#301 Final Destination (2000)

I remember when this was a shiny, brand new concept, and people were dumb and afraid to get on a plane after this. Then they made another, and another, and ended up with 5 total in the Franchise. I haven’t seen every last one, but that ends now. On the plus side, Tony Todd is involved.  Ali Larter has done some cool shit, including this, House on Haunted Hill, and some of the latter Resident Evil movies, so that’s a plus. We also get Sean William Scott, so there are people that you are probably familiar with. James Wong directed this, and he has been working on AHS lately, so that’s cool.

Start Film

We meet Alex, and his parents. He is due to go on a senior class trip to Paris for 10 days. Mom rips off this tag on his bag, and it was an allusion to a plane crashing. Yes, they are very, VERY in your face about it early on.  Whoever the teacher is, she’s too hot to be a high school teacher (Valerie Lewton). Those boys would never concentrate. Alex keeps seeing weird things. This one dude, Tod, has a brilliant idea, take a shit before they get on board. I concur with that idea for a long flight. Oh, there’s a thunderstorm, and Alex is concerned about this. They get on the plane, and there’s a crying baby, so that is seen as a good sign. The 2 hot chicks want to sit next to each other, and Tod wants one to himself, but Alex fucks that up. Clear Rivers (Ali) is not the hot chick apparently. The plane is moving, Alex is not doing well. Very nervous.  Hitchcock is eating Whoppers, so jealous right now. Some turbulence is occurring. OK, stronger turbulence, masks are dropping. Panic as set in, and there are sparks, the plane has burst open, and seats and people are flying, as are the whoppers.  We have a fiery explosion, and it was a dream. Alex gets woke up by the hot chicks asking for his seat and he checks on something, and it’s just like the dream, so he begins flipping out. Carter punches Alex, so him, his woman, Alex, Clear, Val, and Hitchcock are all escorted back to the terminal.  Tod checks on Alex. Hot teacher talks the male teacher to get back on the plane, and our group will have to catch the next flight. They watch as the plane goes to leave while Alex explains to Val what he dreamed about. Another fight, and the plane explodes. What a TWEEST! Yup Carter, Alex saved your bitch ass.  Terry is Carter’s chick’s name, and she is pretty.

Agent Weine and Schreck from the FBI are there to ask questions. They are unclear about how Alex knew. Valerie is living with some guilt. The families show up, and everybody is all hugging, except for Clear, who has no family showing up, so she gets a ride home from Alex’s folks. How is she not the hot chick again? Fucking movie logic!

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All 287 passengers are feared dead. Imagine if this movie came out the following year. It simply wouldn’t have after 9/11, so that’s timing. Alex watches the lightning outside. Now we are at the memorial for the students and teachers. This is every bit as lame as you would speculate it to be. Carter is talking shit to Alex as they are up by the memorial statue, because there’s always one.  Carter is never going to die according to him, FACT. Billy Hitchcock asks Alex if he’s going to die young because of his driving instructor. Tod’s parents don’t like Alex, because that makes sense, granted Todd’s brother, George was on the plane, so I don’t know, splitting hairs. Clear gives Alex a flower to thank him.

At home, Todd is in the bathroom, windows are opened and now closed, the door closes, and the pipe to the toilet starts dripping as he takes a seat. Alex decides he is gonna check out a Penthouse. Good call. Todd is now shaving, and cuts himself as the water leaks closer and closer to where he’s standing. He goes and plugs in a small boombox, with Rocky Mountain High playing, then immediately unplugs it and walks away from the water. An owl scares Alex, causes him to throw up his reading material, the fan shreds it, and a piece of it lands on his lap, and it says “Tod”. Dun Dun Dunnnnnnn. Tod, still in the bathroom is removing clothes from this clothesline, slips, gets his neck caught in the clothesline, and is slipping in the tub and is so close to reaching the scissors, so close, and then he’s dead, and the liquid retreats. Great death scene, in my opinion. Alex goes out to check on Tod, and sees the ambulances, and the FBI is there, and Clear is there warning him to get out of there. Tod’s dad says that Tod killed himself over his brother’s death. Alex tries to defend himself, to no avail.

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The next day, Alex visits Clear. He asks her why she was at Tod’s house last night. She explains herself, and it’s exactly why you would think. Wow, she tells him that she has a connection with him, because she felt something when he felt something and she can still feel him, and that’s why she was there last night. Yeah. Alex hypothesizes that maybe Tod was only the first. Alex wants to go see Tod, so time to break into the funeral home with Clear. I think there was supposed to be a jump scare, but now we meet Bludworth, played by Tony Todd, who is the mortician.  Alex says that it looks like it was an accident, not a suicide, so Bludworth sets him straight that it’s all part of Death’s great design. Alex ponders if they can cheat death, but then death redesigns. The risks of cheating the plan of death can cause all kinds of issues and piss off the Grim Reaper. They go to leave, and Bludworth tells them that he will see them soon.

So now Alex and Clear start talking about Death’s plans and the signs, including the Tod paper. Basically, they’re gonna die, unless they figure out the patterns. Carter and Terry pull up, and are listening to Nine Inch Nails. Carter is pissed, does a 180, almost causes Billy to get run over on his bike. OK, so now all the survivors are here together, and Terry is even more pissed and wants to move on. So she tells Carter that he can drop dead if he can’t move on, and immediately gets hit by a bus and dies. BAM. Great death. Clear keeps calling Alex’s home, and he won’t talk to her. There’s a news report on what happened on the plane, and of course the important seats are seats that Alex recognizes. The path of the explosion went Tod’s seat, then Terry’s, then Valerie’s.

