Film: Final Destination aka: The Final Destination
And you thought Life was a bitch.
"In death there are no accidents, no coincidences, no mishaps, and no escapes."
—Bludworth the Coroner, Final Destination
The Final Destination horror franchise (which has spawned five movies, two comic books, and six original novels) revolves around the premise of Death's list.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.This franchise bears no relation to the stage of the same name from the Super Smash Bros. fighting game series. Although a song of the same name was inspired by the title of the original film, said song does not appear in any of the films.
These films contain examples of the following tropes:
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Anyone Can Die: Though, due to the nature of the series and the genre, this is to be expected.
Asshole Victim: This being a slasher franchise, this happens a lot. See below for specific examples.
The Bad Guy Wins: No matter what the characters do, Death will always claim them.
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.
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.
Chunky Salsa Rule: It would probably be easier to list the ones who didn't turn into giblets.
Crapsack World: Death is real and he either hates you or thinks your silly attempts to live are amusing. Also, because of Death, horrible accidents that involve dozens or even hundreds of people dying are commonplace. Everything, from ceiling fans to roller coasters to planes, is on the verge of falling apart or blowing up due to the slightest provocation. And when it does fall apart, it will do so in the way that is most likely to kill anyone around as it happens.
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.
The explosion of the plane is a bit too spectacular, really. Not to mention the car crash at the beginning of the second movie, where every car blows up.
Subverted at the same time with Evan Lewis' original death in the same scene. He actually rams into a rig's gas tank, but his car doesn't explode; he remains trapped in the carriage of his car, screaming as he is burning to death.
Averted with the drive-through collision in film #3, probably because an explosion would've obscured the fan-blade-to-the-head manner of the resulting death.
In the car crash in the second movie, there is a Ford Pinto, driven by Nora and Tim.
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 Word of God says that most of the people in test audiences didn't notice the water, hence the color change, but in-universe, the water was most likely clear just like real water. 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?
The majority of deaths in the series are assisted or directly caused by electric and mechanical systems failing to a ridiculous degree. Computers will start fires, ceiling fans will not support their own weight, and if that's not enough, wait until any modern construction is placed under stress (an explosion, a large number of people, being activated in the first place, etc.). Death must have killed off all the actual engineers a while ago.
Lampshaded in part 5.
"There were five fail safe measures that all had to fail for that machine to do what it did. Five."
Fanservice: Subverted in the third film with the tanning bed scene. Yes, that scene.
Subverted again in the fourth film with the mom who was victim to an Eye Scream.
Played straight in part 2 with the biker who flashes Dano.
Played straight again in part 5 with Olivia.
"They're called tits."
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.
This film series and Expanded Universe is all about the foreshadowing. Anything can be a reference to how someone is going to die. Fans make it a game to try and find all the foreshadowing in later viewings.
The fourth film takes this to extremes. As if the commercials weren't bad enough Nick has brief images depicting how a character will die just moments before their death.
Also appears in Part 5. However, the characters don't ever seem to notice until it's too late.
A plot point in Part 3; photographs taken of the various characters show the way that they'll end up dying.
An important plot point in part 5 is that Sam wants to take an internship in Paris; it's a blatant clue that the film is a prequel and will end with Flight 180. Not to mention that the restaurant where Sam's internship was to take place is the same one Alex, Clear and Carter go to in Paris at the end of the first film.
A few more subtle hints that part 5 was a prequel — there are a series of references in the opening scene that place the movie firmly in the late 1990s, such as the comparison of Olivia to Lisa Loeb, the music Molly is listening to in her car on the way in, and the fact that not only are the vehicles (and other technology) about a decade old, but the style of New York license plates on the cars was discontinued in 2001.
For the Evulz: The only adequate explanation for why Death kills survivors so horribly. This is even offered as an explanation in the novelization of the third film, where Wendy also surmises that the reason why people are rarely ever killed while alone is because Death likes having an audience.
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.
