would be in that exact place, at that very moment. Just as he relays this information to Lori and Janet, a truck suddenly crashes through the window. During the crash, Janet is crushed underneath the truck, Lori has her neck twisted between the truck and a pillar, and Nick is thrown into a wall.

Final Destination 5

Main article: Final Destination 5

Final Destination 5

Sam Lawton, an employee at presage paper, boards a bus for a two-day business retreat, and has a vision of a deadly bridge collapse. He grabs his ex-girlfriend Molly Harper, and exits the bus, followed by his boss Dennis Lapman, and a handful of his co-workers. During a memorial service, the survivors are warned by coroner William Bludworth, that death doesn't like to be cheated, however, they ignore his warning. Sometime later, Candice Hooper is killed in a freak gymnastic accident, emotionally scaring her boyfriend, and fellow survivor Peter Friedkin.

The next day, Isaac Palmer visits a spa for an acupuncture session and is killed when a large Buddha statue crushes his head. Sam, Molly, Peter, and Nathan Sears arrive at the scene, and encounter Bludworth for the second time, who tells them about Death's design. He also tells them they can make an exchange with Death by killing someone who will take their place on Death's list, and they will in turn gain their remaining life span. Sam, Molly, and Nathan attempt to warn Olivia Castle, who is in the middle of Lasik eye surgery. A series of events causes the laser to burn Olivia's eye, and she trips and falls out the window, plummeting to her death, before they can reach her. Sam discovers they are dying in the order they would have died in the bridge collapse and deduces that Nathan is next. Nathan, meanwhile, accidently kills antagonistic factory worker Roy Carson, and thus claims his remaining life span. Dennis is killed when a wrench is propelled at his face.

That night Sam and Molly, having rekindle their relationship, have dinner at Le Cafe Miro 81, and Sam admits he has accepted a job as a chef in Paris, and Molly agrees to accompany him. Peter arrives soon after, and attempts to kill Molly, as she would have survived the initial bridge collapse, but ends up shooting Agent Jim Block instead. Peter continues to pursue Molly since she witnessed Block's murder, but is killed by Sam when stabs him with a meat skewer. This leads Sam to believe he has Block's life.

Two weeks later, Sam and Molly board a plane to Paris, and witness several passengers being removed from the plane before it takes off. Sam is unsettled to learn that one of the passengers had a vision. Immediately, the left engine erupts into flames. The engine then explodes, opening holes throughout the fuselage. Several passengers, including Molly, are sucked out of the plane. The plane explodes midair, killing everyone on board and sending a fiery piece of the landing gear towards the city. Meanwhile, at the same time, Nathan learns that Roy had an enlarge blood vessel in his brain which could have burst "any day now". Just then the landing gear from Flight 180 falls from the sky, crushing Nathan to pieces.

Novel Plots

Final Destination: Dead Reckoning

Main article: Final Destination: Dead Reckoning

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Final Destination: Dead Reckoning is the first novel in the series. It follows a nineteen year-old Jessica Golden as she foresees the collapsing of a nightclub. She warns everyone to leave and gets removed by the bouncer. As she leaves, another group of civilians also leave the nightclub. Almost immediately afterwards, the nightclub collapses as predicted.




Final Destination: Destination Zero

Main article: Final Destination: Destination Zero

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Final Destination: Destination Zero is the second novel in the series. Taking place a year after the previous novel, it follows journalist Patricia Fuller as she saves herself and several people after experiencing a premonition of a train bombing.




Final Destination: End of the Line

Main article: Final Destination: End of the Line

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Final Destination: End of the Line is the third novel in the series. It opens with Kate Shelly's resurrection after she died during a session of Sux racing. Meanwhile, a group of international students arrive in New York for a cultural exchange trip. While trespassing on Coney Island, recent high school graduate Danny King has a premonition of a train crash that would occur the next day. After the group boards a subway train the next day, Danny realizes what is about to happen and gets the group to escape. The crash occurs as predicted, leaving the Japanese student Rinoka Aratsu critically injured.





Final Destination: Dead Man's Hand

Main article: Final Destination: Dead Man's Hand

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Final Destination: Dead Man's Hand is the fourth novel in the series.





Final Destination: Looks Could Kill

Main article: Final Destination: Looks Could Kill

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Final Destination: Looks Could Kill is the fifth novel in the series.




