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Film / Final Destination 5

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"We weren't supposed to survive that bridge collapse and so now it's kill...or be killed."

Final Destination 5 is the fifth film in the Final Destination series, it was released on August 12th, 2011. The film was directed by Steven Quale, and written by Eric Heisserer. It stars Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Courtney B. Vance, and Tony Todd.

This film provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Past: As revealed in the Twist Ending. The film turns out to be set in 1999/2000, making it a prequel to the original.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Dennis thinks Sam's name is 'Stan', and even tells him off for trying correct him. And he doesn't seem to know who Isaac is at all.
  • 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...
  • Actor Allusion: David Koechner, who plays Dennis, also worked for a paper company in The Office.
  • Always Save the Girl: Sam goes above and beyond to save Molly. He also dies in the vision because he goes back for Olivia and tries to help her after Molly.
  • Anachronism Stew: Averted- While The '90s 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.
    • The producers were even careful enough to use music from the era such as "I Will Buy You A New Life" by Everclear.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In the bridge collapse vision, Sam's torso is bisected by the falling sheet metal. A short length of intestine is seen hanging loose from his upper chest, even though the point of severance is roughly at diaphragm level, far above the intestines.
  • Artistic License – Physics: In Sam's bridge-collapse vision, Isaac falls the length of the tipped-up bus after it falls off the edge with him in it, and is helplessly forced down across the windshield as it plummets into the water. While he certainly could've slid that far if it slanted steeply enough before falling, he would've experienced weightlessness and gone back towards the rear end of the bus once he and the bus were falling.
  • 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. Downplayed somewhat with Olivia as while she is a bitch, she's still likeable to viewers. Flat out subverted with Roy, who is post-mortem revealed to have an abnormal blood vessel which could be affecting his behavior and would kill him eventually.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Deconstructed, and mentioned specifically by Bludworth. Nonetheless, Death manages to win once again, killing off the entire cast.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The massage center that Isaac visits is named "Ming Yun", which is Mandarin Chinese for "destiny".
  • Black Dude Dies First: Inverted. Nathan is the last to go.
  • Blessed with Suck: Molly was never meant to die in the disaster. She is thus safe from Death's List, despite her friends dropping like flies here and there. But, precisely because of this reason, Peter wants to murder her and take her life's worth for himself.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Olivia is extremely nearsighted and her Establishing Character Moment has her bitching about her glasses. One of the reasons she was supposed to die in the bridge collapse is that she lost her glasses while running from the spreading hole.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The three female survivors - Molly blonde, Olivia brunette and Candice light brown substituting for redhead.
  • Bloody Hilarious:
    • Isaac's death, which up until this point has been very funny with an Asian masseuse getting her revenge for a "happy ending" comment, ends pretty violently and horrifically.
    • The promotional music video for Miles Fisher's New Romance, featuring most of the Final Destination 5 cast doing a parody of Saved By The Bell. Death guest stars as himself.
  • Book Ends:
    • "Boy, it's a good thing we survived that whole bridge collapse and aftermath, now we can enjoy our flight to Paris. Hey, why are those students getting kicked off the plane...?"
    • Ironically, Sam's death is the same as how Alex had died in his vision in the first movie... because Alex saw Sam's planned death so that he would be spooked and leave to suffer his own correct death.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Literally. Remember that this was shown in 3D.
  • Call-Back: The Stealth Prequel ending, followed by a 3D-ized collection of the series' death scenes.
  • The Cameo: Olympic gymnast Brittany Rogers cameos in the scene where Candice is practicing.
  • Camera Abuse: Isaac's Your Head A-Splode death has lots of blood splattering onto the camera.
  • Captain Obvious: Invoked hilariously.
    After Sam has figured out the pattern and the protagonists are trying to figure out who's next.
    Dennis: Who's what?
    (wrench is launched into Dennis' face)
    Sam: Dennis! It was Dennis!
    Nathan: NO SHIT!
  • Chekhov's Gun: The giant rotisserie skewer that Sam narrowly avoids in the kitchen and is later seen putting back in a cabinet. It's how Sam kills Peter to prevent him from shooting Molly, impaling him from behind in a manner similar to Peter's bridge-vision demise.
  • Collateral Damage: Through Nathan's death, we learn that not all casualties of the Flight 180 disaster were on the plane; a real problem if a plane were to explode in the air would be debris raining down from the sky, and that's what does him in.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • 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.
