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All ‘Final Destination’ Movies Ranked

Is your destination final?

Kat Jennings in Final Destination 5

Sometimes we don’t know what our destination is going to be. Thankfully, the Final Destination franchise clears that mystery up for its characters. The fear that has been instilled into fans of Final Destination (especially Final Destination 2) regarding the obscure ways one could die hasn’t waned. Believe me, the highway scene in Final Destination 2 still scares the hell out of me. But, unfortunately, some of the films in this franchise flop in their own unique ways.

The Final Destination films follow various characters with death premonitions who try desperately to keep those involved in their visions alive. Of course, Death ensures that everyone meets their fates. There are only five films in the Final Destination franchise and that means ranking them is not a hard endeavor. So, make sure you’re strapped in and try not to scream when the rollercoaster boots up!

5. The Final Destination (2009)

Hunt dying horribly in a public pool in The Final Destination
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

3D horror is either fun or tremendously terrible—there’s seldom an in-between when it comes down to it. The Final Destination (2009) falls into the terribly bad category with all of its cartoonish deaths. While these films may have similar plots, but they differentiate themselves by their gruesome deaths and how likable (or annoying) their characters are. And let me tell you, The Final Destination has some of the most unlikable characters in the franchise. For instance, there is no reason to care about an aggressively racist middle-aged man who tries to burn a cross on a Black man’s lawn. My heart does not go out to that man.

4. Final Destination 5 (2011)

Olivia Castle looking scared because she can't get away in Final Destination 5
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Final Destination 5 is at least one or two steps above the previous film. It serves as a prequel, but that’s not made clear at the beginning of the movie. In fact, this film feels like another sequel until the very end. And that makes it more of an intriguing entry into the Final Destination franchise. Final Destination 5 doesn’t do anything different plot-wise, but at least the 3D used in it isn’t total garbage and the acting is more believable. Not to mention the twist ending isn’t something anyone expects when watching the film with fresh eyes. Overall, it earns a spot as the fourth best movie in this franchise!

3. Final Destination 3 (2006)

A teen girl holds a camera (New Line Cinema)
(New Line Cinema)

Sure, Final Destination 3 may feel dated in some aspects, but it’s still decent to watch. Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character is the main character and that’s not a disservice at all. The movie also has some memorable deaths, such as the one done in the tanning bed (IFYKY). Overall, the film doesn’t do more or less than what can be expected from a film in the Final Destination franchise. And, in my books, that’s not a negative whatsoever.

2. Final Destination (2000)

Alex standing around in the airport in Final Destination
(New Line Cinema)

I can only imagine how people felt watching Final Destination in theaters for the first time. Imagine how many people stopped flying for a long time because the explosion scene. It may not be a perfect film, but it does touch upon the fears of dying unexpectedly. Alex (Devon Sawa) comes across as a realistic teenager trying to save his friends. And, despite some of the characters being annoying or shitty, they seem like a bunch of stereotypical teenagers you’d see at your local high school. However, it’s still a fun watch and Sawa is an absolute treasure for horror fans. Plus, the deaths are relatively unique—at least for the time when the film came out.

1. Final Destination 2 (2003)

Kat Jennings in Final Destination 5
(New Line Cinema)

I understand that not everyone vibes with sequels, but Final Destination 2 is so good and definitely the most memorable of the bunch. The opening scene alone is enough to earn this spot because of how horrific it is. People are still scared to drive behind a log transport vehicle till this day. Of course, the characters are hit or miss, but that’s just how Final Destination films are. Overall, Final Destination 2 is one of those horror movies you can put on and turn your brain off for a while. And, at the end of the day, isn’t that the point of these kinds of movies is for us to enjoy ourselves?

(featured image: New Line Cinema)

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Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.