The Grim Reaper: The antagonist in both the films and books. Unusually, Death is presented as what can only be described as a "force" rather than as a person (although WMG has sprung up in relation to Tony Todd's character about this). "It" is usually seen as wind, though the other elements like to get in on the action too; generally speaking, water works to fake out the audience, sometimes teaming up with its old friend electricity, whilst wind, fire and earth lay the realDisaster Dominoes.
Hope Spot: Done several times to the survivors in the films. Notable examples:
In the second film, Kat is nearly speared through the head in a car accident but is saved by less than an inch of space. She looks safe and is being rescued by an emergency crew when they accidentally trigger her air bag, forcing her right into the same spike.
In the 5th film, Olivia manages to get out of the head clutch of a malfunctioning LASIK machine as the main characters and doctors run in to help. Her eye is fried, but there is no apparent danger to her...but then she takes a step onto a glass eye of a teddy bear that she was holding during the procedure for comfort, that had been ripped off accidentally and fallen near a large window. She trips on it, and the rest is history.
The 5th film does a similar dance with Isaac, who is skewered by acupuncture needles and then nearly burned alive, but manages to get himself into a relatively safe position. Just as he starts to relax, a Buddha statue falls on his head.
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.
Averted in Final Destination when both an infant AND a mentally handicapped individual die in the plane crash/explosion, even when one of the characters declares that the plane can't possibly crash due to this trope:
[Alex sees a crying baby upon boarding the plane] George: That's a good sign. Younger, the better. It'd be a fucked up God to take down this plane. [they see a mental patient in the front row] George: A really fucked up God.
The trope was supposed to be averted in Final Destination 2. Tim was originally going to be a little kid but the director wanted to keep the movie "fun" and thus bumped up his age to 15 so we wouldn't be subjected to seeing a little kid being splattered by a falling pane of glass. Although another younger kid is decapitated by an exploding barbecue in the final scene.
Played straight in Final Destination 3 when a group of young boys try to bluff their way onto the roller coaster, but are kicked off by the carnival staff for not being tall enough to ride it. Thus, the boys avoid dying in the crash, without any need for psychic visions to warn them away.
Played straight in The Final Destination. One of the victims is a mother of two and her kids are seen escaping the accident at the start while she gets separated and killed off.
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 occassionally been succesful 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 Explodium: A lot of structures and vehicles seem to inexplicably explode. Sure there are accelerants often involved, but nowhere near the amount that would be needed to, say, blow up a house, or even an apartment.
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.
The Plan: Death does this. And boy, it is a BIG ONE! Brace yourselves...
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.
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 in reverse order, even catching the last ones months later and a continent away.
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 targetted 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.
Reality Is Unrealistic: As the list of unusual deaths on the other wiki shows, people sometimes do die in incredibly bizarre circumstances, such as being killed by an airborne fire hydrant when a car struck the hydrant and the water pressure propelled it "like a bullet". Some people even died in incredibly similar circumstances to the films, like decapitation by elevator or getting their insides sucked out by a pool drain.
Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: And it goes off without a hitch almost every single time. Justified in that it is planned by Death and he undoubtedly had quite a lot of practice in setting these things up.
In Final Destination 2, Evan narrowly escapes an explosion in his apartment. In an effort to make the escape ladder drop, he trips but lands on his feet. Proclaiming his luck, he then slips on a pile of spaghetti he threw out the window earlier, just as the ladder decides to fall. Amazingly it stops short right above his eye, giving him a moment to sigh in relief... but then.
Final Destination 3 had the football player narrowly avoid having his head cut off by ornamental scimitars while on a weight machine. Exuberant, he does another rep on the machine, not realizing that the scimitars have frayed the cables, resulting in them snapping and crushing his head between the weights. Who would design a machine like that anyway?
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."
Trainwreck Episode: Every story begins with a premonition of an elaborate disaster unfolding around the protagonists.
Ultimate Evil: Death is never seen, only appearing as wind or other subtle forces to set things in motion.
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.
