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Headscratchers: Final Destination
  • Why do the characters even bother to fight so hard? Unless they honestly thought they were badass enough to outmaneuver The Grim Reaper to the point they became immortal then they should have known it was only a matter of time until they all died. Everyone dies you know.
    • What? The survival instinct is one of the strongest ones we have, of course people are going to fight for their lives if they have a chance to. Additionally, everyone dies but a lot of those people die peacefully in bed. Just because I know I'll die someday doesn't mean I'd just sit there if a bus was bearing down on me or my house was on fire.
      • I think the idea is that people feels that they were dying ahead of time. That's not how it works, your time comes when it comes. You might think it's too short, but it's not. If you're meant to die before 30, that's how long you'll live. It's like people with terminal diseases, many realize there's nothing they can do about it and accept their fate; this is the same, you know you're gonna die, you can't do anything about it, so accepting is probably the healthiest choice.
      • Who says it's their time? The protagonists cheated death once. Why not again?
  • If death wants them all to die so bad, why not just give them a lethal disease?
    • Death can only manipulate environmental surroundings, not actually move inanimate objects that would be required to inject them. As for pathogens and viruses, death can influence organisms but not outright override them, which is why the horse could only drag the girl towards the wheat thresher in the third movie as opposed to running over and trampling or...or for that matter why death doesn't just force a nearby cop to shoot the characters in order.
    • ...because if it did that there wouldn't be a movie.
    • What would you find more interesting? A movie about a group of people who, after surviving a disaster due to a prophetic vision, all immediatly have simultainious heart attacks and fall over, or a movie where people are sliced in 3 pieces by barbed wire thrown at a man by a car that exploded due to a lit ciggarette falling from the hands of a woman whose head was just impaled on a pipe through her cars air bag and into a puddle of fuel from a damaged news van?
    • Reading that made me dizzy.
    • I've always thought that the Rube Goldberg deaths were the Grim Reaper trying to make a point - there is no cheating death. If you try with some weird premonition, it's just going to get you anyways, probably in really spectacular and gruesome fashion to make up for it. The random coincidences are to make sure people get the message. No one does news coverage of a small group of people dying from natural causes over a number of years, but "survivors of plane crash all killed off in epic fashion" will attract some attention.
    • I've theorized that death is a drama queen and uses the premonitions as an excuse to get full control over the universe, to knock them off in ways he sees fit. I've heard one quote from a final destination character that suggests that death likes having an audience for his rube goldbergs
  • Why do these movies exist? Seriously, why do they exist? From a purely metalogical standpoint, the premise just makes no sense whatsoever: Someone has a premonition that a bunch of people including themselves will die horribly in an accident, saves some people and themselves from said accident, then they all (mostly) get killed one by one in a series of bizarre accidents by the Grim Reaper. Either Grimmy is bored with normal death, and is screwing with the vision-bearer just to cause the Rube Goldbergian deaths and get a chuckle, or he has no idea that the visions even exist, and ends up getting caught with his scythe up his pelvis when the supposed victims avoid their fate. Either way, what's the point?
    • Because the writer was inspired by the Twilight Zone episode "Twenty-two" and wanted to expand the story into a full length movie.
    • Some dork in the US has obviously gotten his own Death Note and is getting his chuckles by trying to see what are the most over-complicated ways he can kill someone.
      • Let's run with that theory for a second. Under this assumption, does it mean that some people have discovered ways to evade the power of the Death Note (through premonition), or that this dork is a truly sick mind, giving people visions to give them the false hope of escape?
      • I'm going to go with the latter. Never underestimate the human capacity for being seriously twisted.
      • Or the original "accidents" targeted specific people, allowing for the possibility of others not named in the Note to escape them. You then get into the god-complex suggestion below for the survivors.
      • Alternativly, the 'dork' in question has had the Note for a while and doesn't have a 'cause' or pursuers to keep things interesting, so they're getting a bit bored. Then a bunch of people escape death through visions and thanks to the dork having a truly sick sense of humour the idea of picking them off one by one as creatively as possible was too tempting to pass up.
    • Because they're fun? Not quite sure what your problem is, though. Some people have visions of themselves being killed. By avoiding this, they incur the wrath of Death itself, which feels the need to correct the order of things. The deaths are elaborate because Death itself hates those that have escaped its grasp, as mentioned in Final Destination 3.
      • Yeah, but you gotta admit, the concept is kinda dumb. I remember figuring just how dumb it was after the first death, when the Reaper decided to cover up the fatal slip by pushing the soap back up into the bottle.
      • That has more to do with the directing and story-telling; if you notice Death tries to cover its tracks with Tod and Val Lewton and only in the first movie. It was originally intended for Death to act this way but the directors decided against it after those two scenes were filmed.
      • Indeed. This troper's big question is why Death doesn't just make them all terminal instead, since it would be much simpler. This led to the conclusion that Grimmy is just a show-off drama queen.
      • Not only is the concept dumb, but why is Death acting so malevolently? It has existed since the beginning of life, and therefore a human lifespan is less than the blink of an eye. Don't get me started about Death "having a plan;" that's just an inescapable fate ordained by a sadistic higher power, which bugs me more than a lame slasher flick.
