Final Destination Movies Series Review

Warning: The following contains a no-holds-barred spoiler of all 5 Final Destination Movies

I vaguely remember watching one of the Final Destination movies years ago with my wife and thinking it was ok. If asked which one it was I couldn’t tell you the number but could say it was the one with the rollercoaster (turns out that’s the 3rd one). It’s also the one with the drive thru, the hardware store and oh yes, the suntan salon. Ahh, the suntan salon.

Anyway, it’s no coincidence that this is how people remember the Final Destination movies; by which death scenes were in which one, for this is all these movies are. Such a simple formula; a teenager has a premonition of a coming cataclysm, he freaks out, a group of 5-8 follow him out of harm’s way (all unbelieving in his premonition) and then the foretold cataclysm occurs and they stand there in awe, and then the real fun begins as Death (whose plan to kill these survivors in the cataclysm has been thwarted) starts taking them out one-by-one in a series of incredibly complicated and gruesome accidents. Did I mention the suntan salon?

Let me back-track just a bit. Yes, we had watched the 3rd one way back when it first came out and that was it, but finding ourselves in the mood for a horror movie, my wife and I were flipping through Netflix on Thursday night and found Final Destination 2. We watched it and I’ll tell ya what, it’s the most fun we’ve had in our bed since my birthday a few months back. Our plans for the weekend were immediately set into motion. I came home from work on Friday with Final Destination 1, 3, 4 and 5 and we had ourselves a little marathon.

A lot of #1 seemed familiar to me so I must have seen at least some of it at some time or another and of course #3 was the one I knew I had seen. We watched both of those Friday night and then watched 4 and 5 Saturday night. It struck me that these were very similar in nature to the Saw movies (WAIT, WAIT, WAIT….read on – don’t freak out). But then I thought about it more. They are similar in that the entertaining part is seeing the new and elaborate ways people are getting killed off but then I realized the major difference. Jigsaw from Saw is all about gears and pulley’s and welding to build these ginormous death machines. Death is more like the Macgyver of the horror movie universe. Everything is very elaborate just like Jigsaw, but he uses hairspray, tinfoil, the sun, and stray sawdust to cause all the mayhem. It’s brilliant.

The one thing I liked the most was there was no attempt to develop the character of Death. This is what made sequels to Nightmare on Elm Street so bad is the apparent need to keep changing and adding to the character of Freddy Krueger. They wished him away, but no he’s the bastard son of a thousand criminally insane maniacs so you have to bury his bones, and no that won’t work because he made a pact with some dream demons and that’s why he’s so bad, blah, blah, blah. Not with Death. Only with the 5th movie do they add even the slightest thing with the addition of you can take an innocent life to save your own. Other than that, no development and thank you very much for that.

The series is a cautionary tale. There are accidents waiting to happen everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. Some frayed wires, some condensation from a Big Gulp cup and a loose screw or two and BAMMM! You’re head is being crushed by an elevator or WHAMMO! You’re getting scalped from behind by a cars radiator fan. So be careful out there people.

The funniest one was #2 (that BBQ scene just before the end – still makes me giggle).

The most shocking death was in #5 (the girl impaled by the mast of the sail boat during the opening premonition – made my wife and I both scream out “OHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!”).

The one with the most mayhem has to be #4 (the Mall scene).

The scariest or should I say the only scary one was #1.

The one with the most nudity was #3 (This is the suntan salon scene I keep going on about).

The best opening credits was #4 (The homage to all the previous death scenes in X-Ray vision).

The worse opening credits was #5 (For some reason they tried to do the same thing as in #4 opening credits but with shattering glass and it was just pure stupidity).

The worse character that just wouldn’t die quick enough was in #3 (The goth dude from the hardware store).

The raunchiest (or “best” depending on your moral compass) sex scene was in #4 (the cabana at the pool scene).

The most intense opening cataclysm goes to #2 (the highway pile-up scene).

The hottest chick is in #5 (The Lasik Surgery scene girl).

The bloodiest and most gruesome opening cataclysm goes to #4 (The Nascar crash scene).

The best ending was #5 (But I can’t bring myself to ruin it but it has something to do with #4 being called The Final Destination).

All and all I give the entire series 4 stars. Very entertaining throughout with interesting characters and very stylized and elaborate death scenes, lots of blood and no apparent need to take themselves too seriously makes for a great series. They lose 1 star because as horror movies they just aren’t scary (except 1 which was a little scary). They are suspenseful but just not scary and that’s ok. Until #6 comes out watch your step.


Holly B said...

Haha great review. I too am I big fan of Final Destination movies that I consider to be more humor than anything else. Of all the deaths in 5 my favorite was the Lasik (she escapes only to fall out the window, hahaha) and I can't believe you didn't mention the gymnastics death. That one was memorable because it's something I feel like most people fear everything we watch the Olympics and this ONE TIME it came true. Eeek!

JustJim said...

Thanks for reading Holly. I had completely forgotten the gymnastic death. I think I blanked it from my memory. It was truly sickening!! The part I like the most about the Lasik scene is how her eye rolling away from her only to get run over by a truck. Who comes up with this? Pure genius!

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