Wild Mass Guessing: A popular theory, also supported by Word of God (James Wong) is that there is some other force out there trying to prevent Death from killing these people. This secondary force could be where the premonitions possibly come from, including the warning signs. Another possible theories is that Death is sending the visions because it likes to see how long survivors can last, as it challenges itself to come up with increasingly convulted, horrific ways of trying to kill them. A theory supported by Roger Ebert is that the force characters reefer to as "Death" or "Fate" is actually God himself. Yet another theory is that people managing to cheat Death is purely a flaw in the design of the universe or a sensitivity certain people possess, making them able to “read” Death’s plans.
Would Hurt a Child: There's a baby onboard the plane that Death blows up in the first movie. He also crushed a young teenage kid under a plate glass window.
You Can't Fight Fate: The premise of this film series. Even when the premonitions are avoided, most (and all in the long run) of the characters get their due death. A subversion occurs in the comic books: The Reveal in the comic books is that the main character is the reincarnation of the goddess of fate, that she was used by death to enter our world, which might explain how the protagonists of the movies get the premonitions in the first place.
Nadia "Have you all lost your fucking minds?" (Part 4)
Isaac (Part 5)
Abusive Parents: Clear's mother and stepfather, for the neglectful kind. They didn't even bother picking her up from the airport after Flight 180 exploded.
Asshole Victim: Carter, initially. The openly and proudly insensitive prick of a boyfriend amongst the leads, with not one decent and good bone in his body. Throughout the movie, Carter performs a gradual Heel-Face Turn and becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, even saving Alex's life in the ending.
Bilingual Bonus: The doomed Flight 180 was run by Volée Airlines. Volée is French not only for 'flight' or 'flown', but also for 'stolen'. Highly appropriate given that Death's attempting to claim everyone's lives after the explosion. Also see Meaningful Name below.
Bring My Brown Pants: Anyone notice the seemingly large stain on Carter's pants after Billy's decapitated?
Death by Pragmatism: Was going to be subverted in the first movie, but they made them reshoot the ending.
Death's Hourglass: Some DVD menus for the first film use this theme, showing a clock ticking by the hours with an eerie, deterministic theme in the background, visualizing the survivors' limited time until Death catches up with them.
Delayed Explosion: The explosion of the plane in the first film is a case of Realistic Delay, though some say it's exaggerated given the short distance involved.
Died Standing Up: Billy Hitchcock, who stays standing after his beheading for a few seconds before his body realizes he's dead.
Early Installment Weirdness: In this film, there's often a black shadow on a reflective surface seen when Death is coming for someone, sometimes accompanied by gusts of wind from nowhere. Neither of these omens were used in any of the sequels.
Focus Group Ending: The original ending featured a somewhat happy ending. The hero sleeps with his love interest, gets her pregnant, then dies. The movie closes on the 2 survivors standing by his grave a year later. Test audiences hated it and said they wanted more Rube Goldberg deathtraps. Ironically, the second film revolved around that plot point, just with different players involved.
Jammed Seatbelts: A car stalled on train tracks has one seatbelt jam, trapping the occupant until the very last minute. Possibly justified, since every death in the series is set up in a Rube Goldberg style relying on a series of coincidences.
Pet the Dog: Even after knowing she's next on Death's list, Clear runs out her house and attempts to rescue her dog from getting electrocuted. She succeeds.
Porn Stash: Alex has an adult magazine stuffed in a dresser drawer.
Rasputinian Death: Ms. Lewton's death. She gets stabbed in the throat by shards of her exploding computer screen, knocked to the ground by an exploding Vodka bottle, stabbed in the chest by a large kitchen knife when she was trying to grab a cloth to stop her hemorrhage, but it takes a chair falling on her and hammering the knife deeper in her chest to kill her. And Death, not satisfied with that, blows up her house! It helps cement Death's position in the series as a sadistic bastard that loves making its victims suffer for shits and giggles. The last part also qualifies for There Is No Kill Like Overkill.
Red Herring: The amount of focus given on the nose hair scissors in Tod's death scene implies that they'll play some factor in it - but they don't. It's all about that clothesline.