      • I liked the premise, just as long as it was that their cards were marked and inexorable fate was cleaning up the loose ends with bizarre accidents, not through malice but cosmic accountancy. I could even buy the idea that they'd fallen into a world of portents and symbols, but having the train appear in a car window to forewarn them it was coming was where it jumped the marine creature. Then it unraveled with the second, and I haven't bothered with the third.
      • The third one (and the second one, but to a lesser extent) were more about "Hey! Let's see just exactly how far we can run this into the ground!" It was less of an actual plot and more of a way to see how many * cough* interesting ways they could kill people.
      • Can you imagine how the coroners felt when they had to write down "cause of death"? They probably went through a couple pens just describing those Tex Avery-esqe accidents.
      • In this troper's humble opinion, number three was the best because the lack of coherent story meant it could just take the concept to its logical extreme and not bog itself down in inane metaphysical discussion (FD 2, I'm looking at you) and Devon Sawa.
      • My own WMG on the series is that Damien Thorne was deputizing for Death. Same MO.
      • This troper's WMG on the series is that Death is setting up the Ultimate Kill, and to do that he needs practice setting up suitably awesome kills.
    • Why you all be playa-hatin'? Death is clearly a huge fan of doing it for the lulz, and I respect that. Working so hard with vacations few and far between, he deserves some fun.
    • This troper believes that Death must be really into Gorn. Enough said.
    • I like to think that Billy and Mandy have finally driven Grim off the deep end.
    • I agree with the original question. What's the point? Even if you manage to defy death once, you have to keep doing it again and again (as the girl from the first movie proved in the second by locking herself up in an asylum.) And the end result? You're going to die anyway. It's inevitable, isn't it? In the end, even if it's many years later, the characters are going to die! Seems like a waste of time to spend all those years locked up doing nothing.
      • Well, here's the thing: the whole point of the movies is that the characters evade a gristly death due to a last-moment premonition, only to be hunted down by Death because their survival upset Death's books. The premonitions are the key, here: there's only two reasons someone would get a premonition — 1. They were fated to die that day, but a higher power wants them to live for some reason, or 2. The writers were going for classic Greek irony and showing the futility of fighting fate by usually having the characters' attempts to avoid their doom be the very thing that causes it. As I stated before, if it's the former, it makes no sense, since it's clear that Death itself doesn't seem to realize the premonitions exist, and are just taking out the survivors out of spite for ruining his master plan, but the latter explanation doesn't seem to work, either, since there's no dramatic irony created by having the characters survive due to a premonition only to be taken out by something completely different (and, usually, totally unrelated to how they would've died, in the first place). The correct dramatic irony would be if the characters survived the initial accident, but either died from a follow-up accident caused by the initial one (like the first victim does by having a tire from the racecar crash decapitate her), or by dying by something similar or related in some way to the original accident (like how the final three survivors of the coaster crash in the third movie died in a subway accident). It also flies in the face of how violently Death claims the survivors, and how everyone treats their survival as being against Death's plan; if Death was the one giving the characters the premonitions (as is hinted in the fourth movie), then why is he doing it? What's the point? To make them die more spectacularly? Isn't that kind of petty of Death? The entire premise of the series is just so ludicrous and illogical, that there's just no way of consolidating it.
      • It pretty much goes like this; Final Destination 1 was about these kids cheating death and in turn the Grim Reaper trying to kill them again because they cheated him. But, as strange as this may sound, he was trying to kill them in a relatively believable way. Such as Todd (Committed suicide due to Survivors Guilt) Terry (Hit by a bus) and Valerie (murdered by Alex) Even the more plausible deaths Billy (decapitated by a loose chain whipped up from the wheel of a train) and Carter (hit by a large swinging billboard) are still somewhat believable. The sequels completely threw away the practicality of the first films deaths and tries to push the methods of execution to their logical extreme.
      • You can actually follow the path of things getting increasingly more unbelievable in the second movie. Evan (Fell from fire escape and ladder was jostled free be the movement.) Tim (Pidgeons actually did disturb the man running the crane.) Nora(Err...well, Clear set up the elevator going up, so not too bad.) Kat (Delayed reaction to the airbag...alright. Pipes in the car...well, it makes sense in context.) Rory(Err...yah.) Eugene/Clear (Physically impossible.) and Brian(...hehe...)
      • Death only goes after them because he has to. Them remaining alive upset his other plans. The characters that survived in the second film were supposed to die during events in the first (Kat was on the bus that killed Terry, with Terry dying the bus was delayed and she missed dying at the bed and breakfast). That's not to mention whose fate the second movie survivors might have influenced and so on and so on. Death is basically stuck doing this until he kills off anyone whose original plan was thrown off.
  • In the third movie, during the scene with the girls dying in the tanning beds, the machine states that it can't be set any higher than a certain temperature. Why then, would it be built so it could?
