Final Destination is a slasher without the slasher. So many horror movie killers were introduced between the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s that the genre needed some serious shaking up in the 2000’s. In Final Destination, the killer is the invisible personification of death itself. Though it can be considered another disposable teen horror flick, the Jeffrey Reddick script was actually written for an episode of The X-Files. Director James Wong was a big part of the show before a movie was suggested. I was too young to remember when Final Destination first came out, but the unique premise always intrigued me.
Alex Browning and his classmates have their whole life ahead of them. While attempting to board Volée Airlines Flight 180, Alex has a terrifying premonition that the plane will explode mid-takeoff. When the tragic disaster comes true, 7 people manage to escape death. The survivors are Alex, his friend Tod Waggner, bully Carter Horton, his girlfriend Terry Chaney, awkward Billy Hitchcock, teacher Ms. Lewton, and mysterious Clear Rivers. Devon Sawa is committed to Alex as he goes crazy convincing people and trying to clear his name with the police. Ali Larter’s Clear is a strong final girl who believes him. Most of the cast is known for TV except for Stifler himself Seann William Scott.
Obviously, most of the characters are named after horror legends, but the real legend is Tony Todd as creepy coroner William Bludworth. He’s like the grim reaper who tells them death has a plan. The first movie is more philosophical and moody, but the deaths are as intricate as a rube goldberg machine. Death claims almost everyone in a variety of bloody, disturbing, or comically abrupt ways. There’s quick deaths like being hit by a bus or decapitated, and more drawn out deaths like being strangled in the shower or blowing up after being stabbed. Reading the signs seems like the answer for survival, but that only delays the inevitable for this grim franchise. Final Destination is retroactively simple, but still effective.
Followed by: Final Destination 2