Significant Birth Date: Alex Browning, born on September 25, was scheduled to leave to Paris at 9:25 PM. The plane, in which his seat was I25, of course, exploded on take off.
Source Music: "Rocky Mountain High" is a weaponized version.
A tag an airport employee attaches to Alex's bag in the first film has "Final Destination" written on it in big, bold letters. The camera lingers on it for a few seconds.
Also, a song playing in Carter's song contains the following lyrics:
"Pictures in my head of the final destination..."
Unintentional Period Piece: The cameras used and the music for the soundtrack place the movie sometime after the the 1980s, but the under-reaction to a guy saying a plane is going to explode, which turns out to be true, clearly shows the movie was made before 9/11.
Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The plane crash at the start of the first movie is obviously based on TWA 800 — the plane is an old 747 flying from JFK to Paris that explodes shortly after takeoff, even featuring a group of high school students on a class trip, just as the real flight 800 did. Some of the TV news footage in the movie is the real coverage of that disaster.
Final Destination 2
Bloody Hilarious: At the end, the two surviving characters are having a barbecue with a family they met earlier, when all of a sudden the mother mentions one of the victims having saved her son's life earlier in the film. As if on cue, the barbecue the son is checking on explodes, and his severed arm lands on the mom's plate. Roll credits.
Cigarette of Anxiety: Ket Jennings is a nervous workaholic who smokes even when on the treadmill. When she's stuck in her car due to some logs, she lights up a cigarillo as she's waiting to be rescued.
Death by Looking Up: Tim looks up just in time to see a large window literally smash him into a bloody mess.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Alex Browning, whose death was not only off screen, but the most unexciting death in the series. Admittedly, however, since the actor playing him had walked out between the first and second films over payment issues, they had no choice but to kill him off without showing it, since a death hadn't been filmed.
Drunk Driver: In the beginning sequence, the driver of a beer truck is seen taking a pull from a bottle of beer shortly before everything goes to hell. It was not the triggering factor in the huge pileup, but it may have been a contributing factor.
Dull Surprise: Kimberly didn't seem all that upset when Rory was sliced up by wires. Yet the random civilians around her were shouting or screaming "OH MY GOD!"
Earn Your Happy Ending: Kimberly has the honor of being the only protagonist to escape death's list — by killing herself and getting revived at a nearby hospital... but then eventually subverted: the DVD extras for the third movie reveal that she and Officer Burke were sucked into a wood chipper between the two movies. It is supported by Word of God, and the third film does show a glimpse of them in a picture that implies that they died.
The Problem with Fighting Death: Clear, who has survived by institutionalizing herself, admits that she hasn't actually won, just hidden so well that Death can't get to her at present. She's dead in days once she goes outside.
Revival Loophole: Standard example, where the visionary kills herself only to be revived, hence receiving a new life untainted by Death.
Scary Black Man: Eugene is a perfect subversion of this. The first time we see him, we don't get to see his skin color, but completely motorsuited up and speeding recklessly. The second time, he removes his helmet to show the big black man, complete with facial hair and bling. But once the movie gets beyond the first disaster, we never see Eugene with his bike again, and always with glasses and a sweater with stand-up collar. He is by far the most scared about his impending doom and freaks out about it quite badly.
Tim and Nora exit the dentist's office, with Kimberly and Burke racing towards them, yelling at them to get away from the pigeons. Tim immediately sees a flock of pigeons, runs through them...and is crushed by a falling pane of glass. Really, people...the kid is 15 years old, and he's just had two near-death experiences.
Kim and Burke both count. The only leads in the series to be responsible for the deaths of others:
Telling Tim about the previously mentioned pigeons.
Burke telling Nora a man with hooks will kill her.
Not remembering Isabella survived the vision, leading to Kat, Rory, Eugene, and Clear dying due to a wild goose chase.
Kim not telling Clear that the hands in her vision were white, not black.
Final Destination 3
Asshole Victim: The entire cast. It'd be easier to list the aversions: Wendy, Jason, Carrie (?).