    • This is an example of one of the more ludicrous kills in FD. Although many of them would actually work, (the nailgun through the back of the head later on for example), some of them just plain don't. Death would have had to actually break the laws of physics to get those tanning beds to do what they did, which brings the interesting question of why bother shorting out the machinery when you can apparently reprogram the entire thing and put new parts in it as well. There's no physical way to die that fast in a tanning bed, they're specifically designed not to do that, and of all the FD kills, the tanning bed comes in a tie for the most ludicrous with the car engine that leaps out of the bonnet and eats the guy in the car in front. Death likes rewriting physics it seems.
      • I have just been informed that some of the books have even more stupidly ridiculous ways of killing people, such as a liposuction machine. I take back my previous statement about the tanning beds being the most ridiculous way of killing someone.
      • This troper recalls the whole "death by tanning beds" thing disproved on Mythbusters, and they wouldn't lie, would they? (And as for the above statement: death by liposuction machine? I don't know what that would look like, but I think I'd rather not know; it gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it!)
      • Actually, liposuction deaths (or at least extreme organ damage) are possible, if the doctor is clumsy and sticks the vacuum into an organ instead of fat deposits.
      • I always wanted to see Death just drop the pretense and have a gun float into the room and shoot someone.
    • I don't know anything about tanning beds, but I am reminded of sinks that can turn the water so hot it causes damaging burns. WHY?
    • Sometimes you need extremely hot water to purify infectious stuff and don't have time to use the stove?
      • The sink is the outlet; the water heater is what heats it up. A water heater can be set between 120 and 180 Fahrenheit. It only takes 5 seconds with 140 Fahrenheit water to get burns.
    • You think that's ludicrous? Try the guy who gets his guts sucked out through his ass by a pool drainage system in the fourth movie. Tip for the writers: POOLS DON'T WORK THAT WAY! And, even if they did, he'd likely die due to drowning before he could die of anal disembowelment.
      • Not ludicrous at all, it -has- happend in real life. A handful of people have been disemboweled by pool drainage systems before.
      • Thank you for initially forgetting to spoiler that.
      • Even more ridiculous, the guy in the novels who gets killed by being sliced up with CDS and DVDs being fired at high speed from players. As in slicing through his spine, neck, and neatly cutting his hand off. I wish to call bullshit on this.
    • Technicalities aside, why would would the girls burn? I'd understood if they died of massive skin/lung burns or pain shock, but they torched like a pile of coal soaked with gasoline! What, is the tanning cream THAT flammable?
      • Be glad they burned; originally, Ashelin got out and opened the tanning bed of the other one who took her hand, fell through the bottom of the bed and elexctrocuted both of them... anyone for fried girl?
      • Hell, at least that would've been physically possible.
      • This troper agrees. Fire appeared to be literally shooting out of the bulbs, much like an incinerator, rather than igniting the girls themselves, which is a complete impossibility for standard tanning bulbs. Chalk it up to Rule of Scary I suppose.
  • At the end of every movie, the protagonist temporarily kills themselves with some "suicide serum" in order to "cheat death". Okay. Then...why was the guy who tried to commit suicide by gun prevented from doing so by Death himself? Ignoring the explanation that "Death has a schedule, and the guy wasn't scheduled to die, just then" (I'll get to the illogic of that in a moment), the incident clearly showed that Death can influence and interfere with a person's death, not just cause it. If that's the case, then why can he not prevent these mere humans from tricking him into checking them off his book through a little pseudo-suicide? I could maybe forgive him for missing it in the first movie, but not any of the sequels; he should've caught on and ensured the syringe caused massive hemorrhaging or something when they tried it.
  • As mentioned above, the "suicide-by-gun" guy was denied by Death himself, because Death's timetable didn't have him dying that day. Okay, all well and good...had they not established in the second movie that Death can alter the order of someone's death, including completely inverting it. So, if Death can do that, and the guy was going to die, anyway (which is what Death wanted), then why didn't he just let the guy kill himself?
    • The list inverts only when an entire list cheats death at once.
    • But it's not as pleasing if he doesn't do it in a painful and convoluted matter that just makes it more horrifying for the victim!
    • Actually, there's a better explaination, because he didn't let the guy die then, he was able to set up Clear's death, thus finish off his list from the first film in one and kill off one of the new people on his list in foul swoop.
  • Surely the visions themselves prove that they weren't meant to die in the first place? If not, then why do they have visions at all?
    • I always assumed that Death was taunting them.
    • I might be overthinking the plot, but the manga Berserk has a premise that might be comparable. In it, the world's mostly governed by causality: everyone's individually doing what they think they want to do, but their criss-crossing motives always lead to whatever the Powers That Be want to happen. But if someone survives the moment that they were supposed to die, they become a wild card. They're not supposed to exist in the world, and everything they do has the potential to throw fate right off its rails. Not coincidentally, all the forces of darkness are hellbent on wiping out the protagonists for exactly that reason. Something pretty similar might be going in Final Destination. Death has a plan, but humans sometimes see through it, and if they do, they can avert it and start screwing around with destiny. But since they're now a threat to the cosmic order, the whole system of cause and effect gets twisted into correcting the imbalance and getting rid of them. Though why it feels the need to do it in the most elaborately bloodthirsty way possible is another matter...