    • The truck carrying wood is a twofer - the second movie had one setting off the highway pileup, and the company name is Tagert Logging while the ending of the fourth movie was in Tagert Cinema (and 'Tagert' is an acronym for 'target');
    • 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.
  • Cosmetically-Advanced Prequel: Despite technically adhering to 2000 period details, the technology and fashion used in the film are still noticeably more streamlined and modern-looking than that of the original film (e.g. flat computer monitors, chrome cell phones, fitted suits). This is meta justified by the fact that this was intentionally invoked to pass the film off as being set in 2011 until The Reveal.
  • Dangerously Loaded Cargo: During the bridge collapse premonition, both Sam and Peter are killed after being impaled by unsecured metal cargo from a construction vehicle.
  • Darker and Edgier: The film is the darkest in the series so far (surpassing the second, even), mainly because it has a serious plot involving murder as a sure way to cheat yourself off of death, whereas previous films have the protagonists not even considering it in the slightest (except for Ian's brief scuffle in the third film, and that is just a possibility). Then there's also The Reveal where Sam and Molly are revealed to be passengers of Flight 180, which means they were doomed from the start anyway, even without cheating Death, making this a very sad case of Shoot the Shaggy Dog.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Sure, Olivia was an insensitive bitch, but she didn't really deserve to be tortured by Frickin' Laser Beams before she died.
  • Downer Ending: As usual, everyone is dead by the end of the film. Making it worse, the accident that kills them is the plane accident from the first film, meaning they never had a chance.
  • Energy Weapon: 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. However, the display only says not to exceed 5 mW; the actual power of the laser is shown to be much higher, going far beyond 5 mW, and with the system malfunctioning out of control and the camera never cutting back to the display we don't know the actual wattage of the laser and it's entirely possible it's in the watts range allowing it to damage tissue. That being said 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.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Peter tells his friends how he had the opportunity to kill random persons on the street, without any repercussion, stealing their remaining lifetime, but he refrained from doing so, because he couldn't see a reason for them deserving to die. His friends are much relieved. For a very short time, though (see the Wham Line below).
    • Death has its own sense of honor. When Peter violates it, Death makes a point of claiming him, even though it's going against its own rules by doing so.
  • 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: Olivia is 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.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • 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.
  • Failsafe Failure: Lampshaded.
    Agent Block: Five different systems had to go wrong for that laser to fail us so spectacularly. Five.
  • Final Girl: Technically, Clear, due to Book Ends. Gruesomely subverted with Molly.
  • Foreshadowing: Has its own page. (Spoiler warning, obviously.)
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": Dennis announces the much alive Isaac as a victim. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Once Bludworth lets slip that murder will get the survivors off Death's list, Peter pretty much loses it.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Sam in his vision, Molly in actuality.
  • Happy-Ending Massage: Isaac tries to get one of these when he goes to an Asian massage parlor in town, using a ticket he stole from the desk of a deceased colleague, and despite the fact that the receptionist points out that their place isn't a brothel.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Bystander: During Sam's vision you can briefly see people on the safe side of the bridge helping people jump across a gap before it widens and becomes impossible to cross.
  • Hope Spot:
    • 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.
    • They do 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.
  • Human Pincushion: Isaac, during some acupuncture Gone Horribly Wrong, and Peter's death in the opening premonition.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Sam dismisses Alex from the first movie having his freakout on the plane he's on out of hand in the last scene, not realising until it's too late that it's another premonition, meaning the plane's in danger.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: During the opening disaster vision, Candice plummets off the bridge and is impaled on the mast of a passing boat and Peter is impaled by rebar.
  • Just Plane Wrong: During the finale, a flight attendant walks down the aisle to secure an open overhead storage compartment. While this alone isn't too out of the ordinary, the fact they remain standing to converse with a passenger afterwards is something that probably wouldn't be allowed, especially because the plane was still climbing at the time, which is generally a bad time to be moving about the cabin.
  • Karmic Death: Issac doesn't turn off his phone at the massage parlour despite the sign, so when it goes off it vibrates and pushes the candle off the shelf, starting the fire. That doesn't kill him, though. It's the Budai statue that kills him, the one he had mocked earlier.
