Director: James Wong (2000)
Starring: Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Stifler, Tony Todd
I first watched the original Final Destination movie the night before I was set to board an aeroplane for only the second time in my life. Already a nervous flyer, I don't think it helped much. Also, I was sat sandwiched between my most loathed college lecturer and the head of form for the whole journey, so that too. Subsequent journeys have coincided with episodes of LOST and Con Air and Snakes On A Plane and even that episode of Supernatural with the demon on the plane. I'm an idiot when it comes to pre-flight TV. Final Destination though, is the ultimate disaster movie.
It's a slasher movie where you never see the actual slasher. After a freak premonition, teen idiot Alex (Sawa) is convinced that the plane carrying him and his buddies on a school trip is going to explode and kill the lot of them. He kicks up a ruckus and, as soon as he and a bunch of other passengers are booted off the plane, it explodes. Lucky escape, right?
Only no, because Death doesn't like being cheated. This is mean, jobsworth Death, not dryly witty Terry Pratchett Death or sexy Neil Gaiman Death. This Death wants his deaths. What follows is like a really gory version of those daytime TV insurance adverts where people fall off ladders and slip over all the time. Whilst the deaths here aren't quite as memorable as some of those in the sequels, there are some standouts. A kid being strangled in the shower is particularly grisly, and the beheading of Stifler is just hilarious. I'm going to go ahead and say that Seann William Scott is one of the most underrated actors of his generation, and I'm not even joking there.
Final Destination is a great, fun little movie and its first sequel is even better. The franchise is entirely disposable, but therein lies the appeal. It's not snowed under with mythology, its characters aren't all hateable and it's not disappeared up its own ass. It makes me think twice about acting like a knob around sharp implements and kitchen equipment. Final Destination probably saved my life.