      • A lot of this is discussed by the time of the Fifth movie. The characters from the second movie are the perfect example of 'screwing around with destiny' — The people are alive because their deaths were last-minute prevented because the people from the first movie survived that one day. The Fifth movie then has Death claim that if you kill someone not on the list, you take their place because it's a matter of bookkeeping. The elaborate ways could be a way to get them to give up or could be part of the bookkeeping. Or Death could even be bored - when he has his way, things are 'go big or go home' as with every major disaster.
      • Adding on to this theory, maybe Death has to go though the elaborate accidents because the people getting "detached" from the order of things, gain some sort of immunity to it. Like, normally, killing someone would be like picking something up. But when the person survives when they should die, killing them later like trying to pick something up you can't directly touch. That trait may also spread to other objects, necessitating the need for more elaborate traps, which would be like having to tie some rope around the handles of a pot to pick said thing up
  • That kid that dies right at the end of the second movie. Two things scream at me about this one. First, if Kimberly's temporary-suicide was supposed to wipe death's list clean, why did that still happen? Doesn't that mean the cop's still a gonner? And second, and more importantly: The kid was almost run over by a vehicle which was only there because of the death of one of the people on the list. If they'd all died in that car crash, that van would have never been anywhere near him. So why does he need to die?
    • On the first point, yes, it almost certainly does mean the cop's still a gonner, as well as Kimberly herself. Though it isn't mentioned in the third installment directly, in the special features of the FD 3 DVD there's a newspaper clipping that says both of them got ground up in a woodchipper. On the second point, remember that one of the big points in the second movie is that the survivors of Flight 180 caused a ripple effect in Death's plan. It's the whole reason the victims of the highway pileup were all going to die together in the crash later instead of in separate incidents sooner. It is therefore logical to assume that the kid was going to die at that point anyway, and his involvement with the second set of victims (their being both the cause and avoidance of his death) was caused by that ripple. If Alex hadn't had his original premonition and Flight 180 had exploded with everyone on board as planned, the kid would almost certainly have later died at the same time by some completely unrelated mechanism.
    • I took it more that the kid was saved from his own predetermined death by an outside interference (one of the heroes who should've already been dead saving him), so while the surviving heroes got their list erased, the kid's survival had started a whole new list (probably a list of one, unless he spent his offscreen time running around saving a bunch of other people).
  • Jonathan Grove's death in the fourth movie; he survived the speedway accident completely independent of the premonition, by surviving being in the accident itself instead of simply avoiding it like the other survivors. Yet, Death decrees that, as a survivor, he shall have a pool smush him. Why? He played out Death's Plan as the premonitions stated, and survived, so why does he have to die along with the other survivors?
    • The protagonist and friends didn't ask him to move after the protagonist had the premonition; if they had, perhaps he would have died and thus he survived as a result of the premonition.
      • That makes no sense, since you're pretty much saying that he survived due to the premonition because he was not influenced at all by the premonition. That does not work; if the protagonist and his friends didn't do anything to the guy to try and get him to avoid his death in the premonition, that means he played out his part in Death's design for the accident as the premonition showed, meaning he survived independently of the premonition. He was caught up in the accident and got crushed by the falling debris, just like he had been in the premonition, and survived. That's him surviving the accident separately from the premonition, not as a result of it. So why must he die?
      • He was supposed to move. However, before the protagonists could ask him to move, Nick had his vision and they hightailed it out of there. He therefore was out of place in Death's design, and he managed to survive by pure luck. Death must have been been distracted while saying "Oh bugger, another one of those prophets." and decapitating a woman with a tire.
      • First of all, why was Jonathan supposed to move, again? And if the vision was what caused Nick to not ask Jonathan to move, in the first place (and the visions were supposed to be part of Death's Plan, as hinted at the end of the movie)), then that means that Death himself saved the poor guy from dying.
      • Alright, let's just look at it this way. After the vision begins, Jonathan notices his hat blocks our protagonists and moves down closer. Therefore, when the shit hits the fan, he is slightly higher up and farther away than he was in the original vision. So the flaming car that hit him in the vision didn't, because he was already farther up, and being crushed under rubble, but still alive. Death, having already plotted out his latest design, and having his OCD thing with order, doesn't bother to toss in another rock or two while he's nudging a tire to fall on Nadia. He is rescued and sent to the hospital, where he is recovering until the room above collapses upon him.
      • If you watch the vision scene carefully, you can see Jonathan (the guy in the cowboy hat) farther down in the tiers of seating, where he tries to scramble out of the way of an oncoming car, and fails. He dies when the car impacts a pylon and crushes him against it. He was only down there in the first place because the main characters asked him to move.
  • Just what is causing all these premonitions in the first place? You'd think after four movies they'd explain something about it, even if it does turn out to be some ridiculous magical psychic voodoo thing.
    • According to the ending of the fourth movie, Death itself is giving the visions to the protagonists, so he could maneuver them into where and when he wants them to be when he finally comes for them. As I stated above, this makes no sense, since it doesn't work on any sort of ironic level, as we're lead to believe for almost the entirety of the first four movies that the visions were supposed to screw up Death's plan, and seems like a waste of time and effort on Death's part, as he could've just had them die in a more convenient and efficient way. In the comics, however, it's revealed that the visions are from a reincarnated goddess of Death, who is trying to disrupt Death's plan, since Death used her resurrection to enter into our world when it wasn't supposed to, thus unbalancing the furies or some crap like that. Personally, while both theories are dumb, I'd much prefer the latter more than the former, as it makes a little bit more sense, and doesn't open up plot holes the size of the Big Bang.
