“In death there are no accidents, no coincidences, no mishaps, and no escapes…”
Since I’m running low on new programming for television, I thought it would be the perfect time to go back and binge-watch some movies as well. I don’t know about you, but I used to be obsessed with the Final Destination movies and still am. After spending some time re-watching all of the movies, I thought it would be the perfect time to rank the films from best to worst.
Whether it’s a cringe-worthy death scene, a mysterious song selection, a perfectly placed Easter egg, or the brilliant and chilling presence of Tony Todd’s William Bludworth, each film certainly has a lot to offer, but there are some that just stand the test of time a little bit better than the rest.
Please note spoilers are ahead.
Without any further delay, let’s find out exactly how I ranked the Final Destination films and why.
Most of us will agree that the first movie of a film franchise is usually the best and the same holds true for the first film of the Final Destination series. Final Destination was released in 2000 and stars Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, and Kerr Smith. Hello 90’s dream team!
After boarding Flight 180 with his classmates, Alex Browning (Sawa) has a disturbing vision and sees the plane explode. After detecting several more clues, Alex has a meltdown and asks to be let off the plane, causing several of his classmates to exit as well, as we soon discover that his vision comes true. To make matters worse, the survivors each begin dying in the order they were originally meant to.
I love the first movie because we are uncovering the mystery behind death’s plan right along with the characters. We don’t know what is happening exactly and we don’t know who will survive, which keeps us on the edge of our seats the entire time.
Standout death scene:
While Tod’s strangulation in the shower is still the most difficult one for me to watch, there has to be something said about Billy’s (Seann William Scott) decapitation in front of the train. This death is shocking because it happens right after Alex intervenes to save Carter, revealing that a death can be skipped.
At the end of the film, it looks like our three main characters have made it safely to Paris, but death circles back around to claim some more victims, leaving us with a gruesome and shocking ending.
William Bludworth did remind us that there were no escapes…
Final Destination 3
I don’t know about you, but I have always been extremely afraid of roller coasters and that was before this film was released. Final Destination 3 was released in 2006. It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ryan Merriman, and Amanda Crew.
Wendy (Winstead) experiences a lifelike vision, which may be the most horrific one out of all of the films. She demands to get off of the roller coaster and some other passengers end up following her, but her boyfriend does not make it off the ride in time, suffering a cruel fate with the rest of the passengers.
The third movie really channeled the first film well and out of all of the films, I think that Alex (Sawa) from the first film and Wendy (Winstead) from the third are the most compelling characters. Their visions are well placed and they really pay attention to the clues without just stumbling around asking why this is happening to them.
Standout death scene:
I’m not sure how one can ever forget the infamous tanning bed scene. Looking good does have its price, as Amber and Ashley suffer a toasty death while jamming out to “Love Rollercoaster.” These characters really need to pay attention to the song selections more…
Similar to the first film, Wendy and the other survivors realize that they can skip the order of death, but once they are all on the same train together, all bets are off as we witness a gruesome and violent end of the line…
Final Destination 2
The sequel rarely holds up to the original, but I thought that Final Destination 2 gave us a valiant effort. Released in 2003, the film stars Ali Larter, A.J. Cook, and Michael Landes.
After Kimberly has a vision of a horrific car accident, she gets out of the car and avoids a tragic fate. After detecting the signs and doing some research on the original Flight 180 incident, she decides to track down the only survivor, Clear Rivers (Larter).
A newspaper clipping reveals that Alex did eventually die, which was disappointing, but I appreciated that we at least got one main character for the sequel. Only, Clear ends up in a padded room in a mental institution, but decides to risk it all to help Kimberly and the others.
Standout death scene:
That elevator decapitation scene still has me taking the stairs whenever possible…
The sequel does a good job of continuing the mysterious plot while introducing some new elements. When Kimberly and Officer Burke meet Bludworth with an introduction from Clear, we discover a new twist in the design. New life can defeat death, which gives our main characters a way to actually live out the rest of their lives. Although, it doesn’t look like the ripple is done with everyone…
Final Destination 5
After “The Final Destination,” we were lucky enough to receive a fifth film in the franchise, which was released in 2011. It stars Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, and Miles Fisher.
When Sam goes on a work retreat, he has a gruesome vision of the bridge collapsing, leading to the familiar plot we know so well. Tony Todd is back and better than ever as Bludworth, revealing to our new group of characters that taking someone else’s life can somehow even the score with death.
We still don’t know why Bludworth knows so much about death’s plan and although theories have been shut down about his character actually representing death in human form, it’s unclear if he is a villain or an ally, but he is the face of these movies and I adore him! More please!
Standout death scene:
Probably the standout death scene of the entire film franchise for me. I never do too well with anything involving eyes and this scene really made my skin crawl. Poor Olivia thinks she is about to finally see the world with new eyes, but ends up undergoing a beyond disturbing system failure during her surgery.
Even though the take a life strategy seems to be paying off, we get another fantastic twist at the end of the movie and discover that Sam and Molly are now on Flight 180, making this movie actually a prequel.
We get a fun montage during the credits with some of our favorite death scenes and of course another look at the fabulous Tony Todd. While not my favorite film, I thought this one bounced back from the worst film of the series, which we are about to jump into.
The Final Destination (Final Destination 4)
I guess the 3D aspect of this movie was somewhat cool, but there were a lot of things that went wrong in this movie. The Final Destination was released in 2009. It stars Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, and Haley Webb.
After Nick has a vision of a race track accident gone wrong, we get some 3D clues thrown our way that hit us over the head a little bit too much. I personally really enjoyed the small hints along the way. The songs or the pieces of paper or shadows floating by added to the mystery of death’s plan. However, Nick had a vision every single time he had a clue with one of these obnoxious 3D bursts of images, which didn’t sit well with me.
The acting is also absolutely horrific in this particular film and it’s the only film without Tony Todd. I’m so glad that he returned for the fifth movie because that was a mistake that needed to be rectified.
Standout death scene:
That escalator scene was pretty brutal along with the explosion during the 3D film.
Overall, this movie was very underwhelming for me although it had a few moments of potential thrown in.
So, what’s next for Final Destination? Well, there have been talks of a “Final Destination 6,” although it will probably be some time until we get an actual release date. Fingers crossed!
Where to watch the Final Destination films: As of April 2020, films 1-4 are streaming on Netflix and Final Destination 5 is available on Cinemax demand.
Which films did YOU enjoy most?
I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Final Destination in the comments section below. Thank you so much for reading and happy viewing!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl
**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural? Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery? Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon! Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well. I really hope you enjoy!