Derek Winnert

Final Destination **** (2000, Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith, Seann William Scott, Brendan Fehr, Amanda Detmer, Tony Todd) – Classic Movie Review 271


Director James Wong’s 2000 horror thriller is a great fun, cleverly staged teen horror flick. It’s ingeniously written, with a strong theme, credible dialogue, effective performances and some excellently scary set pieces.


Alex (Devon Sawa) has a premonition that a high-school flight he’s on, headed for France, will crash. He tells everyone to get off the plane, and seven people are forced to disembark. Moments later, in the departure lounge they see the plane with their fellow students aboard explode. The FBI thinks Alex has something to do with it and follows his every move, while his friends start to become suspicious and fade out of his life.


But he discovers that all seven survivors are being stalked by the Grim Reaper, intent on collecting the souls of those who cheated Death, with the deaths occurring in the order they would have happened on the plane. Can Sawa and his buddies find a way to cheat Death again?


It’s all very exciting, well paced and tautly handled by director Wong, with an extremely ingenious, fresh and expert screenplay, especially for this kind of chiller. The story is by Jeffrey Reddick and the screenplay by him, Wong and Glen Morgan.


The other cast members include Ali Larter, Kerr Smith, Seann William Scott, Chad E Donella, Roger Guenveur Smith, Kristen Cloke, Tony Todd, Daniel Roebuck, Amanda Detmer and Brendan Fehr. Most of them seemed destined to have much better movie careers than they actually have.


The prediction back in 2000 was to expect a Final Destination 2. And, lo, after the film took $53 million in the US, the sequel came to pass in 2003. And there were three more: Final Destination 3 (2006), The Final Destination (2009) and Final Destination 5 (2011).

Smith and Fehr reunited for The Forsaken in 2001.

© Derek Winnert 2013 Classic Film Review 271




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