Final Destination Movies Ranked

2. Final Destination (2000)

The idea that death could be cheated, and that if it was it would hunt down all those who cheated it, was about as cinematic of an idea as horror has ever had, and coming from the proven talents of James Wong, an ‘X-Files’ writer, producer and director, Final Destination (2000) was perhaps always destined for success.

Looking back on this 2000 release two decades later, it’s remarkable how timeless so much of the film is, the special effects being used sparingly but effectively and the film stock living up to its timeless quality in a film that looks every bit of the studio horror movie it is. In many ways, Final Destination appropriately feels like a prolonged ‘X-Files’ episode, with a gripping TV-series-esque prologue (the airplane crash) followed by the truly good stuff that keeps you hooked until the end. In this case, it even has a pair of FBI agents, though these two are notably less charismatic than their television counterparts.

As is the case with a lot of horrors, especially those released around the time of this film, there are a number of logic holes and at times the dialogue is laughably bad and poorly thought out, but there is a genuinely good film here with some fairly decent performances to be enjoyed for those willing to keep an open mind. It’s far from perfect, but so far as an entertaining evening’s watch goes, it will more than live up to its billing. There’s a reason Final Destination spawned a five-film franchise.

1. Final Destination 3 (2006)

It’s remarkable how often the first film in any franchise tops a Ranked list, yet in the case of Final Destination it’s actually James Wong’s second go at the series that earns the number one spot, Final Destination 3 being a more mature and accomplished entry than the filmmaker’s first film released six years prior, Final Destination (2000).

The third entry into the franchise overall, Final Destination 3 has by far the best cast of the entire series, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Birds of Prey; Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World) leading a young but noticeably improved selection of actors playing strong and believable characters with genuinely interesting motivations and responses to their extraordinary situations. This film truly is everything Final Destination could have been, minus the franchise-topping prologue.

Here, the heroes remove themselves from a fateful rollercoaster ride, and rather than tackling vague concepts like “signs you’ll know if you see them” or premonitions that offer glimpses into the future, the central protagonists (notably Winstead’s Wendy) are able to spot clues regarding the deaths of their friends from photographs taken the night of their fateful rollercoaster incident. It’s an engaging concept that has you dotting your eyes to different corners of the screen to spot clues time and time again, and it works tremendously to reinforce the key concept that death is an ever-present inescapable force.

There is no other film in the franchise that holds the capability of Final Destination 3 to ramp up tension at a moment’s notice and keep you there for upwards of ten minutes at a time, Wong tapping into the best of his work on the first film and adding a maturity that staves off shock value and welcomes filmmaking principles such as the build-up of tension, the leitmotif “there is someone walking behind you” perhaps being the most prominent and impactful of all of these techniques.

Final Destination 3 offers franchise high creativity in its deaths, maturity in its performances, ingenuity in its script, and genuinely feels more ominous than the other films in the franchise. There are no better Final Destination movies, and this film may even be among the best American studio horrors of the decade; cementing it as our number one in this Final Destination edition of Ranked.

Recommended for you: 10 Best Horror Movies of the 2010s

But what do you think? Would you have placed the films in this order or are you more inclined to select them differently? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on more articles like this one.

Pages: 1 2 3

Leave a Comment