Every Final Destination Movie, Ranked

The one involving the bridge or the one with the jet crash? We attempt to determine which Final Destination film is the finest.

Brian Martin

Aug 11, 2022

movie news

The most existential horror franchise is Final Destination. Its protagonists are being pursued by Death itself, and there is no way to escape. They cannot hope to survive whether they can outrun a guy with a knife or shoot a zombie in the head.

Bright colors and creative Mousetrap-style assassinations are used by the Final Destination franchise to cover up its profoundly depressing core theme, which is that everyone dies eventually and that everyone is trying to get you. The few characters who do survive to the conclusion of a Final Destination film typically have to resort to drastic means, and it is indicated that they won't live much longer than the credits.

It's a little remarkable that New Line and Warner Bros were able to produce five of these films given the lack of survivors to connect one to the next, but since they did, let's try to arrange them in some way.

5. The Final Destination (2009)

Best Final Destination Movies, Final Destination Series

This is not going to be contested, is it? The fourth Final Destination movie, which strangely dropped the "4" from its title, is the lowest point in the series. It is simply ass.

The McKinley Speedway track opening scene very much establishes the mood. It just comes out as a little unimaginative and lacks the shock value of some of the other movies' opening catastrophes. The premonition scenes in the Final Destination films, at their finest, play on anxieties that are shared by everyone and highlight how dangerous our daily lives may be. The Final Destination's opening scene features young viewers of high-speed racing, which is plainly harmful.

Okay, obviously accidents don't happen very often, and if you're a spectator you definitely wouldn't expect to die horribly at one of those races, but it just doesn't have the same sense of surprise and threat that a major pileup on a normal road does. It definitely doesn't feel all-encompassing.

And it all appears to be junk. Just take a moment to view the opening sequences of The Final Destination again. The Final Destination movies are all about flashy, outrageous death scenes. awful, no? There is little variety and it appears to be inexpensive. People are only being killed when blazing automobile components fall on them.

It's easy to see why everything looks so terrible: it was made to be viewed in 3D. The only 3D horror film that is more annoying than The Final Destination is Friday the 13th Part III (and even that is only because it doesn't have a yo-yo in it). Everything that happens in a kill jumps out at the spectator. Even in its finest moments, the Final Destination franchise is quite gimmicky, and the 3D insanity just makes matters worse.

It's unfortunate since this movie shouldn't be that subpar. In addition to Final Destinations 2 and 3, it was written by Eric Bress and directed by the late David R. Ellis, who also worked on the underappreciated film Cellular and Snakes On A Plane.

These people should have known better, but instead we get a dull opening scene, completely forgettable characters, and a corny moment that lifts its whole terror from Chuck Palahniuk's vilest short tale.

2. The Final Destination 2 (2003)

Best Final Destination Movies, Final Destination Series

The quality between The and 2 has significantly improved, but it doesn't necessarily indicate that 2 is any better. It's a little silly and unnecessarily convoluted. However, it has some very excellent scenes, which helps to some extent in rescuing it.

First off, there's the breathtaking prophetic scene with the pile-up at the opening. Driving is terrifying, there are many potential problems, and that sequence perfectly captures all the worst-case situations. I still get anxious if I have to follow a vehicle that is delivering logs, or if there is a ladder on the roof, or really anything that I can image may smash through my windshield and kill me.

Later in the film, there come the horrifyingly artistic murders. The barbed wire and lift scenes are both disgusting, but one of the finest scenes in the entire trilogy is the one with the leftover spaghetti.

Why then does it appear so low on the total list? Basically because it's too difficult. Three writers are included in the credits: Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber, and Jeffrey Reddick. Whatever way you cut it, that's three people working on a tale that ought to be very straightforward. Reddick is credited with characters and the story, while Gruber and Bress are responsible for creating the story and the script.

In contrast, it is complicated. It has a classic sequel issue where the creators are attempting to make it similar enough to the first picture to appease the fans while being distinct enough to stand alone, and the outcome is somewhat of a jumble. The film has two primary flaws: it tries to wrap up the loose ends from the previous movie but only brings back one of the two survivors; and it still doesn't fully understand Death's rules so it invents certain exceptions involving pregnancy and order skipping. It's less creative and more complex, and it doesn't feel as rewarding as the first movie's straightforward tenet that, if you're destined to die, you're going to die.

3. Final Destination 5 (2011)

Best Final Destination Movies, Final Destination Series

Another improvement in quality; to be honest, not much distinguishes the Final Destination movies with odd numbers from one another, and you could definitely make a strong case for any of these three being the greatest in the series. However, I must arrange them in chronological sequence else this post would be far too brief.

Like The Final Destination, Final Destination 5 was filmed in 3D. That doesn't, however, automatically make it bad. Additionally, it makes an attempt to fit into the timeline of a previous film, although unlike Final Destination 2, it doesn't feel unclear. Instead, it feels really fulfilling. It manages to avoid the faults that those two inferior films made, while still delivering on the spectacle and fright fronts. It's also humorous. It managed to bring back a franchise that had seemed run out of ideas while also reminding us all of why we initially like these films.