Final Destination: Death of the Senses

Main article: Final Destination: Death of the Senses

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Final Destination: Death of the Senses is sixth and last entry of the franchise. Four years after running over a young woman, former bus driver and homeless man Jack Curtis encounters a strange man and has a horrific premonition of the murders he plans to do. Soon after, he is able to save the life of police officer Amy Tom and shoots the man, killing him.




Comic Plots

Final Destination: Sacrifice

Main article: Final Destination: Sacrifice

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Final Destination: Sacrifice is a one-shot mini-comic.




Final Destination: Spring Break

Main article: Final Destination: Spring Break

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Final Destination: Spring Break is a five-issue comic book miniseries. Carly Hagan and her friends were going on a spring break in Cancun, Mexico. She had a premonition of an explosion at Hotel Grand Tzolk'in, able to rescue herself and the rest.





Trivia

  • The Final Destination films alternate between the time of day that the opening cataclysm takes place. The Flight 180 explosion happened at night, the Route 23 pile-up happened at daytime, the Devil's Flight derailment happened at night, and the McKinley Speedway disaster happened at daytime. Final Destination 5 seems to break from this tradition as North Bay Bridge collapse also occurs during the daytime, but it is revealed that the events in Final Destination 5 happen chronologically before Flight 180.
  • Each film follows the same format:
    • 1. Someone foresees a catastrophe, and manages to avoid the death of themselves and others;
    • 2. Death reclaims those who were meant to die in the accident;
    • 3. The last of the survivors come together in the climax were the protagonist believes they have finally cheated Death;
    • 4. The remaining survivors learn they haven't changed anything and that death is inevitable.
  • The Final Destination series is somewhat notable among horror fans in that there are currently no survivors (with the exception of Kimberly Corman and Thomas Burke from Final Destination 2). Alex and Clear were the survivors of the first film but in between the course of the first and second film Alex had died. Clear dies in the second film. And as for the third, fourth and fifth film every one dies in the end (although the deaths of Wendy, Kevin and Julie can only be seen in premonitions).
  • It appears that the first death in every movie is solo. No one is present to witness the death of the first victim, although this slightly changes in The Final Destination and Final Destination 5.
    • Another theory related to this is that almost every 4th survivor/pair (Carter, Brian, Ian, Nathan) appears to be skipped, and the 5th survivor/pair dies almost instantly afterwards (Billy, Kat and Rory, Erin, Roy and Dennis).
  • Due to its immense popularity and the fact there is no visible killer in the movies, the franchise has often been admired in pop culture for its originality and uniqueness among slasher films.
  • In the first 3 films, the visionary never sees the first death. Alex did not see Tod die, Kimberly didn't see Evan die, same with Wendy and Ashley and Ashlyn. Only Nadia's death was seen by Nick.
  • In commercial travel, "final destination" is a quasi-industry term that refers to a passenger's ultimate intended location. For the franchise, it's an obvious metaphor for Death; the ultimate fate or "destination" that everyone has. The title carries this double-meaning specifically concerning the events of the first film. However, it may vaguely apply to the next 3 films in the way that the subsequent events are all possibly byproducts of a ripple-effect created by the survivors of Flight 180. The 5th film of course is the big exception as it takes place prior to the crash.
  • The original title for the first film was Flight 180. Had this title been kept, it wouldn't have made as much sense with the rest of the films in the series.
  • Series creator Jeffrey Reddick refers to the franchise as "Slasher Films Without A Slasher", due to the fact that the killer is a being that can't be seen.
    • There was originally going to be a sixth film but due to copyright complaints due to media (images, audio, brands, logos, etc.) in the film having no rights to be used, it was cancelled. However, on October 5, 2020, Reddick confirmed that the sixth had been in the works during the COVID-19 pandemic. The film is scheduled to be released in 2022. Although it will not have a reboot, but there will be new storylines instead.
    • On October 2021, Lori Evans Taylor announced that she will write the screenplay.
    • In 2022, Jon Watts will be served as producer.
Franchise
Final Destination movies
Final Destination | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Final Destination novels
Dead Reckoning | Destination Zero | End of the Line | Dead Man's Hand | Looks Could Kill | Death of the Senses | Wipeout (unpublished) | Final Destination | Final Destination 2 | Final Destination 3
Final Destination comics
Sacrifice | Spring Break
People
Jeffrey Reddick | James Wong | Glen Morgan | Warren Zide | Craig Perry | Toby Emmerich | Shirley Walker | David R. Ellis | J. Mackye Gruber | Eric Bress | Brian Tyler | Steven Quale | Eric Heisserer
Distributors
New Line Cinema | Warner Brothers
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