      • Unrelated nitpick: The Big Bang was notoriously small... ever heard of the Planck Length?
      • Then there's only one explanation for why Death gives the premonitions and makes them die later... he's an asshole and he loves toying with humans.
      • Word of God has stated several times that it is most likely an opposite force sending them premonitions. Keep that in mind. FD 4's ending is often misinterpreted. Assuming another force is working against Death (because if Death exists in the form of a somewhat concious force another force representing Life has to be present as well although it hasn't been adressed in the franchise), the opposite force is trying to save all these people by giving premonitions to a certain individual who would be able to save the biggest number of souls. And in this film, the speedway crash premonition was assumingly sent by the second force, "Life". However, after that, (assuming Death and Life have the same ability of sending premonitions) Death has been tricking them and sending them false visions that would ultimately lead them into being where it wanted them to die. Why it only did this in TFD I do not know however. I guess it should be noted that not all premonitions after the main accident were false or misleading since everyone did die by the clues given to Nick in the "mini visions" throughout the film. So the "it was the plan for us to be here since the beginning" thing coulf have easily meant that Death had planned to kill them in the Cafe all along but it doesn't really mean they weren't supposed to die at the speedway originally because the entire franchise is centered around CHEATING Death and it had been noted that Death hates the survivors passionately. Both Jeffrey Reddick and James Wong have said they believe that there are two forces working against each other throughout the franchise so I'm also subscribing to this theory.
    • And now we've gone back to the visions aren't Death's plan and there's a way of avoiding your own death in 6. Can we please keep a consistent explanation for how Death's Design is supposed to work out, for the love of Anubis?
      • Not necessarily. Does anyone on Death's list actually survive the 5th movie- and is there any evidence that the "kill for a life" method actually works? It could have easily been Death's plan for Sam and Molly to die on Flight 180 and the 5th film was just getting them there.
  • Fridge Logic: Since when has death stopped being able to kill people using heart attacks?
    • We can argue that they were supposed to die a violent death, so Death has to kill them off violently.
      • Then why doesn't Death find a way to kill them off in a similar manner? For instance, killing the survivors of the car crash in the second movie in vehicle-related accidents (as happened to Kat in the same movie)?
      • Because as the entry for Downer Ending says, it is suggested that the premonitions themselves are part of Death's design, and that all the victims in the series were meant to die outside of the major accidents. Thus, your statement would become that Death should find a way to kill them similar to a way that they wouldn't be killed in in the first place. Plus, a movie about people having heart attacks and allergic reactions would be a bit less interesting than watching someone who gets split into seperate pieces by barbed wire that got shot at him by an exploding car.
    • American Death just loves blood.
    • Maybe they're too healthy?
    • And how are they "supposed to die" when you're implicitly warned of your impending doom? I'm sorry, but that says "not supposed to die" to me. Hell, at the very least, the guy getting the visions should at least get a pass.
      • Because maybe the guy getting the visions is the only one that could be spared, but he goes and saves other people by "mistake" so Death revokes his free pass too; you ever thought about it? Assuming Death sends the premonitions "ok guy, here is what I am planning to do; go ahead, run now and you get off this." That would be another premise for the franchise if they ever dared to explore it, it's not like these movies do bad at the box office anyways; have the main cast meet with someone who DIDNT warn anybody else. What bothers me about the franchise is that it drops the anvil too hard on the concept of death is inescapable; yeah I get it, everybody has to die someday, one day. What upsets me is that even tough i enjoy them as slashers, the premise is a good one for handling actual real life death. In not a single movie has there been survivors that acknowledge this inetability and actually tried to live a better life. It's very pessimistic because the underlying message is "since you can't scape death, give up already". the closest to a positive note in the whole franchise is the vision guy in the fifth, in contrast to the one in the first movie. The one in the first movie tried to hide away and started going crazy trying to actually cheat death, while the one in the fifth somewhat resigned but still tried to go on with his normal life.
    • There's a bit of plausibility to this theory. In Final Destination 3's Choose Their Fate option, if you invert the coin toss, only Wendy and three of her friends never get on the rollercoaster. While the others died in the crash, the heroes seem to have gotten off Death's List, so it's possible that those four getting off were the ones Death gave a free pass to.
    • Maybe Death was just so pissed that its plans were messed up that it took some sadistic pleasure in killing those who dared fuck with it in violent and contrived ways.
      • The book Final Destination: Death of the Senses pretty much goes with that. Tony Todd's character from the first two movies has a cameo appearance in the novel and has this to say to the main characters:
    William Bludworth: "Like I said, spend enough time with death, you start to see his patterns. And if those patterns get messed up... then boy, does that fucker get pissed off!"
