Appeared on screens in 2000, final destination sees a group of survivors narrowly escaping a devastating accident after one of them has a vision of the catastrophe. What emerges is a slasher film like no other. Each survivor is picked off one by one by an unseen windy creature playing John Denver. We soon learn that this entity is the Grim Reaper himself; Death. Death hunts its victims before claiming their lives in many exaggerated grisly deaths.
The rest of the franchise follows the same storyline and formula as the first, with a few interesting twists and turns to keep the five films fresh and intriguing. However, what helped the franchise achieve its success were the many unexpected and creative deaths we see in the films. From a tire that falls out of the sky, a bus that appears out of nowhere, and a truly shocking twist, here are the most unexpected deaths from every film in the franchise.
5 Terry Catches The Bus – Last Destination (2000)
The first film of the genre was the most down-to-earth, caring much more about true horror than the over-the-top nature of later films in the series. The story’s mythology is explored in depth in the first film compared to some lackluster attempts later in the franchise, and the more we unravel the mystery and mythology, the more intriguing the film becomes. The lack of suspense and discussion about “Death’s Design” caused the audience to relax in their seats and think that no one can die in this scene, but what we are left with is one of the most shocking and unexpected death scenes in the horror genre.
In the scene we see the group discussing “Death’s Design” which leads to an argument with the group as many don’t quite believe what they are hearing. As things heat up a bit, Terry (Amanda Deter) starts storming off and offers a few fitting last words before being hit by a bus that seems to appear out of nowhere.
4 BBQ Blowout – Last Target 2 (2003)
The truth is final destination Mode does not end the film with a happy ending, but shocks the audience with an explosive death scene. This is a brief scene featuring characters we didn’t spend much time with, accompanied by a lack of suspense and a false sense of hope, causing the audience to relax in their seats before an explosive and shocking death scene delivers
Kimberly (AJ Cook) and Thomas (Michael Landes) are spotted having a barbecue after a truly horrific and “murderous” summer. Fleeing death, they are both calm and relaxed, but after Brian’s father reveals that Ryan saved Brian from being hit by a truck, causing Brian to escape death, Kimberly and Thomas both quickly look over while Ryan just before grilling it explodes into pieces and sends his body parts through the air. The icing on the cake of this already shocking scene is that Brian’s grilled arm lands right in front of his mother causing her to scream, leading to a really great ending to an exciting and shocking horror film.
3 Impaled by a Flagpole – Final Destination 3 (2006)
While it’s not a very memorable death, this scene, starring a character we’ve met just moments before, gives it the title of being the most unexpected and shocking death yet terminus 3. The scene offers the audience a great deal of misdirection and increases their tension and suspense by bringing many of the main characters close to death and many of them skipping in the process.
In the scene, a horse is startled by the fireworks at McKinley’s 30 Years of Freedom Parade and ends up pulling a rope with a large wooden stake. This tangles around Julie’s neck, dragging her across the field and almost into a wheel of spikes before Kevin can cut the rope, causing death to leap Julie. This left everyone sitting next to her on the roller coaster in a vision of death. Just seconds later, we learn that it was Julie’s friend, Perry, who is immediately impaled by a flagpole.
2 Flattened by Tires – The Final Destination (2009)
The terminus isn’t necessarily the best in the franchise, but it does offer some of the best and most unexpected kills. More specifically, with that utterly shocking death scene at the beginning of the film. Usually in final destination franchise, the characters who managed to avoid their deaths in a devastating accident usually don’t die until later in the film. However, The terminus successfully changed the formula and instantly killed a character in a very unexpected way. We’re relaxed and relaxed after our main characters avoid their clash with death for the first time, and there’s a comforting lack of suspense that’s immediately thrown out the window when one of the characters is crushed by a flying tire.
After warning our main characters about the inevitable accident at a NASCAR race, many of the characters start yelling at Nick (Bobby Campo) and start arguing with him in typical fashion final destination Fashion. Explosions are suddenly heard from inside the arena, with Nick having an “I told you so” moment while Hunt (Nick Zano) expresses his disappointment at not having seen the crash. The unnamed mechanic’s girlfriend (Stephanie Honoe) starts exclaiming, “Are you all out of your mind?” before he’s crushed in two by a giant hoop falling from the sky. The scene immediately switches to an awesome 2000s hard rock intro consisting of Mortal KombatX-rays of the series’ best deaths.
1 The Plane Crash – Final Destination 5 (2011)
This shocking death scene works in so many ways. For one thing, it’s a really great twist that no one saw coming; The two characters who die are possibly some of the best characters in the franchise and had great relationship and chemistry throughout the film. Once again there is an extreme lack of suspense accompanied by a comforting and hopeful score. But as soon as we hear “Dust in the Wind” from Kansas, we are immediately filled with shock and fear.
The scene features Molly Harper (Emma Bell) and Sam Lawton (Nicholas D’Agosto) boarding a plane to fly to Paris so Sam can pursue his dream of opening a restaurant there. We soon hear a kerfuffle as the camera cuts to the scene from the start final destination when Alex (Devon Sawa) is dragged off the plane because he has a vision. Thinking nothing of it, Sam puts on his headphones while trying to fall asleep to the iconic songplays, causing Sam to freak out and immediately think something is wrong. It’s not long before the plane’s engine catches fire and the side of the plane explodes, causing Molly to be thrown off the plane while Sam burns to death before the screen goes black, leaving many shocked faces in the audience.