Today I’m going to attempt to finish up another series of horror films. Since I’ve already reviewed parts four and five of this series, it’s time to go back to the start, when the idea was still fresh and didn’t resort to obnoxious 3D to pull in the audience.
Judging by what came out in the year 2000, Final Destination is actually pretty impressive. It had a great concept, some amazing death scenes, and Ali Larter. They also manage to name check plenty of famous horror icons, with the most obvious being Sean William Scott’s character Billy Hitchcock, something I didn’t realize until I looked at the character list today. Compared to some of the later films in the series, Final Destination is pretty tame. Still, it’s this film that kicked off the series that has had some of the greatest onscreen deaths ever.
I like the way this film plays with the idea of fate or luck. I’m sure we’ve all heard a story of someone avoiding a deadly situation because something didn’t ‘feel right’. You don’t normally hear about those people after that though. Imagine this is what was waiting for them? Just look at the poster. No Accidents. No Coincidences. It’s as if there’s no way to escape the plans of death. In the film, the characters think they’ve cheated death, or ruined the plan. I’d suggest that they didn’t cheat anything and that this is exactly what was always supposed to happen. Death probably gets bored of just killing people all the time, why not have a little fun with it every now and again.
Most people probably know the plot of this one but, just in case, I’ll give the quick rundown. A group of students on flight 180 manage to get off before it explodes because of the vision of one student, Alex Browning (Devon Sawa). Now death is coming to kill the survivors in the order they should have died on the plane. It’s always interesting to watch these flicks over and over to try and catch all the little hints. A lot of characters scenes have some form of foreshadowing in them, sometimes it’s obvious and other times it’s not. The film series has done a great job of referencing itself as well, including the number 180 which makes some very obvious appearances.
Now, depending on how you look at things, this film could have the longest surviving character from the series. Clear Rivers (Ali Larter) manages to survive until the end of the second film. In fact, the first two films are the only ones that actually leave a few people around at the end. I’ll get into that more with the reviews for part two and three.
In terms of characters, the Final Destination series my be the one set of films that consistently seems to have characters that I find annoying. The only characters that didn’t grate my nerves here were Alex (Sawa) and Clear (Larter). I couldn’t wait until Billy (Sean William Scott) and Carter (Kerr Smith) were eliminated. Maybe they don’t want us to get too attached when we know that they’re going to bite it at some point anyway. Of course, wouldn’t that be the best way to really stir up emotions?
In the end, Final Destination does exactly what it’s become known for. A sad little story that was built on a great premise that usually delivers some of the most interesting and creative kills ever.
In the shadows – Will