Top 10: Final Destination Deaths
Final Destination is one of my favorite franchises, and the biggest reason why it’s become such a landmark in American horror is because of the creative and enthralling death scenes. Filled with Rube Goldberg machines and dizzying set design, each death in the series is awe-inspiring in its own special way. But, there can only be ten that fit into a Top 10 Final Destination Deaths list, and here they are! For the purpose of this list, I’m not including the initial disaster that begins the film. These are individual death scenes, with one body count each (except for one)
CAUTION: THERE ARE GORY PICTURES INCLUDED IN THIS LIST & MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
This one is almost as notable as the death that immediately follows it, and while the scene is rife with foreshadowing, it was hard to imagine exactly how brutal this death was going to be. The smartass Jaws of Life operator pays no attention to the pipe that is positioned directly behind the head of the driver in the car he is attempting to open, but the audience can see what’s coming. As the airbag deploys, the driver of the car suddenly has a new forehead accessory, and Death has claimed his newest victim.
Frankie is a pervert, but he absolutely doesn’t deserve his character’s disgusting end. He’s sitting in a drive-through, ordering some takeout, when a runaway car rams the car behind his in line. The engine block is thrown from underneath its hood, and the fan in front of the engine carves through the back of Frankie’s head. As with most of the deaths in these films, you know that the character is likely going to die. Unlike most of the deaths, when the actual device of doom is deployed, you had no idea it was going to be delivered in the manner that it comes. Truly a brutal death, but at least it was probably pretty quick!
This one is a brutal death not because of its surprise or suddenness but, quite frankly, because of it’s lack of suddenness. These two girls, while being vapid and not particularly great people, did not deserve to slowly burn to death while prepping for their classmates’ funerals. The tanning beds they are in become so hot that it melts the goggles onto one of their eyes. I have never gone tanning because being hot makes me want to die, but something tells me a lot of people cancelled their salon memberships immediately after leaving the theater.
Taking place immediately after number 10 on our list, the explosion that results from Airbag Head Spear’s dropped cigarette causes a barbed wire fence to be flung through the air and directly through a character’s body. This works a bit like a cheese wire, cutting his top half from his bottom and a couple of pieces in between. A brutal death, and he’s alive long enough to wonder what the fuck just happened, which makes it all the more horrifying.
Oh man… Why in the world someone would want acupuncture is beyond me, but by all accounts it’s one of the more effective forms of Eastern medicine. I wasn’t down for it before, but I’m damn sure not now. After things in the massage room begin to go haywire, this unfortunate character throws himself off of his acupuncture table, driving the needles deeper than they’re supposed to go. As he tries desperately to crawl to safety, he jostles a large stone Buddha from its shelf, where it quickly plummets to the floor and crushes his head in the process. One of the more shocking deaths that isn’t immediately obvious or out of nowhere.
This is one of my favorites that most people forget about because the movie was so not-that-great. The whole thing is telegraphed from the very beginning, but there are so many things happening inside the salon that Samantha is visiting that it’s more of a matter of which one is going to be her undoing. We have an exploding can of hairspray, a malfunctioning chair, a fan that falls perilously close to her head, and a slippery floor. Then, finally, it’s a rock that one of her idiot sons is throwing across the street that gets catapulted through her eye socket by a douchey lawn mower. It’s the perfect balance of expected and unexpected, and it ranks at #5 on this list.
Erin seems like a nice enough girl. She’s a little bit punk, a little bit rock and roll, she’s a hard worker, and she has nails all stuck in her face. The entire scene in the hardware store in Final Destination 3 is excellent, and it’s much like the salon setup for #5 on this list. Everything seems to be going wrong and anything that happens during the entire duration of the scene could be our characters’ downfall. For Erin, however, she falls backwards against a nail gun that apparently is missing its safety, because it launches like a dozen nails directly into her skull. A cool-ass scene, and deserving of a Top 4 ranking.
Oh man, this kill… As a practically blind guy myself, I’ve wanted Lasik surgery for years. Absolutely nope, fucking none of that shit is coming close to my face after watching this scene. Olivia has a horrible death: she gets cut to pieces by the Lasik laser, and she can’t fucking see while it’s happening. I don’t know that there’s a scene in the entire series that was more uncomfortable than this one, and her death would probably rank as the most painful other than the tanning bed scene mentioned above. Horrific kill, and one the audience won’t soon forget
This was a tough decision. I fucking love this kill, and the way that Tim folds into a compact package when the huge pane of glass is dropped from the crane overhead blew my damn mind the first time I saw it. It’s gory, it’s shocking, and, to top it all off, the kid dies in front of his mom. After surviving a near-asphyxiation from the most incompetent dentist in history, the main character of the movie tells Tim to be careful of the pigeons, and he immediately runs into a crowd of pigeons and get squished for it. Serves you right, Tim.
In the largest and most elaborate Rube Goldberg machine of the entire series, Candice’s death is quick and final. Her entire body collapses into an unrecognizable mess after a particularly low-scoring uneven bars dismount, and her dreams of Olympic glory are ended. One of the most surprising deaths of the entire series, this was one of the few that made its audience jump right out of their seats in amazed disgust. You knew she was going to die, but holy fuck. The entire sequence is perfection, and it narrowly edges out Tim’s death for the number one spot on the list.