The Final Word: Day 1 (Final Destination)

The day’s are shorter, the nights are long, that can only mean one thing: We could fuck in the sun and dance till dawn. Wait, that’s not it, that’s a song. It means the year is doing it’s best impression of a guy eyeing a drunk girl at a bar, creeping ever closer and hoping we won’t notice until it’s too late, but we notice, we see you Craig! So it’s time for our yearly (except the year we didn’t do it) tradition. After choking on Chucky, jacking off Jigsaw, fellating Freddy, and having a nice romantic evening with Ghostface hoping he feels the same way, it’s time for this year’s October obambulation through occult (except not the occult, I just needed another O word. Not that! Pervert). There is still a lot of franchises we have to go through, Halloween (once I find the Rob Zombie films on DVD), The Omen could be interesting, Friday The 13th etc. So what did I chose for this one? Final Destination, as you can obviously tell if you look at the title for this I’m starting with the first one, because I’m not a moron.

  • New Line Cinema film. Who brought us Nightmare On Elm Street, always a good start.
  • On the other hand they also gave us Wedding Crashers, and if I remember correctly that film had a woman raping a dude as a seduction technique. Oh the dark desolate days of *checks date* the mid 2000’s
  • The opening credits to this are worse than you remember. Basically shadows, rain, and lightning. It’s supposed to be foreboding and menacing, but really just comes off as a music video for a 90’s grunge band.
  • Dolls hanging from ceiling so their shadows look like they’re being lynched, “death of a salesman”, a history book opening on a page about guillotines, this film is not exactly subtle.
  • Also the character building in this sequence is kind of poor. We establish the main characters name, and that he’s going to France. All of which is established in the opening scene of the film anyway.
  • Oh, the final shot of the credits is blood red “this is the end”, again, very subtle.
  • And since this is the end I’ll just turn the film off there. A bit shit to be honest. Nothing happened, and I didn’t see any of the actors mentioned.
  • Still better than Wolf. That film made me want to cyber bully.
  • Know what I said earlier about how all of the character building from the credits is established in the opening scene? I’m not exaggerating. The opening line is “Alex, the bus leaves the high school for the airport around 5”.
  • He insist the luggage tag from the last flight needs to stay on the luggage to stop it crashing. Is that a thing? I have never heard of that.
  • Of course his mum rips it off. So you can say about freak weather conditions, or bad engineering. The real cause of the plane crash was Alex’s mum. Fuck you you bitch.
  • The wind blows model airplane propellers, foreshadowing the characters death, much like a lot of things. But here’s the issue, it’s only foreshadowing it for us, it does dick for the characters. That’s a weak part of these films, a lot of it seems like it’s done for the audience benefit rather than the characters. So you don’t empathise with the characters as much as you don’t feel their fear, you only feel yours.
  • Sean William Scott there wearing a baseball cap backwards, so you know he’s cool.
  • A religious guy hands out a pamphlet saying “death is not the end”. Immediately dating this film as taking place before 9/11.
  • The camera focuses on the airline departure board saying “terminal”. Oh no, spoopy! That means death! Again though, this means nothing to the characters. I would not be freaked out by seeing the word “terminal” at an airport. I’d be more freaked out if I didn’t, wondering if I accidentally wandered into something that wasn’t an airport, but was in fact a whorehouse (just getting my excuses in early).
  • Oooo now there’s a character wearing sunglasses indoors. The people in this film are just too cool.
  • “Hey Alex, come take a shit”. Dudes are weird.
  • The airport plays a John Denver song, a singer who died in a plane crash. This would be a neat little touch if the lead character didn’t say “That’s John Denver, he died in a plane crash”.
  • Alex again gets freaked out by the flight board saying “Terminal”. Again, that’s not spooky, that’s standard thing you will see at an airport, it’s useful information. It’s like being freaked out because you saw rapeseed oil.
