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‘Final Destination’: Ranking The Franchise

Robby Steven

The ‘Final Destination franchise kicked off in the year 2000, just prior to the remake boom of the genre. In a time where ‘Scream’ clones were the norm, ‘Final Destination’ attempted something a bit different. Gone was a colorful villain, and in its place was an invisible entity in the form of death. The franchise was conceived from a spec script by Jeffrey Reddick, and originally written for The X-Files television series. Since the original film’s release in 2000, the franchise has spawned five films, two comic books, and nine films. The total worldwide box office gross for the franchise is, ironically, $666,766,477. Here are all five ‘Final Destination’ films ranked from worst to best.

‘Final Destination: Franchise Ranking

5) ‘The Final Destination,’ 2009: Directed by David R. Ellis
Rotten Tomatoes– Critics Score, 28 percent, Audience Score, 35 percent
The final film in timeline order, the fourth entry of the ‘Final Destination franchise is average at best. By this point in the series, the formula had become stale and repetitive, leaving nothing more than creative deaths to entertain. The opening scene, which the franchise is known for, takes place at a NASCAR event. The scene proves to be the least effective in the franchise. The characters are carbon copies from previous entries in the series, though not all is lost. Some creative kills warrant at least a one-time watch, like the pool sewer drain death. The film is the highest-grossing with a worldwide total of nearly $158 million.
Rating: 2.25 out of 5

4) ‘Final Destination 3,’ 2006: Directed James Wong
Rotten Tomatoes – Critics Score, 44 percent, Audience Score, 57 percent.
Set 5 years after the events of the first film and four years after the sequel, the third entry marks the start of the decline. The opening scene is promising, set at a carnival where a small group of teenagers avoid death during a rollercoaster ride. As with the previous entries, one kid gets a premonition, freaks out, his friends follow, and so on. Some of the deaths are memorable, however, including a freak accident at a gym and another at a drive-thru.
Rating: 2.75 out of 5

The surprise prequel

3) ‘Final Destination 5,’ 2011: Directed by Steven Quale
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics Score, 62 percent, Audience Score, 52 percent
‘Final Destination 5 is the latest film in the franchise that is revealed to be a prequel in the closing moments. the film is also the highest rated on Rotten Tomatoes, with a fresh critics score of 62 percent. The opening scene is the widest in scale, taking place on a collapsing bridge with impressive visuals. The story plays out very similar to the previous films, but it’s the climax taking place on Flight 180 that is the kicker. We see shots of the argument taking place in the first film, leading to our main character’s death kicking off the events of the franchise.
Rating: 3 out of 5

2) ‘Final Destination 2,’ 2003: Directed by David R. Ellis
Rotten Tomatoes Critics Score, 48 percent, Audience Score, 58 percent.
The second entry into the franchise takes place one year after the events of the first. Only one survivor, Clear Rivers, is alive and is, therefore, voluntarily placed in a mental institution. The opening of the second film takes place during a traffic jam on U.S. Route 23 while college student Kimberly Corman heads to Daytona Beach, Florida for spring break. As in the first film, Kimberly gets a premonition, warns her friends, and temporarily avoids death. The deaths are plentiful, including a falling windowpane and a barbed-wire fence shredding. The weaving together of the Clear Rivers character helps the sequel stand out.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Final Destination: The OG stands tall

2) ‘Final Destination,’ 2000: Directed by James Wong
Rotten TomatoesCritics Score, 35 percent, Audience Score, 68 percent.
High school student Alex Browning boards Volée Airlines Flight 180 to Paris from JFK airport in New York. Browing is joined by his school for a class trip until he gets a premonition of the plane exploding. He warns several classmates and a fight ensures, are they are kicked off the plane. Moments later the plane explodes before death hunts those who avoided the crash, setting off a franchise that continued for over a decade. The original presented something different to the genre at the time and is the most memorable of the bunch.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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