With an estimated budget of $23,000,000.00, Final Destination opened in March of 2000 to some rather enthusiastic film goers and certainly appeared to hold it’s own at the box office. Written by Jeffrey Reddick (Final Destination 2, Final Destination 3, Day of the Dead (2007)) , with a screenplay by Glen Morgan (The One, Willard, Destination 3) and directed by James Wong (The One, Final Destination 3), Final Destination was filled with a cast of young talent including; Devon Sawa (Idle Hands, Slackers), Ali Larter (Varsity Blues, Final Destination 2), Kerr Smith (The Forsaken, Cruel Intentions 3), Seann William Scott (American Pie, American Pie 2) and veteran horror film star Tony Todd (Candy Man, Candy Man 2).
Final Destination opens with a French high school class preparing for a flight to Paris. The students all appear excited about the upcoming trip with the exception of, Alex Browning (Devon Sawa), he is nervous about the flight and seems to see several things that done bode well with the travel plans. Browning does board the plane and falls into a troubled nightmare where he sees himself in the plane and the plane taking off, only to explode shortly after take off. He awakens, screaming and obviously in total panic. Teachers onboard as chaperones as well as fellow students attempt to calm Browning, but in the end, his actions force not only himself, but a teacher and a few fellow schoolmates to be removed from the plane. The removed students and teacher are less than pleased with Browning and all sit and watch as the plane takes off, but much to their horror, the plane explodes as it’s gaining altitude in the sky. Browning suddenly becomes the center of attention, not only to the surviving passengers, but also the F.B.I.. They have to wonder if Browning had something to do with the destruction and the fellow passengers that received the boot with Browning are all held for questioning, which also makes them less-than-happy with Browning. Browning and the others are released and it’s only when the few remaining survivors begin to meet violent deaths that Browning attempts to convince them all that they have somehow cheated death by getting off that plane, but ‘Death’ won’t be denied and they will all come to a violent end. Not exactly a comforting thought to those around him!
Some interesting trivia regarding this film is:
Most characters in the film are named after directors or stars from black and white horror movies. For example, Chaney (Lon Chaney), Waggner (director George Waggner), Browning (famous “Dracula” director Tod Browning), Larry Murnau, (after F.W. Murnau, director of the “first” Dracula film Nosferatu eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)), Schreck (Max Schreck who starred in “Nosferatu”), Valerie Lewton (Val Lewton, produced several famous horror movies) and Billy Hitchcock whose name pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock.
When the students are boarding the airplane, Alex looks down from the jetway and sees a luggage cart with the number 666 on it.
The original casting choices for Alex and Clear were Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.
When my roommate picked this disc up way back in 2000 on the DVD’s release date, I was skeptical and even rolled my eyes a time or two on the ride home. She asked me nicely a few times on the ride home to watch the film with her and I finally relented to watch it, fully expecting to be totally bored and convinced I wouldn’t see the film through to the end credits. Let’s just say, I had to admit, this was a MUCH better film than I could have even hoped for. I really enjoyed this film, it had a unique story and approach to telling the story and the visuals were really impressive. Me, I hate to fly, I’ve only ever done it a couple of times in my life and the panic levels were so high, I thought I was going to have to get off the plane both times….the destruction of the plane in this film, blew me away! I was practically hyperventilating during that scene….it’s convinced me that there will be no more flying in my future, if I can’t get there by car, ship, train or by foot, it ain’t worth going! You can definitely count me in as a fan of this film and I’d not hesitate in recommending this to anyone who hasn’t seen it before. It’s entertaining, scary and makes me wonder, have there been times I’ve cheated death and not even realized it…..
Final Destination 3 open nationwide in theaters on February 10th.
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Buy the Final Destination Scared 2 Death Pack on DVD from Amazon.com