Given that it occurs at the opening of the movie, let's start with the major catastrophe. Another driving mishap occurs in Final Destination 5, but this time it's a collapse rather than a crash. which is fantastic. Who hasn't occasionally worried about how stable the bridge they were walking, driving, or riding across was? While there is still some 3D foolishness, it allows for some rather dramatic death moments, and the visuals appear far more realistic than they did in The Final Destination.

Additionally, everyone who is saved by the starting premonition is already acquainted with one another, unlike 2 and The. It shouldn't affect the storytelling—having a diverse bunch of possible victims should actually result in a stronger movie—but for some reason, the Final Destination movies tend to work better when everyone is acquainted with one another. Maybe having a genuine concern for the people around you makes for a more fascinating dynamic.

Other noteworthy aspects of this picture are the terrible death induced by laser eye surgery, the effective integration of Tony Todd's eerie coroner into the story, and the appearance of a character attempting to evade death in a way that both makes sense chronologically and really may work. If the balance between life and death is off, there must be a relatively easy method to correct it that doesn't necessary need you to pass away.

Final Destination 5's twist is quite ingenious, especially given that it's possible to watch the entire movie without spotting any hints. Thanks to writer Eric Heisserer and director Stephen Quale, no fifth installment in a horror franchise has any right to be as much fun. Well done, gentlemen.

2. Final Destination (2000)

Best Final Destination Movies, Final Destination Series

You're going to yell at me right here. In hindsight, the original Final Destination movie is very fantastic. However, it isn't the finest film in the series. Even though it was well-liked by viewers, it had a harsh critical reception when it was first released. So what's going on?

It's possible that Final Destination was just at the wrong place at the wrong moment. A spec story Jeffrey Reddick wrote for The X-Files, which was still airing at the time, served as the inspiration for the movie. He was persuaded to make a full-length film instead (without Mulder and Scully), but the show's DNA was preserved when X-Files writers James Wong and Glen Morgan took on the project, rewrote it, and created the current version of the film.

However, the postmodern adolescent slasher wave was cresting just as Final Destination was published in 2000, so perhaps it had an impact on how people saw it. It has a comparable youthful cast to that of Scream, including Kerr Smith from Dawson's Creek, who was popular when its release. It also has a tone that is somewhat similar, with sardonic, self-aware characters. However, it is a distinct genre of movie. It doesn't parody common horror tropes, and neither does it focus on heroes overcoming obstacles or defeating bad guys. It's kind of about death's inevitable conclusion in a way that manages to be depressing, absurd, and spooky.

But it's not truly terrifying. It's sneaky and it creeps you out, but it's not terrifying in the sense that scary horror movies typically are. The anxiety we feel for the characters is diminished because we know they will all perish; there is no true tension when there is no other possible ending. It only becomes horrifying when you've watched the film a few times and understand how true it is for everyone.

While you wait, you may either scoff at or take pleasure in the intricate death scenes; in Final Destination, there is a particularly effective one that emphasizes the value of having the proper containers for your drinks.

Before we continue, let's pause to consider the fact that Final Destination was once known as "Flight 180" and may have even been published under that name. If so, we most likely wouldn't have received the sequels we did, or perhaps any sequels at all?

1. Final Destination 3 (2006)

Best Final Destination Movies, Final Destination Series

Only one film remains to claim the title of finest Final Destination of all, and in my opinion, that film is Final Destination 3. Following the misunderstood first installment and the perplexing second, James Wong and Glen Morgan returned to the franchise for Final Destination 3, a film that gave the series its definitive shape. The Final Destination movies should have always been brilliantly colorful, fast-paced, slightly goofy meditations on how since we're all going to die eventually, we may as well go out in a blaze of glory.

Given its modest scope, the initial catastrophe—a rollercoaster at an amusement park derailing and taking a few dozen people with it—should be unimpressive. It may seem less dramatic than the automobile accident in the second movie or the airline tragedy in the first movie, yet it still works so well. If you've ever been on an amusement park roller coaster, you'll like how the film captures the feeling of being weightless and holding your breath as the vehicle ascends a hill before descending back down. For the most of us, rollercoasters are not commonplace notions, and their attractiveness stems entirely from the way they simulate the illusion of danger. However, no rollercoaster has ever gone so horribly wrong as the one in Final Destination 3. It is outrageous, extravagant, and wonderful.

The main plot of the novel then begins as a group of high school students attempt to understand what transpired when some of them exited the roller coaster before their classmates perished. Before the movie turns character deaths into yet another series of amusing games, there are certain sequences that have a genuine feeling of gloom, serving as a reminder that dying isn't all fun and games. There are several inconsistencies present, but they all manage to hold together.

The third film in the series, Final Destination 3, spends less time trying to explain what's happening than its predecessors, which may be because it doesn't need to. It simply carries on. No movie in the entire series has ever been able to explain why certain individuals are able to buy themselves a little additional time or what causes the premonitions, but they may be better off as a result. After all, death is a great mystery and life is odd and illogical, so why should a glitzy B-movie be able to provide any answers to existential dilemmas?

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