|James Wong Director|
Alex Browning has a premonition that the plane he is about to fly on will blow up on takeoff. He gets off the plane, forcing several passengers with him. The plane then blows up and they live to laugh another day. Until they discover Death is coming for them.
The FIlm Concept was based off an unaired X-Files Script.11 More Trivia
In death, there are no accidents, no coincidences, no mishaps, and no escapes.
|Devon Sawa||Alex Browning|
|Ali Larter||Clear Rivers|
|Kerr Smith||Carter Horton|
|Kristen Cloke||Valerie Lewton|
|Daniel Roebuck||Agent Weine|
|Roger Guenveur Smith||Agent Schreck|
|Chad Donella||Tod Waggner|
|Seann William Scott||Billy Hitchcock|
|Tony Todd||William Bludworth|
|Amanda Detmer||Terry Chaney|
|See Full Credits|
Final Destination is the first in a series of horror thrillers in which follow a specific formula: The main character has a premonition which involves a tragedy in which many people lose their lives and manages to save themselves and a handful of other survivors. They then come to realise that Death doesn't appreciate being cheated out of victims and is attempting to reclaim their lives and so attempt to figure out a way to survive.
Final Destination is based on a spec-script written by Jeffrey Reddick that was originally intended to be used for an episode of The X-Files. The writing partner duo James Wong and Glen Morgan who also worked on The X-Files at the time were so impressed with Reddick's script that they decided to take the concept and adapt it as their feature film debut, with Wong also directing the feature.
On July 17th, 1999, Alex Browning is accompanying his high school French class on a trip to France on Volée Airways Flight 180. Already anxious about the flight, Alex switches on the air conditioning and sits back, hoping for the flight to be over as soon as possible. Unfortunately, as the flight leaves the ground his wish is granted all too soon as the plane begins tearing up all around him. As Alex watches in horror he sees the metal pull and rip, falling to pieces a hundred feet in the air. As he sees his fellow students and teachers carved by the shrieking metal and sucked out of the fresh jagged holes in the side of the plane, he notices a swirl of flame pulling towards him until he is encompassed by them, burning to a crisp when suddenly-
It's a mere moment since he has switched on the air conditioning. He notices things he's already seen: minor details of movement, repeated speech. Suddenly he realises what has just happened. He's had a premonition. Alex panics and starts screaming about how the plane is about to eplode. The stewardesses and airlline security immediately remove him from the plane as well as 6 others who got caught up trying either to calm him down or shut him up; other students and a teacher. After they are all ejected from the plane the security personnel attempt to calm Alex down and find out what he is saying as the other 6 watch in frustration as their plane takes off. Suddenly, the plane, a hundred feet in the air, explodes in a cavalcade of fire and debris.
Given the suspicious circumstances, a young man screaming about an impending plane crash that actually occurs, the FBI immediately interview the 6 survivors; Alex himself, his best friend Tod Browning, orphan Clear Rivers, fellow student Billy Hitchcock, Alex's rival Carter Horton, his girlfriend Terry Chaney and the teacher accompanying all of them on trip, Velerie Lewton. The FBI immediately suspect a possible terrorist bombing and Alex's foreshadowing panic attack and insistence that he 'knew what was going to happen' put him right at the centre of their investigation but following an in depth examination of the plane records and crash site the consensus is that the plane was bought down by a mechanical fault. Although legally freeing Alex of any incrimination, he still has to live with the stigma of his actions in his home town where word quickly spreads of the events which unfolded.
A month later, at a memorial for those lost in Flight 180 all of the survivors feel uncomfortable. The grieving parents of side is Tod. Sooner than later, tragedy ststudents who have passed shoot awkward glances at the survivors and Alex feels utterly alone. Even Mrs. Lewton has gone on to shun Alex and the only person seemingly by his rikes when Tod accidentally hangs himself in the shower. An official investigation rules the tragedy a suicide, set in motion by survivors guilt. Alex and Clear are unconvinced and so decide to take a look at Tod's body.
Creeping into the morgue at night, they come across mortician William Bludworth, a mysterious seemingly omniscient figure who explains to them the nature of death. He explains that by escaping the plane that was meant to kill them, the 7 survivors have managed to cheat death, temporarily. Bludworth points out that death doesn't like anyone escaping his grasp and that Tod is the first example of the dark hand reclaiming his lost souls...and that the rest will be next.
Clear and Alex, clearly shaken by Bludworths message of impending doom rush to tell the remaining survivors about what they've just learnt. Mrs. Lewton thinks that they are making some sort of sick joke out of Tod's death and Carter dismisses them immediately as being lovebirds seeking attention. Billy finds the whole thing ridiculously amusing and Terry begins to lose it, stepping in front of the 5 of them explaining that she is sick of hearing about all of this, she's sick of being a part of the entire affair and that death is not coming for them. She is then hit by a bus.
In the aftermath of Terry's death, Alex begins looking over news reports of the Flight 180 crash, absorbing as much information as he possibly can. Noting the memories of his vision, the course of the damage on the plane and the deaths of Tod and Terry he realises that if Death is killing his fellow survivors, that they are dying in the same order they would have on the plane. Thus he determines that Mrs. Lewton is next.
At home, Mrs. Lewton is getting on with some work when she places a cracked coffee cup on top of her bulky 1990's PC Moniter. This causes some of the liquid to drip inside and the moniter begins to smoke. As she notices, the moniter explodes in her face sending jagged glass spitting into her throat and chest. As she attempts to stem the excessive bleeding, she makes her way to her kitchen, leaving a trail of freshly spilled claret. The moniter erupts into flames, some of which lands on the blood trail which instantly lights up and acts as a gunpowder trail, flames following Lewton into the kitchen. Meanwhile, a kettle that Lewton had left on the stove erupts into flames and hits a nearby bottle of vodka which explodes sending the already weak teacher toppling to the floor. The stove fire and the moniter fire begin to viciously tear her house apart around her as she lays dying and just above her, Lewton sees a cloth hanging off the edge of a counter. Reaching for the cloth to stem the blleding, she finally manages to reach it pulling it down...along with the six or so knives it was covering, one of which impales her stomach, sticking her to the floor. Because death is elaborate like that.