    • This gets lampshaded in the book Final Destination: Destination Zero. Disaster survivor Will Sax at one point states that yeah, he gets that Death wants them dead. What he doesn't get is why it takes such perverse delight in offing them in the most horrible and gory ways possible. It's probably because Death just wants to do it for the "shits and giggles"
    • In the fourth movie, the mall collapse kills an amazing amount of people and not just the intended survivors., so by preventing it, doesn't the protagonist put another large group of people in danger of being killed in more spectacular ways?
    • Perhaps by this time, Death has gotten bored with his "normal" job, and is just having fun, possibly not even realizing how horrible he's being; he sent the second "theater" vision in the fourth movie to just to mess with the protagonist even more, but Death had to make it "look real," so that's why the second disaster was barely averted. Notably, a bystander does say the protagonist "saved a lot of people," which gets him thinking it might not be over.
      • No, the point with the mall scene was that it was a rehash of the initial accident in the racetrack: All the important details and clues were the same, including the protagonist saving people thanks to a vision. The vision and the saving-of-people was just part of the rehash.
      • No, you're all wrong; it's been confirmed that the people who escaped the explosion of the cinema were SUPPOSED to survive since only Janet and Lori were the targets - that IS why Janet gets impaled in the vision after all and then Lori gets crushed to bits in gears; the bystanders, this time, were supposed to survive as Death was all "Right.. You've fucked with me for the last time! DIE WOMAN! DIE! I COMMAND IT! DIE!... Right, that's one down... Now, where's the other one! Ooooh! Escalator! Prepare to die, other woman! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
    • There's also the fact that if the survivors witnessed the horrible accident they had avoided, then all of them spontaneously keeled over from heart attacks, strokes and other such things... it wouldn't really make a very interesting movie.
    • So under the above logic: what if the people having the visions of the initial accidents managed to prevent them entirely? Say, someone manages to stop the roller coaster in part 3 from being used at all until they check it for hydraulic failure? Would everyone on the coaster die horribly like the main characters do, or would they all be skipped while Death focuses on those main characters?
  • Can somebody explain to me why the main page rarely ever mentions examples from the books? There are SIX of them, plus a few graphic novels (as opposed to four movies). I don't need to read about the same example from a part of a movie constantly being brought up five different times, many of the tropes mean the same thing, and some actually redirect to other examples on that page (such as deaths involving the head). Also, as some are novels, you obviously can't get away with a lack of plot development; many of the books are several hundred pages, so you'd think it would get mentioned MORE then the movies. Even if you don't care about plot, there still are a lot of deaths.
    • The books (along with the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street ones by the same company) are pretty obscure from what I can tell (the last one, Death of the Senses, is even mentioned in the literature section of the Keep Circulating the Tapes page). The Spring Break comic is widely available, but the Sacrifice one was apparently only available as a bonus in select copies of the third film.
    • Obviously because more tropers have watched the movies than read the books, and it is they who add examples.
  • I remember something from the fourth trailer about a few nails springing off and big cracks coming up in a racing stadium all leading to a car crash. To me, that's just too audacious, and I just knew that I wasn't one for this series.
    • No, a screwdriver being stuck in a racecar and falling onto the track caused the car crash. The stadium was old, and the cracks and nails popping loose were to show how unstable it was. Once the big explosions started popping up all over the place, the stands couldn't handle the stress.
  • The concept itself is ridiculous to this troper. Does it matter how you escaped death? If it happened, then you weren't going to die in the first place, negating the whole point of the movie. Cause is cause, doesn't matter if you decided to turn left at one point or did something because of a dream.
    • It matters a lot, actually. Say you're supposed to die in a building fire, but after your premonition, you avoid the building completely. Or even better, say someone else is supposed to die in that fire, but avoids it because of a vision and then saves you from getting hit by a bus when you're not paying attention, one day. In both cases, you've either mucked up the design and pissed off Death, or Death is pulling your strings like a sadistic puppet master. Regardless, the premonitions are always the key; without them, events would play out sans interruption, and the effects of said interruptions are what these movies are about.
      • So what happens if you don't escape from the premonition but from the signs of death coming around? And what if you save people from a disaster without a premonition?
      • Same result. If you were supposed to die, Death makes sure you do. Normal people don't notice the signs.
      • Disagree. The premonitions themselves are expressly made out to be the sole catalysts for the deviation from Death's plan. Any ominous clues or signs the characters see would already exist within said plan. Hence someone getting creeped out by the "I'll see you soon" sign outside the Devil's Flight and refusing to go on it would not be put on Death's list. If there's no premonition then whatever happens was meant to happen.
    • This troper personally thinks the fact all survivors are rather young (hardly anyone in their forties or beyond), probably all of them still go with the idea that they're still too young. It would be going deep in the psyche of all these characters, but basically they all think they would die much, much later (and most likely, some of them believed they'd die peacefully way past their hair turning white). So defeating Death, in this series, might just mean escaping the horrible fate and survive, and live for a few more decades. (And if they manage to do so, does that mean their death at the retirement home will be just as gruesome?))

  • If so many of the other survivors were raging douchenozzles, why should the protagonist waste time trying to protect/save them? If it were me with premotions and a bunch of kids I went to high school with, I would've gladly let Ol' Grimmy have the douchebags and focus my efforts on saving myself and maybe one other person if they had any kind of redeeming value or could be useful to me in the future. But maybe that's just me.
