Final Destination 2: Death’s Design
Dir. David R. Ellis (2003)
This time, a girl sees a highway pileup and manages to save a group of people. Death doesn’t give a shit.
Filled with a lot more gore than the previous film, Final Destination 2 helped to add to the lore behind the franchise. It talks more about Death’s design for those who have saved themselves, and it adds a bit more to the backstory in fascinating ways. In this film, Death’s dyslexic, I guess, so the order of people who are supposed to die is backwards, meaning the first person to die in the premonition becomes the last person to die in Death’s new design. Kimberly has the premonition and saves a group of people from their deaths, including a cop, a pregnant woman, and a mother and her child.
I mean, fuck everybody else though.
It is revealed that Alex (Devon Sawa from the first film) has died between the events of the first and second film. Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), who survives the previous film by committing herself to a mental institution, is back, and she helps the main characters to determine how things are going down and what they can do to stop it. Tony Todd is also back as the coroner who seems to know all of the answers, and he works in a weird autopsy cave for some reason. He tells the group that “only new life can defeat death,” which the characters interpret as meaning that if the pregnant woman Kimberly saved has her baby, Death’s list will cease to exist. As the film progresses, we learn a little more about the mythos behind Death’s design, mainly that it doesn’t really matter what you do, Death won’t be stopped.
The premonitions are a bit on the nose with this film, which would normally take away a bit from the enjoyment of the film but somehow works in this one. Not only that, but it is revealed that other characters can also see visions that indicate Death’s path. This leads to a lot of cool scenes where we’re given an inkling of what’s to come and left to watch it unfold in increasingly gruesome and macabre ways. FD2 has some of the best kills of the series, especially the sequence in the field that results in the deaths of two characters in the goriest deaths of the series up to this.
And one of the most shocking deaths in the whole series.
While FD2 isn’t the best of the series, it is extremely fun and adds a lot to the series as a whole (and has what is, quite possibly, my favorite kill from the entire series). As we find out that each of the main characters are tangentially related to the characters from the original, we are able to sit back and enjoy watching how death is going to come for all of them. As a commentary on the unstoppable flow of time and the inevitability of death, FD2 shows that even if you escape (as Clear escapes Death in the first film), it’ll come back for you eventually.
Who this movie is for: All horror fans; Fans of the original; Pigeon lovers
Bottom line: Another great entry in the series, Final Destination 2 gives us another dose of Tony Todd as we delve further into the march of Death’s design. Featuring some truly excellent and gory kills and some great acting and direction as well, Final Destination 2 is a trip and is a great film to add to your Final Destination marathon. And if you don’t have a Final Destination marathon that is firmly entrenched into your at-least-yearly schedule, you’re missing out. Highly recommended, this one is a must.