Franchise: Final Destination
"In death there are no accidents, no coincidences, no mishaps...and no escapes."The Final Destination horror franchise revolves around the premise of Death's list, and began with a 2000 film.The works in the franchise are:
—Bludworth the Coroner, Final Destination
This franchise contains examples of the following tropes:
- 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.
- Black Dude Dies First: Mainly averted in the films, but occasionally invoked in the expanded universe.
- Chunky Salsa Rule: It would probably be easier to list the ones who didn't turn into giblets.
- Cosmic Horror Story: Each one of the films has a cast up against Death itself. Death is never presented as a defeatable force, and is unimaginably cruel in how it goes about balancing the books. And no matter what you do, Death will claim you.
- 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.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Many of Death's kills are incredibly sadistic, as if the Reaper has a grudge against the protagonists for cheating it the first time.
- Driven to Suicide: Defied. You don't die until Death decides you die.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: This is how Death gets you, who can use every implement imaginable in his task.
- Failsafe Failure: 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.
- Failure Is the Only Option: No matter what you do, Death will find a way to claim you in sadistic fashion.
- Foreshadowing: 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.
- 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.
- 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 real Disaster Dominoes.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A personal favorite technique of Death and the producers. Whenever you see a film, expect at least one impalement either in a premonition or the main story. There's only one major one in the first film, which comes when Lewton manages to make kitchen knives fall on her in her burning house, but Death ramps it up to ladders and poles for the other movies.
- 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.
- Necro Non Sequitur: Death doesn't care how it has to kill, even if the way it does so defies the very laws of physics and probability. Quite simply, this trope is the entire premise of the series.
- 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.
- Sadist Show: The Final Destination film series pits normal humans against an immortal, undefeatable, omnipresent force explicitly identified as the Grim Reaper. The humans escaped their original deaths due to unexplained premonitions of their demises. Death wants to balance his books, and he goes about it in a spectacularly sadistic way. As a result the series mostly revolves around figuring out what horrible ways in which the protagonists end up dying.
- Spiritual Successor: 1000 Ways to Die. More or less with The Omen, only with Death instead of The Antichrist doing the weird deaths.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Cars, barbeques, apartments, computers, houses, malls...
- Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: The series follows this trope all the time, with only varying times between the near-miss and the death blow.
- 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.
- 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 convoluted, horrific ways of trying to kill them. A theory supported by Roger Ebert is that the force characters refer 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.
- Xanatos Gambit: Death always wins, regardless of what those on Death's list do to spite it. Given that nobody lives forever, no survivor can elude Death indefinitely. There is only one proven way for a survivor to escape the list which is to kill someone else and take their lifespan- but this gives Death its desired victim anyway and fills the rift in its design.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Done very frequently by Death when an intended method of execution for its victim fails.
- 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 one of the comic books is that the main character is the reincarnation of the goddess of fate, and 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.