    • Well, every person alive is one person between you and death. Besides, if you don't keep track of them, you won't know where you stand on Death's list.
      • That's an unfortunately self-defeating viewpoint. Every one of us is going to die, and one of the main things that makes life more bearable is that we don't know when it will be. This is particularly relevant now that the sequels have repeatedly beaten in the point that none of his targets are going to survive. And let's not even get into apparent list subversions.
    • You sound like the kind of person I like to see die in these kinds of movies. No offense.
  • Was the impending mall disaster at the climax of The Final Destination still fallout from the racetrack disaster at the beginning of the movie, or was it a new disaster that was just averted by one of the racetrack survivors? (And if it's the latter, how long will the hundreds of people whose lives were saved really expect to live afterwards?)
    • Maybe since the disaster itself never actually happened, as opposed to the raceway crash, the effects are negated. Nick prevents the explosion itself, when before he simply got his friends and a few others out of the raceway. Instead of removing a few pieces of the puzzle, Nick pretty much tossed the entire thing off the table.
    • The movie basically answers this at the end with the reveal that the premonitions were part of Death's design along. Thus the people in the cinema were meant to live because they were meant to be saved by Nick. The next movie appears to ditch this theory however.
  • How exactly did the rollar coaster manage to derail in the third movie? The premonition showed how the one guy's camera ended up on the tracks which caused everything to start derailing, but he was one of the people who got off the ride. Therefore, he wouldn't have dropped the camera and then no one would have died. Initially.
    • The hydraulics were already messed up. (When the attendant was snapping harnesses down, the pipes underneath the cars began to leak). While the camera wasn't present, Death may have instead found some convenient doohickey owned by another kid on the roller coaster and made it fall while they were on the loop. Or perhaps the emptiness of the back cars upset the balance of the already unstable coster and caused it. There's a slew of reasons.
    • This troper assumed that the coaster's post-vision crash was yet another case of Death mucking around, taking out a whole bunch of people from the top of the To-Die list in one go. We just didn't get to see the exact mechanics of it, because we were following the main characters instead of watching the rails' malfunction.
      • We can actually see, in the movie that, because of the hydraulics, some of the track comes lose; the tires hit this bit of lose track, and since they stopped quick, the cart tipped, thus killing the people on board.
  • Not to reinforce stereotypes, but when have you ever seen that many black people at a NASCAR event? Odds are, you're going to find more than just one Racist there.
    • Yes, but then it means only one of them made it outside and became part of the survivors.
  • What kind of a doctor LEAVES while the patient is getting LASIK?
    • A busy one?
      • Well then an assistant should be in there. You don't leave a patient alone.
      • He hadn't actually started the procedure, though. The power surge caused the machine to turn itself up, and Olivia's own panic was what turned on the laser. The doctor thought he was just leaving a woman with a numb eye alone, not a woman under the laser of death.
    • But she was strapped in and had her eye held open. Don't you need someone to moisten it? More to the point though, why didn't she cover her eye earlier? I know we could write PAGES on the idiocy of the characters, but my God, protecting your eyes is practically instinct. She could have covered her eye with one hand and unscrewed the vice of the head with the other at least.
      • By the time that she needed to cover her eye, the beam was powerful enough to scorch her hand even when it was protecting her. As far as she knew, nothing had gone wrong yet, she was just sorta creeped out.
      • She could've even used the teddybear as a makeshift eye shield, but she didn't. What an Idiot, indeed.
      • Yes, even if it could easily burn her hand, I'm sure that stuffed animal would have held out, even if the first blast hadn't made her drop it.
  • The laser eye surgery room has the weakest glass window EVER. All she did was trip and fell lightly against the glass and it breaks as if she was running like a bull trying to smash it.
    • Clearly Death tampered with it during manufacturing so it would break easy.
    • She's wearing stilleto boots and if you watch closely you can see she breaks the window by kicking through it. Something long and blunt like a stilleto would serve as a perfect window-punch.
  • In FD 5 in the premonition that guy with the glasses exits the restroom in the rear end of the bus just before the bus plunges down from the bridge. While the bus is falling, the guy also falls down to the bus' windshield. Wait, shouldn't he have been pressed upwards, since the bus was free falling?
    • No, he shouldn't have been pressed at all, since he and the bus were falling at the same speed. He should've experienced weightlessness, then, as soon as the bus touched the water, he should've hit the windshield.
  • In the end how could Sam not hear Alex scream at the top of his lungs that they need to get off the plane and that it's going to explode? And if he did hear even some bit of it, you'd think he'd immediately be alerted, right?
    • Alex took a while to break down in the first movie. He might have been in the bathroom or something and not overheard it.
  • Death wants to kill the people in the same order they are supposed to die. So, when the teens cheated Death, did that put everyone in the rest of the world who was supposed to die on hold while he went after a handful of people, since they were supposed to die after them? Just based on some quick math, that's about 3.6 million people who should have died over the course of story.
    • Death wants to kill them in the order they died in the accidents. In the whole 'order' thing, only the accidents matter, because they didn't die at the right time.
    • Death is omnipresent- he has no trouble being all around the world, ensuring the deaths of millions of people and the survivors, all at the same time.
