Arthur is an avid television and movie fan with horror being his favored genre. If you can name it, he has probably seen it. Twice.
Every once in a while a movie comes along that breathes new life into the horror industry. Final Destination was one of those films with an idea so unique that it has never been parodied outside of the franchise. There have been a fair amount of Final Destination movies for a franchise that is about the unseen hand of death, enough for me to have ranked them from worst to first for your reading pleasure.
The Final Destination AKA Final Destination 4
This movie was made solely to capitalize off of the 3D trend at the time. They even had the audacity to call it THE Final Destination like there would not be any more movies made after only the 4th installment. Everything about this movie feels rushed and inauthentic from the opening premonition to the less-than-shocking twist at the end. This movie is so forgettable that many of the scenes seemed new to me even though I have watched it numerous times. This is easily the worst movie in the franchise which makes its title all the more annoying.
Final Destination 3
Final Destination 3 is not the worst horror film I have ever seen, but it is not a great entry in this franchise. They try to take death's clues in another direction, but the idea does not seem as ominous as the clues in other entries in the franchise. The film tries to build up the deaths to cause suspense, but we end up getting bored waiting for the final outcome. It does star the great Mary Elizabeth Winstead among a few other notable faces. My biggest beef with this film is that, when it was released on DVD, they promised a "choose your own adventure" feature that I thought would be really cool. The problem is that if you allow a character to live it simply ends the movie with no extra content or anything. If you were introducing someone to this franchise this would definitely not be where to start.
Final Destination 2
In a lot of ways, this movie is a perfect sequel to the original. It follows the same basic principals as the first movie and even sees the return of Clear Rivers. They tie-in almost everything with the first movie and even have a decent reveal that sews the two movies closer than you may think. They do introduce some more theories about death's design which help to keep the movie fresh and moving in the right direction. Final Destination 2 would earn the second spot if it wasn't for one thing that Final Destination 5 did so right.
Final Destination 5
Final Destination 5 is definitely deserving of its spot and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. Be forewarned every word beyond this sentence is a spoiler. Ok, so, this movie does an amazing job at misdirection while simultaneous throwing back to other movies in the franchise. In the beginning of the film they watch a video by 180 marketing, 180 being the number of the airplane in the original film, as well as playing a major part in the first sequel. The bus also passes a logging truck which is a throwback to the crash in Final Destination 2. They do everything they can to make you think that this is just another sequel including a cameo by Tony Todd's coroner who says that he has seen this kind of thing before. The reason why this movie is worthy of the number two spot, this is the biggest spoiler of them all, is that Final Destination 5 turns out to be a prequel!
As mentioned before, Final Destination is a movie unlike any other and it came at a time when the horror genre was in a lull. The idea is terrifying because it feeds on our fear of the unknown and a small part of all of us believes that it just might be possible. It stars a whole cast of up-and-comers including Ali Larter, Seann William Scott, Devon Sawa, and Kerr Smith along with some other recognizable faces. The original with all of its twists and turns is still the best because it created this franchise which we now love and reminded us that none of us are invincible.
Questions & Answers
Question: So the first movie in the Final Destination series is the best for the simple and, most biased reason that its the first film in the franchise?
Answer: Yes, if not only because it was a fresh idea. It is incredibly rare that a sequel is ever better than the original.