Film: Final Destination

And you thought Life was a bitch.

Final Destination is a series of horror films in the Final Destination franchise.

Films:

Every film in the franchise follows the same formula: a group of people leave the scene of an accident that kills a large number of people. Their departure and survival — caused by a premonition seen by the person who causes the group's escape — screws with Death's plans. In turn, Death makes sure that those survivors end up dying in elaborate "accidents" as part of a "list" of victims, which essentially turns the natural process of death into a supernatural "slasher". Each film culminates in an attempt by the person who saw the premonition and another person (or two) from the group to "cheat" Death and break its cycle before Death gets to them.


These films provide examples of:

  • Anyone Can Die: Though, due to the nature of the series and the genre, this is to be expected.
  • Artifact Title: Partially, the Double Entendre of the first film is lost in the next three, unless you want to be generous for Part 2 and reference it as a car GPS announcing a driver's arrival at "your final destination".
  • Balancing Death's Books: The driving force behind the films. People were supposed to die, but they cheated and got out of it. So now Death is going to get his revenge, by killing them off in excruciating and painful ways.
  • Big Good: Word of God has implied that there's a second force that sends the premonitions (The Final Destination implies it's Death toying with them, but this is debatable as the fifth film seems to ignore this and the fourth was written by different writers than the original three) and works against Death.
  • Blood from the Mouth: In most cases. Even when the victim's injuries are thus far all below the knees (such as the escalator death in The Final Destination).
  • Bookends: The fifth movie is a prequel that concludes with a new perspective on the same plane crash that started the first film's storyline.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Flip-flopped - so many things get set up that it gets so convoluted, and then subverted when something comes straight out of the blue. In fact, long-time fans might start playing "count the ways this room could kill you" with each new scene.
  • Daylight Horror: To drive home the point that death waits for nobody and could strike at any moment, a lot of the deaths occur during the middle of the day, when the characters are doing mundane activities. The disaster that open each movie even alternates between night and day, with those of 2, 4 and 5 (a prequel to 1, meaning it still fits the pattern) taking place during the day.
  • Death Song: A staple of the series; Death loves music.
    And the Colorado rocky mountain high, I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky.
    Talking to myself all the way to the station / Pictures in my head of the final destination
    I'm on the Highway to Hell.
    There is someone... walking behind you... turn around, look at me.
    It's your final hour.
    Dust in the wind...
  • Downer Ending: Every movie save the second one ends with the protagonists dead or in danger of dying.
  • Failed a Spot Check: A number of deaths in the series are by things you would think the person would notice. For example, Tod and Valerie's deaths in the first movie, Tod somehow fails to notice the blue waternote  that's practically flooding the bathroom by the time he slips, and Valerie doesn't notice the vodka practically gushing out of the crack in her mug?
  • Foreshadowing: Often happens about the deaths, for example, in the first movie, a skeleton figurine hanging in a noose is among the toys scattered about Tod's room. He is later strangled in his bathtub.
  • Gorn: Some of the fans seem to like the characters getting killed off a little too much. Then again, later sequels show that blood and guts seem to be the point of the series now. While this is true of Part 3 and 4, the gore level is toned down a bit in Part 5. The Final Destination 2 DVD even has a feature that allows you to interrupt the film at every death and view a brief vignette on how the effects were accomplished.
  • Idiot Ball: A lot of the deaths are set up by the characters walking into/under/through hazardous situations, not watching their backs, etc., which ruins the suspense a bit when the viewer knows a death is obviously coming.
  • I Lied:
    • Death seems to like faking the survivors out right before their actual death scenes.
    • Carter in the original, Evan and Tim in the second, Ian and Lewis in the third, Andy in the fourth and Isaac in the fifth.
  • Invincible Villain: The movies teeter back and forth as to whether the heroes can actually win, but this theme consistently shows up in every entry. They're explicitly fighting Death, a presumably eternal force of nature. Every plan the heroes have made involves evading or hiding from Death and have only occasionally been successful and temporarily at that; destroying or defeating it for good is never presented as an option.