Amidst all the chaos, Alex arrives, hoping to warn Mrs. Lewton of her fate only to find it in action. He enters the house to try and help her, despite the fact that it has become a raging inferno, and discovers that there is nothing he can do to save her. He runs from the house just as it explodes, narrowly avoiding his own fate.
Naturally, by now, Carter and Billy are on board with Alex and Clear's insistence that they are all effectively screwed. They get together in Carters car to talk about what they can do in light of certain events. As Alex has a vision of a train and a seatbelt ripping, Carter becomes disillusioned with their situation and decides to take control of their situation. He drives the car head on towards a Tanker Truck but seems to be unable to force a collision; the car literally seems to swerve away from the truck by itself.
Frustrated, Carter parks the car on a set of train tracks as a locomotive approaches, deciding to kill himself before Death gets a chance. As Alex explains his second vision, though, Carter changes his mind. Unfortunately his seatbelt is jammed. With Clear and Billy away from the car, Alex rushes back to help pull Carter free and at the last second, manages to pull Carter free from the seatbelt which tears from the car, fulfilling Alex's vision. With only a split-second to spare, the escape the path of the train and both survive. Billy recognises that Carter is the next on the list of death and hysterically begins exclaiming how he is staying as far from Carter as possible. Surprisingly, a shard of the destroyed car is tapped by a wheel of the moving train and flies out towards the survivors, decapitating Billy.
The trio disband, each deciding to look out for themselves as best as they can. Alex realises that because he managed to save Carter and intervene in Death's plans once again, Death skipped Carter and moved straight to Billy. Recognising that Clear is next on the list he decides to try and save her and upon reaching her cabin in the midst of a downpour, discovers her trapped in her car, surrounded by live electrical wires. Unable to escape the car, which is about to explode, all seems certain for Clear. However, Alex manages to grab hold of the most dangerous wire, giving Clear a chance to explain but he is soon incapacitated by a severe electrical shock. Clear calls for emergency services as Alex begins to lose consciousness.
Alex, Clear and Carter all survive and make their way to Paris, six months later. Sat outside a bar, they discuss the events that led them there and how they each defeated death. Alex begins to notice strange co-incidences and implications that Death is about to strike again and as nothing occurs, decides to get some rest. As he walks to his hotel, Clear calls to him to watch out and he narrowly avoids being struck by a bus. The bus collides with a lamp-post which is sent spiralling into the air and which knocks out the foundations for a large neon sign. The neon sign begins to swing down and nearly kills Alex, who is pushed out of the way by Carter. Carter stands back up and realising that their plight has not yet concluded begins asking Alex who is next on the list, now that Alex has been skipped. Right behind him, the giant neon sign begins to swing back to it's original position as Alex watches in horror. The screen cuts to black and a hard thudding is heard.
The Final Destination series first began in 1996 as Jeffrey Riddick became interested in the ongoing investigation of the tragic TWA Airlines Flight 800 explosion. Reddick, who was working on the sci-fi mystery show The X-Files at the time, decided that a similar fictitious plane crash would be a good starting point for an episode of the show and turned in a script almost immediately. Series creator Chris Cardick ignored the script altogether but Reddick's premise attracted the interest of series writers James Wong and Glen Morgan who agreed to adapt the script to the format of a feature film screenplay.
Having completed their script, Wong and Morgan found a budget after producers Walter Zide and Craig Perry found themselves as impressed with Reddick's concept as Wong and Morgan originally were. Reddick personally made his way to New Line Cinema to convince them to distribute the picture, whilst Perry would later comment that he and Zide decided to finance the project due to one word: "Dread."
In order for all of the scenes to be shot with all cast members present, shooting had to be frequently rescheduled as practically all of the cast had multiple projects on the go at the time. Amanda Detmer's death scene was shot first because it was the easiest to pull off.
Vancouver doubled for both Paris and a fictitious New York based town with Vancouver International Airport doubling the John F. Kennedy International Airport at the beginning of the movie. Additional scenes were shot in Toronto and San Francisco.
For the plane explosion scene, deaths shown within the interior of the plane were filmed on a large soundstage, dressed to look like the inside of a Boeing 747. For all exterior shots, a miniature was built and destroyed accordingly.
The scene in which Carter's car was hit by a train was supposedly one of the more difficult to shoot. It involved building a replica of the original vehicle which had already been sawn in half and then reassembled in order to achieve the desired damaged effect when the train collided with the car. The replica car had no sheet metal whatsoever, to ensure the safety of the cast and crew who were filming mere feet way.
Final Destination fared poorly with critics who appeared to dismiss it as simply another teen slaughter night at the movies. Based on 86 reviews, Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a 30% positive critical reception. Similarly, reviews from the Top Critics, a specified online pantheon of respected professional critics, collectively resulted in the film recieving a 32% positive critical reception.
Perhaps the most notable critic who responded positively was Roger Ebert who gave the film 3/4 and noting that Final Destination will no doubt be a hit and inspire the obligatory sequels. Like the original "Scream", this movie is too good to be the end of the road."
The film proved much more popular with general audiences who collectively rated it with a 75% positive rating.
Here's What You Missed: Final Destination
We employ our state of the art Death Count System (DCS), to update you on the casualty tally thus far in the Final Destination series.
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