In 2000, horror fans were introduced to a new terror in the form of death itself, where a select number of strangers survive a horrific incident following a premonition from the protagonist; however, the nightmare only began there as death stalked and killed the remaining survivors of the tragic incidents. For over ten years, the Final Destination series dominated the horror scene with over-the-top gory deaths and fun (yet tragic) opening accident scenes. While it’s been a decade since the last film, we’re here to celebrate a series that brought such terror to everyday life by ranking the films from best to worst. Let’s get started with the best FD movie in the series:
Final Destination 5
The final film in the horror series turned out to be the best one in the bunch. In the fifth outing of Final Destination, Sam is the lucky man who has the horrific premonition of him and his co-workers (except his girlfriend Molly) dying in a violent suspended bridge accident. Of course, Sam manages to save himself and his colleagues; however, death refuses to let these survivors win and the colleagues start getting picked off one by one. At this point, Final Destination had a proven formula that played out in the previous four movies; man or woman has a horrific premonition, saves friends or co-workers from certain death, and the survivors die in over-the-top gory ways one by one; however, FD5 wisely shook up the formula and the film was better for it. What also made FD5 the best of the bunch was the way they built up the tension through the film. Director Steven Quale teases a clear outcome for each of the victim’s doom; however, those are wisely misdirections and he delivers a surprising death instead. With unpredictable story beats, top-notch death scenes especially the opening bridge sequence, and solid acting, the Final Destination series went out with a bang.
Final Destination 3
Who knew a rollercoaster ride could be so deadly? Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, the third installment of the series follows Wendy, who has a premonition that she and her friends will die from a horrific roller-coaster accident. Like the others, Wendy saves herself and her fellow students; however, the Grim Reaper has plans in store for the remaining survivors. Funny, scary, gory, and packed with some of the franchise’s best deaths, FD3 pulls no punches when it comes to finding elaborate ways to killing off their victims. While the roller coaster sequence doesn’t surpass FD1, 2, and 5, Frankie’s and Lewis’s death scenes are among some of the best kill scenes and the build-up towards them is even better. Not surprisingly, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a likable presence throughout the film, and the core cast plays their assigned characters well. A few surprises along the way bump this third installment up to being one of the best in the series.
Final Destination 2
Final Destination 2 has never made me look at highways the same. FD2 has the best opening death sequence in the series, which sees Kimberly save a group of survivors and a series of unfortunate deaths take place from there. What makes the FD series so terrifying isn’t just the over-the-top gory deaths, it’s the way everyday objects are used to stage these elaborate sequences. Realistically speaking, the highway sequence could happen. So could Evan Lewis’s ladder death and Tim’s Carpenter’s glass plane death. Of course, these murders are bumped up to 100; however, the possibility of these accidents happening is the true terror of this series. FD2 also took a bit of a different approach by adding dark humor to the film, which helps make this gory fest fun and entertaining. While the use of Ali Larter‘s Clear Rivers was disappointing, the characters are fine, though a little bit on the bland side. Still, a solid FD film with some sweet kills.
The movie that started it all. Easily the second-best opening death sequence was the explosion of flight 180, a moment that felt all too real here. Alex is the unfortunate fellow who has the premonition and you know where the story goes once he saves himself and his friends. Other than Terry being hit by a bus without warning, the deaths here are a bit plain and the characters are kind of bland like FD2. Still, there’s fun to be had in Final Destination and the film does have a good ending.
The Final Destination
In what was supposed to be the final film of the franchise, FD4 turns out to be the worst of the bunch. Back when 3-D films were all the rage, The Final Destination tested out that the model and failed in execution miserably. The race track sequence is okay; however, the following deaths are either lame or extremely cartoonish, thus sucking all the terror and fun that comes with these films. The only memorable death involves an escalator and that was a premonition so it doesn’t particularly count. The Final Destination is easily the laziest and most predictable film in the franchise, thus making it the worst out of the five installments.