"Ian McKinley". How pathetic is it that my last name is the same as my high school?
Ian, on his family name.
Ian McKinley is a survivor of the Devil's Flight roller coaster derailment in Final Destination 3, where he later served as the films secondary antagonist. He was a school Goth and the boyfriend of Erin Ulmer.
Ian was the seventh survivor to die.
Ian lived in McKinley, Pennsylvania, and attended the fictional McKinley High School. Like his girlfriend Erin, he is shown to be very intelligent. Him and Erin also work together at the local 'Build It‘store.
Final Destination 3
Ian attended the carnival with Erin for their senior class field trip. They both boarded the Devil's Flight roller-coaster, but before the ride started fellow classmate Wendy Christensen had a vision that the ride would crash, killing everyone on board. When she panics a fight ensues between Lewis Romero and Kevin Fischer. When Lewis accidentally slaps Erin in the face, Ian gets involved as well, and they are all thrown off the ride, shortly before the ride crashes as Wendy predicted.
Weeks later he appears at the school, signing yearbooks with Erin, when they see a somber Wendy walking alone in the rain. He and Erin laugh a little when they see Ashley and Ashlyn try to invite Wendy to Yuri's tanning salon.
After Ashley and Ashlyn are incinerated in malfunctioning tanning beds, he appears at their funeral. He makes a scene in front of the other guests when the minister says "We are all equal in Death's eyes" , before being lead to his car by Lewis and Kevin.
After Lewis and Frankie's deaths, Wendy and Kevin go to the Build it hardware store, and try to warn Ian and Erin that Death is still after them and they are next on Death's list, but they are very skeptical and sarcastic.
Ian brings up a theory that if the last survivor were to kill themselves, it would ruin Death's plan and save everyone else on the list. Afterwards, he is nearly impaled by a falling stack of plywood. Wendy manages to push him out of the way at the last second, but Death immediately skips him and goes to Erin, who is shot in the back of the head with a nail gun. This leaves Ian devastated and causes him to resent Wendy, who he blames for Erin's death.
Ian follows Wendy to McKinley's tricentennial fair. During the celebration, Ian confronts Kevin, Wendy and Julie, believing that he will be the cause of Wendy's death. Wendy tells Ian that if he doesn't kill her, it will ruin Death's plan and they will all be safe. However, since Ian's has already been skipped, he doesn't care, and still plans to kill her. Before he can do so, a set of fireworks go off in their direction and barely miss Ian,
hitting the cherry picker behind him instead. As Ian shouts that he's not going to die, the cherry picker, holding up the Tri-Centennial sign falls.
Ian looks up at the falling sign for a few seconds later, before it falls on him and brutally crushes him in half. The surviving half of his body is seen lying on the ground in a pool of blood, and his middle finger slightly twitches to Wendy before succumbing from blood loss.
- The sign, the banners and the fence posts have something to do with him:
- All of them are shaped as irregular pentagons, a geometrical shape with five points and sides. Ian was meant to be the fifth survivor to die, but said death was intervened.
- The longer point of all these objects are pointing down, towards Ian.
- The giant sign that crushed Ian was pointing down at him, similar to the banners from Wendy's photo and the fence posts at the store.
- Additionally, just before Ian was crushed, he looks up at the sign the same way he did when the fence posts nearly impaled him.
- At the aftermath of the disaster, Ian is seen complaining to Erin about his last name also being the town's name (McKinley, Pennsylvania), writing "Ian" over the school's name, which is also McKinley. Coincidentally, the sign that crushes him also has "McKinley" written on it, only this time, Ian is below his own name.
- As Ian stalks Wendy to the Tricentennial, her car radio immediately starts playing "Turn Around, Look At Me" to show her she's being followed.
- In the novel, during the premonition, Ian doesn't die from the fall itself, but rather from succumbing to his injuries. It can be assumed Erin succumbed to hers shortly after, therefore placing her after Ian on the list, accordingly to the movie.
- In his picture, Ian recoiled at the camera's flash, just like Kevin did in his own picture. Both their deaths in real life involved fireworks blasting at them at point-blank range.
- In his picture, Ian accidentally points the toy gun towards Erin's face, foreshadowing her own death by a nail gun.
- In the picture, the word "SKILL" is shown but the letter "S" is obscured. So it shows the word "KILL".
- The poster that shows "KILL" looks like made of wood. Hinting the planks that almost killed Ian.
- During the Tricentennial, Ian wearing a black shirt with an "X" marks the spot foreshadowing that it was going to be crushed.
- Final Destination 3 (portrayed by Kris Lemche)
- Final Destination 3 (novel)
- The Final Destination (reference in opening credits)
- Final Destination 5 (archive footage in ending credits) (portrayed by Kris Lemche)
- The cherry picker that bisects Ian appeared in the opening sequence of The Final Destination.
- Ian McKinley is referenced in the opening credits of Final Destination 5 by the fence posts from his picture and the part of cherry picker crashing towards the screen.
- Apparently in very early planning stages the male/female duo that the characters were going to be reversed.
- At Ashley and Ashlyn's funeral Ian states that "These two girls, never done shit to anybody, and they don't get make it to 18!" ironically he doesn't make it to 18 either.
- The next ironic fact is his part in Wendy's death. He went to McKinley's tricentennial fair with the intention to do anything which should cause her death. In the process of this, he accidentally saved her when he blocked her the way to the cherry picker with Tri-Centennial sign (with the name McKinley on it) which should cause her death.
- Similarly as Carter Horton in Final Destination he was killed by a falling sign.
- Ian and Erin took in the movie was reversed, meaning the male character would have died first.
- According to the making of Final Destination 3 Ian was going to be called Logan.
- Ian's pet name was "Zip" which is a reference to the movie Freaks directed by (ironically) Tod Browning.
- In the alternate ending where Wendy smashed the camera, Ian was completely crushed by the cherry picker. This was actually the original ending of the film and also happens in the novel.
- Ian's death is very similar to Tim Carpenter (Final Destination 2) and Carter Horton (Final Destination) deaths, as all three were crushed by something large, used for building.
- Ian is similar to Billy Hitchcock and Peter Friedkin:
- Ian insults Wendy that she is next, the same manner when Billy insults Carter.
- Ian's girlfriend Erin dies and he became paranoid, same as Peter did when Candice died.
- Ian and Billy have the same personality. They are sarcastic and rather off-putting. Peter also turns sarcastic as he goes insane from Candice's death.
- In a very early draft of the script of Final Destination 3, Ian (along with Erin) are described as: LOGAN GREENE and ERIN ULMER. They appear more like brother and sister than boyfriend and girlfriend. Intelligent and quietly intense, Logan wears a Bad Religion t-shirt while Erin has a pair of eyebrow rings. Loners, even together, it is not really by choice. Also, in this same draft, Ian (Logan) is charred by the explosion of fireworks, instead of being crushed by the Tri-Centennial sign.