  • I understand that this movie takes place in a pre-9/11 world, but would the FBI agents really have let them all go that easily after the plane blew up?
    • They'd have to if it was clearly human error and not deliberate sabotage, plus it'd be pretty hard to pin the destruction of a plane on a bunch of teenagers.
    • To be fair, they still keep an eye on Alex for the rest of the movie, which means they didn't give their case up.
  • Who lets traffic commence while there's bridge construction? Construction as in, CUTTING HOLES in the main span while, reportedly, there were high winds. Hmm...I wonder why that bridge collapsed...
    • I haven't actually seen the film, but I imagine the high winds could be the entire reason they were cutting holes in the span; multiple real-life bridges have collapsed under high winds because without open spaces for the wind to pass through, all the wind pressure along the length and height of the bridge is completely focused on it. Admittedly, letting people drive over it while they're working on it is still asking for something to go wrong and kill a lot of people.
      • Okay, no, I just saw the scene on Youtube, and what I described above is not at all what's happening. And now I'm as confused as you: what the fuck were they thinking?
  • If the original catastrophe was due to be triggered by a suicide bomber, and that person was saved with all the rest, does the FD Death kick in or not?
    • One would assume so. If he was supposed to die and didn't, the Reaper would come.
      • This actually happens in a novel; a crazy mad man is supposed to kill the people that survive, but is shot before he can do so. Death, being Death, is REALLY NOT HAPPY so kills them off one by one is... rather gruesome circumstances, I mean, icicles through the eyes? Ay ay ay! That has to hurt! Death is really on the warpath in that one!
  • In the first film, why does Death make the strangling death look like a suicide? It literally retracts the water it used to make him slip. WTF?
    • The directors initially were going to have all of the deaths look like accidents or suicides but decided against it after filming To'd death.
  • Is that one semi in the car crash from the start of the second film some sort of vehicular personification of Death, or something? Because I can't think of any other reason it would crash into the one guy's car and then turn around and crash into another two on the way back.

  • So how come Nick wasn't rewarded or something for preventing the mall from being destroyed?
  • The youngest character to die in the series was Tim in FD 2 but what about the infant that was onboard Flight 180 in the first movie?
  • Why do a lot of people assume Death is behind this? Why not the devil? The movies hint at Tony Todd's character being the devil behind it all. It makes sense for a devil to screw around with teenagers for amusement. The grim reaper has over a trillion dead people to attend to. He wouldn't have the time to toy with a bunch of teenagers. He would be too busy.
  • Why does no one ever decide to just royally screw with Death's plan as much as possible? As shown in two, there is a ripple effect (for the record, I DON'T like the 'the premonitions are a part of Death's plan' thing) that forces Death to try harder and harder to fix it. Since you're already on Death's hit list, why not try to say 'you screwed with me, I'll screw you right back' and mess up it's plan as much as you can?
  • Maybe it's death itself who's trying to prevent their deaths. This troper had this thought after seeing in two days the five films and read all the entries on this film here on tvtropes. What I mean is why would death be so anxious to claim some lives if it is always very busy, death isn't in such a hurry to claim pleople because we're going to die in one moment or another it doesn't matter if it's today, tomorrow or in seventy years or more, what if it's another kind of Eldritch Abomination who's messing with death's plan, why if it's another kind of entinty who's playing with the lives of the protagonists for unknown reasons whatsoever, because the deaths of the protagonists are utterly gruesome and unnatural. Of course there are nasty accidents and the such but even in those kind of accidents there are survivors in one way or another and maybe, just maybe death is the one trying to give them another opportunity. Why because they didn't have to die in that very moment. And that's something few people have considered after seeing these movies. Maybe it's death itself somehow fighting an Eldritch Abomination that is pulling the strings and death is trying to set up things right. Well this is this troper's humble opinion.
  • In the first movie, the twist was that Alex got the order wrong and Clear was supposed to die before him, because he was supposed to change seats and didn't. This makes no sense to me, because the fact that he didn't change seats shouldn't affect the order at all; if he would have died before Clear if he'd changed seats, that means he would have been before her on the list.
  • I have to question Death's omnipotence just a bit, since in the fourth movie, Jonathan Groves doesn't die until he's been identified, implying that Death wasn't able to find him until then. So what, Death can't do something as simple as finding someone already on its list unless that person's name is publicly known? (and if that's the case, then cheating Death should be simple: everyone just changes their goddamn name...)
    • I assume that the reason why he lived so long was that Death assumed he had died in the crash as planned, and simply didn't bother remembering about him. When Nick learns that Johnathan survived, Death learns it too, and takes care of him as soon as possible. This still doesn't explain how Death DIDN'T KNOW about his survival, despite being omnipotent, but it's a start.
  • Why no manslaughter charges for the fireman who accidentally killed Kat?
  • Am I the only one who thinks this saga lost a lot of sense after second movie? I mean, what's the point on having good ones who predicted a tragedy and saved themselves at the end when they're still in the death's list and they'll finally die in the next movie (like Clear) or in the same one?

A Fine MessHeadscratchers/FilmThe Flight Of The Phoenix (1965)

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