Yup, we go to Val’s place next. She looks out her window and sees Alex, so she calls Agent Schreck. Alex is checking Val’s car, to make sure it’s safe, and the agents show up and put him in the backseat. Val walks away from the window, and the curtain moved ever so slightly. Alex explains that he thinks that Val is next. Val puts on a John Denver record, Rocky Mountain High is playing, yeah, you see where this is going. Val fills up a tea kettle and wipes down the excess moisture and sees an odd reflection, but turns around and sees nothing, but her plant was moving slightly.  She lights the stove, nothing is fucked. The FBI asks Alex to promise that nobody else is going to die, like that’s reasonable, so they let him go. Schreck is a little creep’d out by Alex. Val pours water in a mug and she flips out, but oh well. Time to have some vodka on the rocks from that same mug, and it’s cracked and leaking. It leaks over the top of her monitor, and well it causes some internal sparks, and it explodes. A shard of glass ends up in her throat, and she slips. Alex sees a fire on his way home. The is following Val, and her alcohol trail, and we have an explosion. She is down and grabs a towel, and knocks over the knives and stabs her in the chest. Another explosion causes a chair to finish her. Alex grabs the knife like an idiot and then runs off, into Billy, and the house explodes.  Cool.

The FBI is asking Clear where Alex may be. Carter, Billy, and Clear end up at the memorial statue because Carter wants to add Terry’s name to the plaque. She wants to find Alex to find out who’s next, so they in carter’s car to find Alex. Time to split up because that’s the best plan, always. She finds him at a park, and then Clear talks about her parents, and how a dude killed her dad at a 7-11. Then her mom basically couldn’t handle shit. They all meet up again, and they are going to Clear’s dad’s cabin in the woods.  He admits that he knew that Val was next. So who’s next? Everyone is paranoid, and Alex says that not knowing doesn’t make things any easier. Not that it really matters, so Carter speeds up and says fuck it, let’s die now. They keep narrowly avoiding an accident. Alex sees a train, and they get to the crossroad for the train tracks and he stops the car. Uh huh. A train is coming, so Alex, Billy, and Clear panic. Carter doesn’t want to move. Carter decides it’s not his time, so he goes to start the car, and of course it won’t work. Now the door just locked and the seat belt won’t come free. Alex tries to rescue him. Alex saves Carter at the last possible second, and there is metal shrapnel from the car getting crushed.  Billy is pissed at Carter saying that Carter is next, and then the shrapnel flies up and decapitates Billy.  Alex is aware that if he intervenes, he messes up the plan.  After Billy, then Alex is next, then Clear, then back to Carter.  Off to the cabin in the woods.

Alex is attempting to death proof this places with various safety features, and duct tape. This is actually comical how hard he trying to avoid any potential danger. He’s wearing gloves to open a can, has a plastic spoon, and the wind is a blowing. The wind blows a garbage bag over, which hits a fishing pole, which starts to open a door, which he promptly shuts.  Now Alex is talking shit about how he has the cabin rigger to beat death. The FBI guys are sitting in front of Clear’s place, but she won’t turn him in. They want to get him in for protective custody. Alex is realizing that he had the seating chart off wrong, and Clear is actually next. Lightning hits a transformer in front of her house. Alex is off to be the white knight. The FBI show up to nab Alex, so he rows off in a canoe. Ha. Clear lights a candle, and her dog is pissed.  She needs to go save him.  And the candle just went out. Alex is on the run again. But the FBI are hot on his trail. Clear narrowly avoids getting impaled while trying to rescue her dog. Alex trips and rolls down a hill, almost gets impaled. Water is leaking from the pool and the electric is  dancing, but she misses it. Alex gets there, but a tree comes down on him, not enough to hurt him, but he is pinned, and appears to be drowning a bit. Clear is still hanging on the side of her house. Alex frees himself from drowning. Clear escapes only for the power cable to come inside and so she escapes the house and gets in her car. She is just going to ram the car through the garage door, but it gets pinned. She finally escapes, and there’s a gas can leaking, and the power line is flailing, so Alex knocks away the line. The line of fire is following the car, so he is going to sacrifice himself to help death skip her. He grabs it as the FBI show up. Oh yeah, he’s very hurt.

6 Months Later

Clear, Carter, and Alex take a flight to Paris. They sit down and have a good drink.  Carter is appreciative, and how they foiled the plan.  There’s just something that Alex can’t figure out.  Clear looks worse with lighter hair.  Carter says that it could circle back due to lack of intervention. Alex is getting a clue and is worried. He’s awfully jumpy. He now thinks that it’s him. He is going to the hotel and tells them to stay away. Clear yells his name, and he barely misses getting hit by a bus. A lot of stuff happens, a huge neon sign starts falling, Carter saves Alex, and Carter is all proud until they realize that he’s next and the sign swings back and takes out Carter.

End Film

This was actually at the forefront of bringing horror back in the 2000’s. Yeah, it’s kinda cheesy after you’ve seen it, but if you lived back then and avoided hearing about it, it’s a very smart, well done horror flick, surprisingly.  it was a really ingenious idea, and it was perfect for sequels, because the killer is simply death.  I feel that Ali Larter absolutely shined in this, and Alex and Carter were both good in their roles. Sean William Scott is actually a decent actor for what he is good at. The thing I liked most in this film is the creative deaths. Once again, you know that in sequels, these will get cheesier and cheesier until they get in 3D, but still, fun, mindless stuff. This had a great story. In another 10 years, this will get remade.

Final Score: 7.8

All pictures used in this blog are for review purpose. They are the property of New Line Cinema, Zide-Perry Productions, Hard Eight Pictures, and whoever else may have been involved. I recommend that you support them with a purchase.

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