  • The teacher isn’t paying much attention to the students going on the plane. Do you want a Home Alone 2: Lost In New York? Because that’s how you get Home Alone 2: Lost In New York? And you know what happened after that? Home Alone 3. And we DON’T TALK ABOUT HOME ALONE 3.
  • “that’s a good sign, younger the better”, Isn’t that the tagline on Giuliani’s tinder profile?
  • Why are they doing the safety announcements while people are still getting on the flight? You’d wait until everyone is seated, surely?
  • Everyone on the plane applauds the flight taking off. I’m no longer sad about any of them dying.
  • Shit starts going wrong and some of the people struggle to put their airbags on. Probably because of the shitty flight safety announcements.
  • The true tragedy is the chocolate rolling along the floor. *cries* such a waste.
  • A horrific plane crash in which everybody dies.
  • But not really. That was just a dream. I don’t think the series ever managed that rug-pull as expertly as it did here. Because, well, you can’t. That became the general concept of the films. It became expected. But can you imagine seeing this for the first time going in blind? Knowing nothing about the film except it’s a horror. You see the entire cast die horrifically in the opening sequence. I can’t begin to imagine how that must have caught the audience off-guard the first time.
  • He panics (as you would) and gets him (and some of his classmates) thrown off the flight, including people who didn’t actually do anything, which is a bit weird.
  • The plane, of course, blows up. Much sooner than it did in the dream. If I’ve got the timing right it would have blown up when everybody started clapping. Makes sense.
  • Have to question how that made the window at the airport shatter.
  • “are there any survivors?” Asks a teacher, about a plane exploding in mid-air. Is she an idiot?
  • “did you take any sedatives before boarding?” Do……..do sleeping pills cause planes to explode? Should I be worried that the doctors gave me pills for my first flight? I knew they were trying to kill me! I’m not paranoid, everyone really is out to get me.
  • “if you didn’t believe it would explode, why did you get off the plane?” Because security threw him off. You’re detectives, and you can’t figure that simple shit out?
  • We then get our main introduction to Clear Rivers, who is the only one of the main characters to appear in more than one film in the franchise. I love her so much in this. I would have so dated her. But sadly I couldn’t see the Clear/Lee romance in my head as I was dating someone called Lorraine. She dumped me though, you’d expect that to have made me sad but actually it made me delighted. I can still remember thinking “Yes! I can see Clear/Lee now Lorraine has gone”
  • “eyewitnesses report seeing the plane explode” Well, obviously. Was that not kind of already known?
  • “air traffic controllers are corroborating eye-witness accounts” I’ll hazard a guess you’ll get nothing useful from that as the explosion happened in the air, and the eyewitnesses were on the ground so didn’t see anything that could have caused it.
  • “don’t talk to me you scare the hell out of me” 1) brilliant thing for a teacher to say to a student going through grief. 2) That’s the usual reaction to my seduction techniques. That and laughter.
  • We’re coming up to the first non-plane death here. Tod (fun fact: that means “death” in German. I know that because I named a character that in a sitcom). You can tell death is coming for him because there’s wind. And everywhere there’s wind, there’s death, especially after I just had a curry.
  • This is a weird death, and is one of two I have a major issue with in this film. So, his toilet leaks, and water looks like it’s following him in the bathroom (seriously, it’s flowing in a really unnatural way, it flows towards one end of the room and once he moves it flows towards him again). There’s quite a few fake-outs which are fun (him having scissors up his nose as the water comes near him, dodgy electrics on the radio etc) but I don’t think they’re is as effective as they could be because this is the first death, so you’re not really looking out for those.
  • Back with Alex, who throws a newspaper at an owl which then then gets caught in a fan and chopped up (the newspaper, not the owl). One question; how useless was that fan cover if that many pages of paper can get through those slits just like that? I’m not saying it’s not possible, but it’s highly unlikely. It only happens because the shredded paper spells out the word “Tod”. Kind of lame logic.