Choose Your Own Adventure: The "Choose Their Fate" feature on the Thrill Ride Edition on DVD. Somewhat subverted however, as it was simply a more creative way to show deleted scenes from the film, even including an alternate ending.
The Ditz: Ashley and Ashlyn are textbook examples.
Eye Scream: Erin gets nails shot through her face by a nail gun accident...several of them go through her eyes.
Final Girl: Wendy. Subverted though, as she appears to only survive about fifteen seconds longer than the other two friends killed in the subway crash.
Forklift Fu: A forklift goes haywire in the warehouse the leads are in, pushes over a shelf which almost sends dozens of pieces of fence wood into Ian, although Wendy manages to save him. However, it leads to Erin's death almost right after.
At the funeral, Frankie thinks that Ashley and Ashlyn are dead because of him. When Julie asks why, he tells her that if men like him didn't see women as nothing but sex-toys, they wouldn't try so hard to look good by going on diets, exercising, and (in Ashley and Ashlyn's case, which is what led to their deaths), tanning. Too bad he ruins the moment when he tries to kiss Julie seconds later.
Ian makes some pretty good points about how vague the concept of "signs of death" is, pointing out that virtually anything could be interpreted as a sign if you're looking hard enough.
Free Wheel: The first victim of Death's damage-control dies when a burning tire from the (unseen) mass pileup is flung clear out of the stadium and plummets down onto her in the parking lot, pulping a large part of her upper body from mid chest up.
Heroic Sacrifice: Nick pulls this in one of the alternate endings (although he could have thought it through some more). What makes it heroic is that he chooses to save everyone in the mall, not just the people he knows personally. Unfortunately, Death still gets Lori and Janet.
Look Both Ways: George gets run over by an ambulance while leaving a hospital.
Mythology Gag: The falling tub death is completely identical to one of the deaths in the spin-off book End of the Line.
Oddly Named Sequel: After two numerical sequels, the fourth film is called The Final Destination, then the fifth one is just Final Destination 5. The Final Destination is, however, referred to as Final Destination 4 at the end of part 5.
Only Known by Their Nickname: The main characters all have their names mentioned in the credits, but secondary ones (Carter, Samantha, Andy, Jonathan, etc.) are only referred to by nicknames (Racist, MILF, Gearhead, and Cowboy, respectively).
Plot-Induced Stupidity: Janet, despite having nearly died in the car wash accident, tells Lori that she's being paranoid and/or going crazy for believing that Death still has it out for them.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Suggests the premonitions are part of Death's design to begin with and that nobody ever had a chance of escaping.
Stupid Sacrifice: The original ending had Nick grab one of the flammable canisters in the mall, look around to see there were too many to remove...and jump out of the window with one to cause an explosion and set off an alarm. Wait, what? Why not just throw the canister out on its own? Doubly dumb due to the fact that Lori and Janet die moments later outside anyways.
Accidental Murder: Nathan accidentally kills a Jerkass coworker and ends up getting his name taken off Death's list. Too bad the guy he killed was days away from death...
Anachronism Stew: Averted- While The Nineties is not so glaringly obvious, the absence of high-end laptops and i-devices should clue in anyone who is not too caught up in the violence to notice such details. And then there's The Stinger ending to drive the point home.
Asian Hooker Stereotype: When company sleazeball Isaac enters an Asian massage parlor, it's blatantly obvious that he tries to invoke this in the douchebaggiest way possible by harassing the receptionist, complete with inquiring if there will be a "happy ending". When the girl makes it clear that the place isn't a brothel, he still doesn't take the hint. He gets duly rewarded when the girl sets him up for an exceptionally rough massage performed by her much older mother.
Asshole Victim: Isaac, who is such a ridiculous and blatant sleaze that his death is almost played for laughs. Also Dennis and Olivia.
A photo of a character standing next to Car #6 from Part 4,
A roller coaster photo from Devil's Flight from Part 3,
A character working at Le Cafe Miro 81 from Part 1, as well as the lingering shot on the cafe sign—081 is 180 backwards.
