Final Destination (2000)

final destination poster

A group of American high school kids boards a plane headed for Paris for a few weeks. One of them, Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) falls asleep before the plane takes off and has a vision of the plane exploding mid-air. He awakens with a fright and freaks the heck out. One of his classmates, Carter (Kerry Smith) aggressively tells Alex to chill out and a fight ensues. In the aftermath Alex, Carter, and a few others including Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), Billy Hitchcock (Sean William Scott), and their teacher Mrs. Lewton (Kristen Cloke) are all kicked off the plane.

Sure enough, moments later the plane takes off and then explodes killing everyone on board. Since Alex told everyone the plane was going to explode before it did, the FBI thinks he must have been involved. Everyone at his high school just thinks he’s a freak. Only Clear Rivers believes him.

Soon enough some of the others who survived the explosion begin to die under mysterious circumstances. A visit to the morgue and a chat with Tony Todd reveal that when you cheat death, death comes at you. Surmising that the kids are now dying in the order they would have died on the plane (by using the seating plan and extrapolating where the explosion occurred) Alex figures out who will be next and tries to save them.

He’s not very good at it.

I knew this movie was gonna be dumb, but I had no idea what dumb depths it would dumb down to. I don’t usually nitpick movies over little details. I don’t mind small plot holes. But I was shaking my head over this one within the first few minutes.

The whole point of these movies (and there are a lot of them) is to create larger and more complex methods for the kids to be killed – call them Rube Goldbert deathtraps. I’ve not seen any of the sequels, but apparently, they get really ridiculous. Here they are pretty fun, but not particularly impressive. The last one goes over the top in a way I won’t spoil, but that I found really enjoyable to watch.

I don’t know why I’ve never seen this film until now. I was totally on board with the post Scream cycle of self-aware horror films and this came out at a time when I watched just about every movie that came to my local cineplex, but I must have missed this one. I’m glad I was able to catch up with it now, and I’ll probably eventually get to the sequels, but I can’t say I’ll be in a hurry to do so.