My entire life could be summed up in that meme that’s all “Absolutely no one:”. I’m forever doing things for ~The Story~ that no one – not my editor, not you guys, not anyone – has asked for, and yet here we are. My mind is now the proud owner of all five ridiculous plots from the Final Destination franchise of films.
Would I recommend watching all five Final Destination flicks in one day? Look, probably not – yes, the films are exciting enough to engage with but stupid enough that if you miss a bit because the group chat was lit, you aren’t going to get lost plot-wise. But after three films, you realise the plot is always the same: someone has a premonition about a huge, catastrophic accident, panics which leads to them miraculously evading death along with some bystanders, and then Death Himself comes for them and the other survivors. It gets a bit tired, and frankly heading out for a bit of Vitamin D and some human interaction is a far better choice.
But it’s done, and since there’s no point ranking the FILMS because, they’re basically all the same, here I am using my 12 hours of viewing to good use. By ranking the Final Destination deaths.
I am well aware how macabre it is to be “ranking” death scenes, but after grappling with my conscience (am I an evil soulless bitch for laughing when that guy got his head lopped off by a flying piece of metal?) I decided these films are more black comedy than true horror. You’re meant to laugh at the absurdity of these scenes, that’s the point, the end.
PSA: I’m only covering what I deem to be the “best” deaths in terms of shock value and complexity – some, like in FD1 when Carter’s girlfriend randomly gets run over by a bus, just don’t make the cut IMO.
18. Chaotic Beauty Salon
The fourth flick was weirdly titled The Final Destination, presumably because they thought the franchise was over. It wasn’t, and while it’s one of the weaker installments, the scene when Samantha heads to the salon for a hair trim is suspense at it’s best for this series. A hairspray can wedging between the hot plates of a straightener? A loose fan above Samantha’s head as a woman trims her fringe? Those awful close-ups of a nail technician scraping Samantha’s toenails with a sharp tool? But none of this kills her – instead, as she’s leaving, a rock wedges underneath a nearby ride-on mower before being flung through the air and through her eye.
17. The Race Track Disaster
The beginning of The Final Destination has an absolutely wild – and ridiculous – race track disaster, involving flying cars crushing the crowd and people getting impaled by broken seating. But it’s post-disaster, when one of the survivors gets decapitated by a rogue airborne tyre that makes this one memorable.
16. Bridge Collapse
In the final FD, the Big Disaster is a collapsing bridge, sending a bus full of work colleagues plunging into the ocean and numerous gross deaths. I think this one was 3D in cinemas because there’s lots of gratuitous gory moments like a guy getting impaled on a ship’s mast after falling from the bridge. Also, someone melts to death c/o hot asphalt, so there’s also that.
15. Death By Acupuncture
The final flick had a LOT of very well-thought-out death scenes, and while the douchey boss guy dying by having acupuncture needles whacked deep into his organs, before getting his head crushed by a Buddha statue wasn’t the best death scene ever, it warrants a mention.
14. The Road Accident
The beginning of FD2 features an absolutely MENTAL road accident. Basically, a truck carrying logs loses it’s load, causing logs through car windows impaling drivers, multiple car flips and crashes. It’s not a fun one because it’s way too real but it’s visually a great action sequence, so it deserves a mention.
13. That Train Accident
In FD1, douchelord Carter decides to be a total, well, douchelord and race around town with the other survivors trapped in his car, taunting Death. In the end, he stops the car across rail tracks with a train incoming. After much pleading from the three survivors who have now exited the vehicle, he eventually decides NOT to kill himself, but Death has trapped him in the car. Alex races over and in the nick of time whips Carter out of the car, saving his life. But PSYCH – fellow survivor Billy starts going on about something as the train rolls by, and a flying piece of sharp metal slices his head off.
12. Nail Gun To The Head
The scene in FD3 inside the American Bunnings (Home Depot? whatever) is WILD. So many chaotically placed chemicals! Planks of wood set to topple and slice people in half! But it’s the nail gun that ends up getting Erin, when she’s slammed up against it, setting the thing off multiple times into the back of her head.