  • Kitchen Chase: Sam reserves the restaurant for an afterhours date with Molly. Peter, who has become unstable after Candice's death, interrupts the date and tells them that he will kill Molly to take her lifespan. After Peter draws a gun, Sam and Molly both escape to the kitchen. Peter pursues and running chase/battle ensues.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: The working title of the film was 5nal Destination, which caused much amusement with horror fans, who proceeded to refer to the film as "Anal Destination".
  • Little "No": Sam lets out one after overhearing the flight attendant mention Alex Browning having "some kind of vision."
  • Medium Awareness: Isaac asks if the Asian woman speaks in subtitles and suddenly subtitles appear. Subverted in that only the viewers get to understand what the lady says. Isaac still can't.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Averted with Olivia. Despite her need for glasses, she is not a nerd at all. And she manages to look sexy with them on.
  • 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.
  • Offering Another in Your Stead: Victims who cheated death can add to their own life by killing someone who isn't living on borrowed time.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Isaac's reaction to the alcohol on the floor catching fire.
    • The look on Sam's face when he overhears the attendant on Flight 180 writing off Alex Browning's vision of the plane going down. Alex was right.
    • Nathan has a more subdued one upon learning that Roy, the coworker he accidentally killed and got his life span as a result, had an enlarged blood vessel in his brain, and would've died of an aneurysm "any day now." And not even 5 seconds after learning this, he's crushed by the landing gear from Flight 180 exploding.
  • Our Slashers Are Different: 5 introduced the element that if the survivors killed someone else, they would gain their years and survive much longer. However, by the end of the movie, everybody had died anyway, so it isn't clear if it ever worked or if it only worked temporarily.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Nathan goes to the wake of Roy, feeling horrible about accidentally killing him. Then he's hit with a fiery landing gear.
  • Red Herring:
    • During the setup of the Disaster Dominoes that will result in Candice's death, a lot of emphasis is placed upon 1) a screw on a balance beam, 2) loose rotating metal fans, one of which dropped that screw, 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 screw 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.
    • During Sam and Peter's fight in the kitchen, Peter's gun lands into an active stove, which causes the gun to slowly heat up. There was even more emphasis on the gun as it's heating up from the stove to make it look like it'll dischage on Peter. It does, but Sam kills Peter and the bullet doesn't come near Sam.
  • Revision: Originally, Sam and Molly weren't part of the passengers for Flight 180 in the first movie, but this movie shows that they are here.
  • 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. Played straight with Bludworth as always.
  • Security Blanket: Glasses-wearing Olivia goes to get eye surgery when she asks if she can have the stuffed bear sitting in the corner of the room. The ophthalmologist performing the procedure says that the bear is meant for "some of our younger patients... and sometimes our older ones too."
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Olivia nonchalantly undresses in front of her coworkers.
    "They're called tits."
  • Shown Their Work: The opening disaster is actually a fairly realistic portrayal of a suspension bridge collapse. Structural engineer Alex Weinberg, writing about how such collapses are usually portrayed (inaccurately) in film, noted with some disbelief that the most accurate one he'd ever seen "somehow comes from a film franchise in which people regularly get cut in half by errant kites."
  • Soft Water: In the opening premonition, Olivia survives her fall from the bridge to the water only to be crushed by a falling car. To be fair, premonitions probably aren't beholden to the laws of physics.
  • Stealth Sequel: It's actually a prequel to the original movie.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: The three female survivors again. Naive intern Candice is the Child, protagonist's girlfriend Molly is the Wife and Ms. Fanservice Olivia is the Seductress.
  • Token Minority: Nathan is the only black guy among our protagonists.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Subverted and played straight; some fans thought the trailers spoiled everything. For the most part, some of the implied deaths scene spoilers weren't the actual deaths. Except for Olivia's and Dennis'.
  • Tuckerization: As with the first film, the characters are named after famous horror icons. Peter Friedkin (after The Exorcist director William Friedkin), Candice Hooper (Tobe Hooper - director of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist ), and Olivia Castle (after British horror director William Castle).
  • Twist Ending: Final Destination 5 turns out to be a prequel to the other four films, ending with Sam and Molly being killed on Flight 180. To make things worse the plane's landing gear crashes through Roy's memorial and crushes the final survivor (Nathan) to death.
  • Wham Line: "Well... if none of us deserve to die, then...why is it... that you deserve to live, Molly?"
  • 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, sealing their fates (alongside Nathan's).
  • 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.

'"You all... just be careful now."