There are certain things that evoke terror in the human brain. It may be the fact that a masked crazy person is slowly coming at you with a knife, or the real horror of going to fix a bowl of ice cream and finding you’ve run out. We all know which is the worst one of the two there. The Final Destination films have played well on this fear, as you’re up against an invisible force that wants you toast. If you anger Death, you know it’s coming back with more than just his pointy stick. The series keeps that same format, but it never goes stale- even by the fifth film.
Throughout the films, there are sensational death scenes, not just in terms of how the characters met their maker, but how the suspense was built to keep you right on the edge of your seat. Another thing that’s a staple of this series is how the story sets out. The main character has a daydream where they see their own gruesome death, then they look like the crazy person when they start telling others. Of course, it then happens and the rest unfolds. The scenes at the start of the film are just epic. It can’t only be me that see’s a truck carrying logs on the highway and automatically thinks of Final Destination 2‘s opening.
I think we can all agree that the premonition scenes in the five films are nothing short of spectacular. None of these “deaths” make this list however, mainly because they don’t actually happen. The following five deaths top the demises in this series.
- Kat Jennings (Keegan Connor Tracy) – Final Destination 2
Throughout this scene, you’re just waiting for the car to flip, explode, or crash head on into something, but then things come to a safe stop. All is well. Except when the fire crew turns up and sets the airbag off, smashing her head back into the pole that came through the back window. What does it for me, is that even though it’s painfully obvious that her brain is all over it, you don’t take note of it at first. Brilliantly staged scene!
- Erin Ulmer, (Alexz Johnson) – Final Destination 3
What made this scene great is the start of Kris Lemche’s character, Ian McKinley, going slightly coo-coo bananas, but also because the final call for Alexz Johnson’s character Erin, is completely unexpected. You’re fully expecting Mr. McKinley to get his, but alas, no. The death gets bonus points for being one of the most gruesome in the series.
- Valerie Lewton (Kristen Cloke) – Final Destination
This is another one of Death’s deployments of a Rube Goldberg machine. There are so many things that build up to the climax, which is brilliantly played out by Kristen but also directed fantastically as well. Even though you’re well-aware that her number’s up at the first incident, you’re never sure what will finish her off until the final jump scare.
Ah, the ditzy teens, played brilliantly by Chelan Simmons and Crystal Lowe. This is another death that plays right into the mind. Personally, I’ve never understood the logic of sunbeds. Given that I’m whiter than the contents of a tin of Dulux paint might be a reason why, but I digress. With how cocky Chelan plays Ashley, it makes you want Death to strike with furious anger. Due to the Rube Goldberg effect, the drink drips onto the electrics and the fan kicks, knocking over the coat stand that then knocks down the shelf and traps the girls in the sunbed. It’s almost like a dark version of Mouse Trap. Both Chelan and Crystal play the scene amazingly well and the cut from the beds to the coffins closes it just right.
- Olivia Castle (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) – Final Destination 5
This scene builds the suspense terrifically. It’s a doctor’s surgery and treatment involves a laser to the eyeball. Let’s face it, people of a nervous disposition are already on edge. What makes this scene great is how brilliantly Jacqueline plays the scene out; full-on nervous, asking for a teddy bear to hold. The genuine panic in her voice and how she’s almost ripping the bear’s head off builds up the drama. Of course, she gets free, then trips on the eyeball of her comfort toy and tumbles to her death to finish the scene off. Unlike the more mechanical deaths, the acting made this scene indescribably harrowing.
Out of the 40 or so deaths in this series, those are the five that top my list. Given the ending of the fifth installment, I can’t see death buying more Rube Goldberg machines, but you never know.
Do you have a favourite scene where someone met their, ahem, final destination? Comment below or discuss further on twitter @Steelcitygam3r!