A truck carrying wood just as the one from Part 2 when the bus is reaching the bridge,
The opening disaster from Part 1 ending the film.
The opening credits. To be specific; The credits feature various objects that caused the deaths and disasters in the film series. Example a set of knives that caused Ms. Lewton's death in Part 1, the tire that decapitated Nadia from Part 4, the fire escape ladder from Part 2, pieces of the Devil's Flight derailment from Part 3 and so on.
Exact Words: The survivors are told that they can kill someone else to get taken off the list, getting the dead person's remaining years in exchange for the sacrifice. Now, if they only had a few weeks left to begin with...
Eye Scream: Final Destination 5 has a girl being burnt in the eye by a LASIK machine going haywire. Amazingly, she LIVES through that experience, only to slip on a plastic teddy bear eye, fall out a window, smash into a parked car, and have her GOOD eye pop out of her head. And that's run over by a passing vehicle.
Though he understandably remains a little on edge the whole time, Sam nevertheless decides that he's not going to go out of his way to avoid Death when the other survivors have clearly died in severely improbable locales. If he's going to die, it's unlikely any effort he takes to the contrary will help.
And when Death does come to collect him, he accepts his fate as he burns to death on Flight 180, after witnessing his girlfriend split in half.
Frickin' Laser Beams: The LASIK machine shown above has a display that shows the power of the laser to be 5 milliwatts. In reality, a 5 mW laser has only the potential to damage the retina (and no other structure of the body) if a person stares into its beam long enough. In the movie, instead, it is depicted as being capable to burn the cornea, sclera and skin tissues instantly, it makes a classic zap sound and the beam it emits is visible and glowy. In addition, it is also the wrong type of laser: a continuous red beam, instead of the pulsed ultraviolet laser that is actually used in LASIK operations.
He Knows Too Much: Peter murders a federal agent, thus getting his life. Molly tries to get him to back down now that he's going to live, but Peter obviously can't leave a witness if he wants to spend his life anywhere but prison.
Nothing Is Scarier: The gymnastics scene is praised because of this. Other death scenes have the camera focus on many possible threats within the vicinity. In the gym? Nothing but bars secured on the floor. The whole time, the audience goes "What's going to happen to her? WHAT?" She is eventually done in by good old fashioned gravity.
During the setup of the Disaster Dominoes that will result in Candice's death, a lot of emphasis is placed upon 1) a tack on a balance beam, 2)loose rotating metal fans, one of which dropped that pipe, 3)water surrounding an electrical wire, which was dripped from the fan, and 4) the loose horizontal bar that another student was using, nearby the fan. Turns out someone else steps on the tack afterwards and accidentally knocks over a pail of white powder, which then obscures Candice's vision while she's trying to land from the horizontal bar, and she dies falling down.
A rather brilliant inversion:The teddy bear Olivia is gripping as she is getting set up in the LASIK machine has an eye fall out, which foreshadows the inevitable Eye Scream to follow. However, the eye actually ends up causing her death. When she gets free of the LASIK machine, she accidentally steps the heel of her stiletto boot exactly on the eye. She trips backs, crashes through a window, and falls to her death.
Revival Loophole: The remaining survivors are told they can kill another human being to save themselves, since they'd be taking their victim's life - untainted by Death - and giving them their death, Balancing Death's Books. It technically works. Problem is, people don't come with a handy clock to measure how much you're getting out of the exchange.
Scary Black Man: Inverted with Nathan. He's a squirrely little dude who gets picked on by his employees.
Wham Shot: At the end, Sam and Molly board a plane to Paris. Seems like a reference to the first film, right? When Sam puts his bags away, he hears a commotion behind him. He turns around, and we see Alex and Carter from the first film fighting and being thrown off the plane. That's right, the entire film was a prequel. Sam and Molly blow it off, and take their seats, sealingtheirfates.
Worst Aid: Isaac immediately pulls out one of the acupuncture needles after he's been impaled with them, which looks like it may very well have pierced his heart.