11. Almost Choking On A Plastic Fish Then Getting Squashed
Also in FD2, one of the kids who survives the road accident, Tim, visits the dentist. Can you imagine dying in the dentist’s chair? Well, Tim doesn’t – even though Death short-circuits his oxygen tank and then snaps a plastic fish (yes really) off a hanging mobile above his head. It lands in his mouth and you think he’s literally going to choke on a fake fish, but at the last second, the dental nurse saves him. However, as soon as he walks outside a huge sheet of plastic hanging from a crane falls on top of him, squashing him flat.
10. Murderous Kitchen
In FD1, the teacher who survived the fateful plane crash is packing up her shit to get out of Dodge, obviously. In perfect FD style, she creates a myriad of potential hazards – a boiling kettle, electrical devices near water, etc etc. In the end, an explosion wedges glass in her neck, she stumbles through the house while trying to stave off the bleeding, before collapsing on the floor, reaching for a tea towel to cover the wound… only for the towel to catch on a knife block, leading to the teacher being impaled by one.
9. Fan Belt To The Head In The Maccas Queue
While in the drive-thru queue at FD3’s version of Maccas (it has some stupid name but it’s clearly meant to be Maccas), Wendy and Kevin wait for the car in front to move, before a series of car-related events lead to a truck careening toward their vehicle. They narrowly escape before their car is crushed into the car in front. Thinking everything is sweet, it’s a shock when the exposed engine whips off half the guy in front’s head. Turns out THAT guy was actually Frankie, another survivor. PLOT TWIST, GUYS.
8. Demonic Gym Equipment
FD3 really goes HAM on the black comedy, with many of the deaths being so utterly ridiculous you can’t help but laugh even as blood sprays everywhere. The most awkwardly LOL has to be the death of football star Lewis, who arrogantly shuts down claims from the protagonists that Death is coming for them. The scene is full of smashing weights, but it’s not until a near-accident occurs and Lewis laughs it off that his weight machine malfunctions, slamming two huge discs into his head and squashing it to explosion point. GROSS.
7. The Guy Who Gets Sliced Into Pieces
In the same accident that led to the airbag incident, another guy is standing around talking when some loose barbed wire whips through the air, slicing his body into pieces. They slide out and he literally crumbles to the ground.
6. Pool Suction
One of the goriest Final Destination deaths of the franchise by far has to be in The Final Destination, when douchelord Hunt gets sucked on top of a pool drain thing, which promptly goes into overdrive, causing his organs to be sucked out of his anus (????) through his boardshorts (???) and shoot into the sky, raining down on the whole pool. It’s fucking ridiculous but I mean, it’s what we expect.
5. Roller Coaster Disaster
Look, the OG disasters from the beginning of the films aren’t really “counted” as Death-deaths but still. They’re usually the wildest of all, and the roller coaster, in particular, was so fucking terrifying, I’m never going on a ride again. Basically, thanks to a broken brake leading to leaking fluid and a dropped camera, a theme park coaster loses control, flinging carriages off all over the place and killing everyone on board.
4. Unlucky Airbag
In FD2, the gang of survivors are driving when the car careens off into a farming field. They crash and all come dangerously close to death, but evade it. All but one clamber out of the car, the woman remaining being stuck thanks to a log across her legs. A sharp piece of plastic has gone through the head of the seat, but missed her head. She’s in the process of being removed from the vehicle for ages, before suddenly the airbag explodes, sending her head back through the sharp plastic.
3. That Gymnastics Dismount
Christ, if you can get this scene out of your head forever, I applaud you. Basically involves a gymnast swinging on loose equipment, before a nearby accident causes gym dust to fly into her face, she dismounts, and snaps IN HALF. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.
2. Laser Eye Surgery Gone Wrong
Sorry, but how fucked is laser eye surgery? Just the sight of Olivia strapped into the laser machine is enough to give you the heebie-jeebies, but when it (of course) malfunctions c/o a short circuit and starts BURNING HER EYEBALL? Absolutely fuck that. She doesn’t die by laser btw – she falls out the window onto a car. But Christ, what a way to go.
1. The Tanning Beds
Chriiiiist can you imagine a worse way to die than being locked inside a tanning bed, while the temp of the bed AND the room rise exponentially? This scene is so fucked it just becomes full-on gore. Basically, two Valley Girl students saved from the rollercoaster disaster of Final Destination 3 go for a quick tan before graduation, only for Death to lock them into the tanning booth beds, short-circuit the system and lift the heat levels to catastrophic heights. They blister before the beds set alight and burn them to death. Controversial, but this is the worst of the deaths and the best death scene.