  • And now Tod dies, he slips on the toilet water and the washing line wraps itself around his neck choking him. He can’t stand up because the bath is too slippery, and can’t just swing his leg onto the floor and stand up there because fuck you plot reasons. The bit where the white in his eyes suddenly go red is one of my favourite bits of the film, but it’s followed by one of my least favourite bits, the water going back into the toilet. Erm, how? Why? Is death worried he’s going to be arrested?
  • His death is ruled as suicide because the investigators in this town didn’t see the marks of him struggling to stand up somehow.
  • “Something from that day is still with you” probably trauma.
  • “I know because I can still feel you” Yes please.
  • Clear and Alex break into a morgue to see Tod’s body. I’m not entirely sure what they’re hoping to find, as they know nothing about medical science.
  • Luckily there’s someone who does, Tony mother-fucking Todd as William Bludworth, both the best, and most confusing character in the franchise. His role is to essentially turn up, creepily explain the plot, then leave. How does he know what he knows? Maybe he’s death? It’s never explained and it’s both fantastic and annoying (a bit like me, if you ignore the fantastic part).
  • He points out that Tod has lacerations on his hand from pulling at the wire, indicating it wasn’t a suicide. Somehow this information is not brought up again and his death is still ruled as suicide for the rest of the franchise.
  • Tony Todd is a creepy mother fucker. Being disturbing and (not sure if it’s just me) slightly seductive whilst talking about how you can’t escape death’s design. I mean, it happens in a future film, but that’s besides the point He doesn’t explain this until another film.
  • “what if we cheated the design by getting off the plan? What if it’s still our time. It’s our time. Up there, its our time”. I may have started misremembering the line halfway through.
  • “I do believe that Tod killed himself”. Bitch you were in the mortuary when it was explained how he didn’t.
  • Carter nearly runs Billy over, because he’s a dickhole. You can tell this because he’s playing loud rock music. Nobody comments on the vehicular manslaughter.
  • “you can just drop fucking dead” says, erm, I can’t remember her name, before getting hit by a bus in one of the funniest deaths of the series. I’m still unsure why nobody stopped her. It was obvious where she was going to walk, and nobody stopped her. Just because we didn’t see the bus, doesn’t mean others didn’t. Also, an earlier scene established there was a crane in the way.
  • That death did come out of nowhere and was brilliant. It caught test audiences so off guard that they needed to add a 5 second scene of nothing just to calm audiences down after.
  • Now with Valerie Lewton, the teacher. I get the name is a reference to a producer from the 40’s (well at least I think it is). But considering they’re best known for a technique called “Lewton Bus” why would you make another character be the one who gets hit by a bus?
  • Good as time to mention now how I love the names in this script, almost all the characters are named after famed horror creators:
    • Terry Cheney: Lon Cheney, known for playing multiple horror characters which employed use of his make-up skills
    • Tod Waggner: George Waggner, Director best known for The Wolf Man
    • Alex Browning: Tod Browning, director of Freaks and Dracula.
    • Agent Schreck: Max Schreck (not the green guy), played the lead in Nosferatu
    • Billy Hitchcock: Alfred Hitchcock, if you don’t know what he’s famous for, get out.
  • “looking at my own front yard causes nothing but fear”, same, because there’s people out there! Bastards.
  • The police to Alex: “we know you didn’t cause the explosion, and we were going to just move on from you, but then your friends started dying”. One which YOU ruled suicide, and one got hit by a fucking bus. How does that make him look suspicious? “nobody has control over live and death unless they’re taking lives”, he’d be a terrible doctor. Also, I repeat, she got hit by a bus. Unless he was driving it, or pushed her, it should not reflect badly on him at all and you’re terrible detectives for thinking so.
