Death apparently has a knack for over-the-top and gory murder sequences. Fans of Final Destination have come accustomed to the signature elaborate premonitions that kick off the plot of Final Destination movies. Often the best sequence in the respective FD movie, this article will list from best to worst the premonitions in the Final Destination series. To be clear, this article will only focus on the opening sequences in the beginning of the film. As cool as Wendy and Kevin’s elaborate train wreck in FD3 is, none of those will count on this list. Let’s get started with the best premonition of the series:
1. Suspension Bridge (Final Destination 5)
For the longest time, Final Destination 2 held the crown for best premonition of the series; however, the filmmakers managed to go out with a bang with this elaborate and stylized premonition. In general, Final Destination 5 is regarded as the best film of the series because of how well Steven Quale managed to introduce exciting new elements into the franchise, such as Molly actually staying alive in Sam’s vision. Unfortunately for other core cast members, their fates weren’t so lucky and we’re treated to a series of inventive, gory, and memorable deaths. Whether it’s Candice being impaled by the rod of a boat, Issaac crashing through the water while trapped inside the bus, or Olivia being smashed by a car, the effects for this opening sequence is top notch.
2. Highway Accident (Final Destination 2)
As I previously stated, FD2 held the crown for best premonition until part five came along. What’s more impressive is that the opening kill sequence is mainly practical effects. The sequel focused more on the individual deaths of each character than the original film, with the most memorable kills being a log plunging through Officer Burke’s head and Evan’s slow and torturous death. What separates FD2 from part five is just how realistic these deaths were. Despite being an over-the-top death series, Final Destination does a great job of tapping into the fear of what’s realistic. Hearing Evan scream as he’s trying to remove his seatbelt as he’s caught on fire is extremely haunting; That moment and everyone’s else premonition death lingers with you even after the vision is all said and done.
3. Flight 180 (Final Destination 1)
Flight 180 is how it all began. Like Final Destination 2’s sequence, the explosion of the infamous airplane feels realistic, thus it packed more of a punch than some of its predecessors. The kill sequence here isn’t as elaborate or long as the other installments, but that’s one of the reasons why this premonition is so effective. James Wong does a good job of building up the tension before all hell breaks loose and the passengers of the unlucky flight meet their deathly fate. Sadly, none of the actual deaths in the film live up to the airplane sequence; however, this inciting incident had audiences buckling up for a wild and bloody ride.
4. Rollercoaster (Final Destination 3)
Final Destination 3 is packed to brim with some of the best deaths in the series; however, the roller coaster premonition doesn’t have the realness that the first three entries had. The death sequences come across as hokey and fake, but it’s far from terrible and inventive in its own right. Once again, the special effects are top notch here, but the inclusion of practical effects really helps sell this moment as well. Thankfully, the deaths aren’t so over-the-top that it’s unbelievable and the movie does try to make each kill different, with Kevin being sliced in half by a steel pipe satisfying our blood lust. As previously stated, not a bad premonition by any means, it’s just the blandest sequence out of the other three.
5. Racetrack (The Final Destination)
The Final Destination is easily the worst film in this on-going “death wants revenge” saga. The main issues with this entry are that it feels lazy and uninspired. For example, George’s death was just a carbon copy of Terry being hit by a bus in the first installment. Other deaths come across as cartoonish with unfinished CGI effects present. In theory, the racetrack death could’ve been interesting; however, the execution feels contrived and phony. The mechanic falling through a spiked wood just seems off and clearly geared towards the 3D effects. The same thing can be said about Samantha being impaled by a car engine or the racist couple being sliced in half by a car hood. Nothing truly clicks here and the only thing that sort of works is the building collapsing. Had this sequence been more polished and less worrisome about the crappy 3D craze that was going on then The Final Destination could’ve had a solid set of kills here. On the bright side, that escalator kill later in the film was easily the best death in FD4.