When the original Final Desintation (2000) arrived in theaters, I remember hearing my first review from Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass. They revealed their feelings during a MTV special to promote their launch of the No Strings Attached album. The two were adamant that if someone was already afraid of flying this film would amplify their fears. Despite never the fact I have never flown I ventured to the movie theater one late afternoon. I quickly developed more of a fear of omens instead of flying instead. However, I cannot say that my first ambition was not to book a flight to Hawaii after viewing the feature.
Despite that fact, Final Destination had slowly morphed into one of my favorite horror films. What makes the original film so great is its fresh concept. Death is the killer. While the idea of the grim reaper is not a new concept, the film made this idea novel again. No one can cheat death. Even if one manages to do so once somehow, Death will come back around for him or her and eventually take their life.
Many people truly believe that when God wants a person he will take that person. After the tragic death of DJ AM, and that The Final Destination (2009) had arrived in theaters around the same time, people began to speak of the odd coincidence. After all, he had survived a plane crash that killed everyone but he and Blink 182’s drummer Travis Barker. Not long afterward it oddly appeared that Death had circled back around. His death was like something from a movie.
Final Destination is about Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) who is traveling to France on a school trip. As he boards the plane, he suddenly gets a premonition that the plane will explode. As he realizes that events which occurred in his premonition are occurring in real life, he freaks out to say the least. He insists that everyone needs to get off the plane. Instead of the airline merely escorting Alex from the plane, other students begin to fight with Alex and removed from the plane along with the trip’s two chaperones.
When the airline forbids the students and teachers to board the flight, the airline makes a compromise to let at least one of the teachers will go back on the plane. They cannot very well send a group of high school students to France by themselves. As the bickering continues inside of the airport, the plane explodes and the windows of the airport shatter. After the explosion takes place, the FBI begins to question all involved in the incident and truly believe that Alex was somehow involved in the accident.
As other survivors of the fatal crash begin dying around him, Alex begins to put together Death’s plan. He determines that he can somehow beat Death and continues to try to explain this theory to others in the group. While some continue to be skeptical, some realize the hard way that Alex has a point and that Death is after every one of them.
While most people’s complain about the lack of great acting in the latter finals in the franchise, the stars of Final Destination create a dynamic first installment. Sawa elicits every emotion someone could feel while enduring such tragic incidents. The hardest part for him is that no one will believe him. While he does appear a bit psychotic, in many instances this is the only time people pay attention to him.
One of my other favorite actors within the film is Kerr Smith, who plays Carter Horton. Smith is most well known for his portrayal of Jack McPhee on Dawson’s Creek, but in this film his character is not half as nice as his Creek counterpart. Horton is quite the asshole. He is never grateful Alex saved his life until the very end of the film. This occurs not once, but twice. He might be the cliched example of a testosterone filled jock, but he pulls off the performance with ease.
Ali Larter is also great as Clear Rivers. She is the only one who can truly connect with Alex within the film. She is the only one who believes him and never doubts him. She also manages reminds us that even if others around us don’t believe in something it’s okay that we do. Her friendship with Alex is nothing short of spectacular. When we are teenagers we always want to go with the flow Clear embraces going against the grain.
Finally, I have to give some comedic credit to the one and only Seann William Scott. He should not be funny, but the truth is he manages to do so. I think Roger Ebert said it best when he wrote, “The movie is neither quite serious nor quite ironic; sometimes it’s funny, but in a creepy way rather than in the breezier style of the “Scream” movies.” Scott proves that time and time again.
Overall, Final Destination is a film that never gets old. The original films always remain on top in comparison to their sequels. Final Destination 5 (2011) is another one worth a watch though. Besides, every movie has a way of coming back into the forefront eventually right?