  • Kill 'em All: In most of the movies, all the protagonists eventually die.
  • Large Ham: William Bludworth. And, in a rare silent example, Death itself. The ol' Reaper sure likes to kill people in unneedingly funny, overly dramatic, and drawn out ways.
  • Made of Plasticine: The higher the number of the sequel, the more this applies to the characters. Fans finally had enough when the fourth film had a character pushed through a fence by a flying gas canister and gets diced. The fifth film finally takes it back several notches.
  • Meaningful Name: William Bludworth, who knows a lot more than he lets on about everything going on. Surprisingly, he seems to be a creepy guide of sorts.
  • The Plan: Death does this. And boy, it is a BIG ONE! Brace yourselves...
    1. Death targets Sam (from Final Destination 5, which is a prequel to the first movie) and Sam and his friends escape. Death, however, had planned for just such a thing to happen and after Candice (a friend of Sam) dies, her boyfriend Peter blames Molly, who survived in the original vision and goes after her; when Sam kills him, (after everyone else except Nathan, Peter, Sam and Molly are dead) Molly escapes Death, thus putting her on the list. So... guess where she and Sam go? Yep! Flight 180. Death later targets them there and blows up the plane.
    2. Alex Browning, from the FIRST Final Destination, sees this vision, panics and gets himself and his friends off. Death folds the new humans into another plan, and starts killing them off, even catching the last ones months later and a continent away.
    3. As the people in the first film die off one by one, the people from Final Destination 2 witness their deaths (from offscreen) and they are mentioned in Final Destination 2. As it turns out, by witnessing the events of Final Destination meant that the people (from Final Destination 2) escaped their actual deaths and were targeted on Route 23. Again, Kimberly, the protagonist, panics and gets them all off. Once again, Death has planned for this, goes backwards down the line and kills them all of, including Clear Rivers, the only survivor from Final Destination 1.
  • Primal Fear: This film series is built around the fear of being hunted down by the Grim Reaper until he catches up to those who have escaped it and kills them in elaborate, agonizing ways. The inevitability of death is really emphasized because in this series, Death always wins and the protagonists' efforts to cheat it are entirely pointless in the end.
  • Prophetic Fallacy: The opening premonitions, especially Kimberly's and Nick's series of secondary visions in the second and fourth films.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Clear gets some limited precognition throughout the first film (but not in the 2nd, strangely), despite not being involved with the first premonition. In addition, anyone can see signs if they pay attention, most notably Rory and Kat from the second film.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: Many of the deaths are caused from this trope. The biggest offenders are Nora and Tim from the second film.
  • Sequel Escalation: Each film makes the death sequences more elaborate. Fans had had enough by the fourth movie, though, so it was toned down for the fifth.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Inverted. One protagonist's foreknowledge allows him or her and a group of friends to escape some kind of fatal accident. The rest of each movie is about death trying to fix this event that "went wrong".
  • Tempting Fate: It's best to just shut up after a brush with death.
    Carter (Part 1): "I'm never going to die."
    Carter (Part 1): (at the end) "So who's next?"
    Evan Lewis (Part 2): "Jesus Christ. (chuckle)"
    Lewis (Part 3): "Whoo! What I tell you, Kevin, huh? Fuck death! Baby, I just win! That's all I know how to do, Kevin! I just win!"
    Ian Mckinley (Part 3): "It skipped me. For me, it is over. I'm not dying. I'm not dying!"
    Ashlyn Halperin (Part 3): "A few more degrees won't hurt."
    Isaac (Part 5): After avoiding death by needles AND fire in a Chinese Massage Parlour he lets out an audible "Phew!" - Cue heavy Buddha Statue falling from above.
  • Time Skip: All five endings.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Many of the death scenes are partially based on actual events or have alluded to said events. However, they're played up and fictionalized for the film. In other words, they should rename 1000 Ways to Die to Final Destination: The Series.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Averted. There's a baby onboard the plane that Death blows up in the first movie. Then he crushes a young teenage kid under a plate glass window in the sequel. This is the Grim Reaper we're talking about after all, you really think he'd have any more sympathy for kids than adults?.