  • “that kid gives me the creeps” “sometimes you give me the creeps” Yeah? Well I’ve got one response to that:
  • We get Lewton’s death now, and it’s stupid. So stupid. She pours a drink in a mug and then throws the drink onto the floor for some reason when she gets scared of it. She pours cold vodka into the mug, which then causes it to crack. A large crack (hah!) which she doesn’t notice as she walks around the house. This causes the drink to go into her computer and fry the electronics. When the computer starts smoking (and it’s not even 18 so I don’t know how it got served) she moves towards it (because that’s a safe thing to do) and it explodes, shooting glass into her neck. The fire then starts igniting the alcohol, which considering it was both cold and diluted, is unlikely to happen. She falls over then pulls down a tea towel (which earlier she threw onto a set of knives), which then obviously causes the knives to fall on her, one impaling her.
  • Alex turns up, pulls the knife out of her, because reasons, then leaves the house as it explodes (again, that vodka must have been made of pure gasoline to do that shit).
  • The group all gather together to try and figure out a plan. Clear talks about her dead dad etc. I think in the original script she and Alex had sex at this moment. Because nothing gets a guy harder than talking about your dads death.
  • Carter has a moment where he freaks out and almost kills everybody with dangerous driving. It’s a moment which is better in theory than in reality. He seems to cocky to pull this off. It seems to come off as more defiant than nihilistic and freaking out. It’s a shame as it could have been a great scene if done correctly.
  • Carter parks his car on train tracks and everybody except him gets out the car. We have another weird death as when he tries to leave the car doors lock themselves. This could have been much smarter. If you had a character kick the door so it dents it, and that’s why it can’t open etc. Just set this shit up better and don’t just have it as “because Death wants it so”, it’s lazy writing.
  • He gets pulled out the car at the last second just before a train hits it. A train that only runs in Canada, what that’s doing in New York I’m not entirely sure. I’ve been to New York, it’s definitely not Canada, it’s aggressively American.
  • After the train hits the car it keeps going, because that’s what happens, the train wouldn’t stop and investigate the crash at all. There wouldn’t be no paperwork. It would just be “probably just killed someone, we’ll sort it out later”. People complain about “the nanny state” and “health and safety”, but this film needs more of it.
  • Quite a cool death here, Sean William Scott stands by the train tracks talking about how he’s not going to die, he then dies when the train hits a bit of flayed metal (which again, is why the train would have stopped) which then flies up and chops his head off at the mouth. It’s suitably gory and shocking, and one of my favourites from this film. It was set up well (albeit nonsensically) and looked great.
  • Alex shacks up in a death-proof cabin. And then eats food direct from a tin, risking cutting himself when opening it.
  • He then tries to take his mind off it by reading newspaper articles about the plane crash. Couldn’t have something a bit lighter, like 120 Days Of Sodom?
  • Lightning happens (seriously what is it with the weather in this town?) causing a washing line to fly out and nearly impale Clear. A death which would have been freaking awesome, and as such is never done in the franchise. In fact I didn’t even remember that moment until I watched it. She nearly dies from too much electric. So decides to get in her car. This is actually smart as it would effectively mean it creates a Faraday cage (not a sex thing) and the electric charges would go through the outside of the vehicle, keeping people inside safe. Science! So yeah she’s safe.
  • “The cars going to explode” unless that happens.
  • They both survive and the film meets up with them 6 months later. Somehow death killed almost everyone in a week, but then kept these guys alive for 6 months for, I dunno, dramatic effect?
  • Clear stops Alex being hit by the bus which she had a premonition of. Or Alex could have just paid attention to the fucking road and not stepped out in front of a bus. Does nobody in that school know the green cross code? Clear pushes him out of the way and this causes the bus to drive into a lamppost which rube goldbergs’ a sign into falling down, nearly smooshing Alex in the face. This is stopped by Carter pushing him out the way of that (so which one was supposed to kill him? Because it went for him twice). Carter, who was aware enough about the sign to push Alex out of the way, isn’t aware enough to not move out of the way before it hits him, presumably killing him. Credits.
  • We then have a terrible terrible song. Really generic 90’s US rock. Such a weak way to end it.

So that’s it for the first one. These will be continuing until the end of the month. So you’ve got 4 more days of this.

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