Every ‘Final Destination’ Death Ranked By How Much It Made Me Fear Everyday Life
I simply refuse to ever drive behind trucks that carry logs.
There are few very good horror movie franchises that are genuinely terrifying.
Sure, Saw is scary, but the likelihood of an old, scorned man kidnapping you just to torture you for the small decisions you made in the past is pretty low. As is a serial killer lurking in your dreams to kill you from inside your mind like A Nightmare on Elm Street suggests.
What makes a horror movie actually scary is whether the events in the film could actually happen in real life. And one franchise captures this true fear better than any other, and that is the Final Destination series.
Think about it: There is no outlandish masked madman chasing the characters, or some ghostly being haunting them from the shadows. Instead, the characters must avoid death — a reality that we all have to face sometime during our life.
While a lot of us will likely probably die of old age or some degenerative disease, freak accidents can happen at any time. After all, people have actually died from cows falling on them as they slept, mayors have drowned in sewage tanks, and the inventor of Segways accidentally drove one off a cliff to his demise.
Basically, death can come at people in any way and at any time and Final Destination perfectly captures this, which is why the series is so damn scary.
There’s now an entire generation who refuse to drive behind log-carrying trucks, people who will not attend an acupuncture session ever again, and once tan-lovers vowing to avoid solariums all thanks to the horrifying deaths featured in Final Destination.
So, in honour of Halloween and the 20 year anniversary of the first Final Destination hitting the big screens, here are all the deaths* in the franchise ranked by how much they made me fear every day life:
*All individual deaths outside of premonitions and the premonitions as a collective death for brevity*
39. Crushed By A Neon Sign – Final Destination
Carter’s death in the original Final Destination is one of the lamest there is.
After flying to Paris to celebrate not dying (totally normal and not weird behaviour, I guess), Carter gets crushed by a swinging neon sign because Alex managed to cheat death. Considering I’ve never been to Paris and rarely hang around neon signs, this death affects me in no way.
38. Impaled By A Meat Skewer – Final Destination 5
Honestly, when would you ever find yourself in a situation where there’s a meat skewer THAT big to be stabbed by?
Unless you work in a commercial kitchen that constantly serves giant kebabs, Peter’s death is a little too far-fetched to make you really ever be scared of falling to the same fate.
37. Squashed By A Falling Bathtub – The Final Destination
The likelihood of a hospital actually leaving a patient unattended for so long that a bathtub floods is so very low.
Even more unlikely is an overflowing bath being powerful enough to make an entire floor cave in and crush the patient below. The patient, mind you, who is already so injured that he looks like he should be in ICU with a number of doctors and nurses at his aide.
I have enough faith in the world to know that the chances of dying this way are slim to none.
36. Hit By A Falling Brick – Final Destination
This death is more embarrassing than anything else.
How can Alex, at his big age of 19, let a falling brick be his demise. A single brick? One lone brick? Are you not embarrassed? If I were Alex, I would simply wear a helmet everywhere I went if I knew death was after me. But I guess I’m just built different.
35. Diced Into Chunks By A Metal Fence – The Final Destination
With The Final Destination hitting cinemas in 3D, Andy’s death was equal parts gruesome and iconic.
His death, however, was unusually cruel with a C02 tank knocking him into a fence, dicing him like a crisp, crisp onion. While I can’t say that I fear getting diced by metal fences on the daily, the general idea that things can go terribly wrong at a mechanic is something that I can get behind.
I mean, those car lift machines shouldn’t be able to hold an entire car by one pole, yet they somehow manage to. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t trust it.
34. Head Split By A Wrench – Final Destination 5
I struggle to remember the correct way to turn a screwdriver, so I know I won’t ever be close enough to a wrench for it to possibly split my head in half.
While I’m sure a lot of people work with big machinery and in construction, you do have to be a different type of unlucky to have wrench fly directly into your head after hitting a belt sander. Luckily, I won’t ever have to find that out because I don’t know what a belt sander even is.
33. Bisected By A Falling Cherry Picker – Final Destination 3
While “falling cherry picker” is SUCH a specific way to die, anything large toppling over can kill you.
Plus, I’d be lying if I said that I don’t cross the road whenever I see very tall machinery above me — especially cranes, which look so incredibly unbalanced. Like, what do you mean one long stick can hold up people and things with ease? Sounds incredibly fake.
32. Obliterated By Flying Tire – The Final Destination
I don’t want to say Nadia deserved being blown apart by a rogue tire, but she kinda a bitch.
Regardless, whenever I’m driving I’m always fearful that someone’s tire will fall off in front of me and then fling into my front windshield. While not exactly the same as how Nadia went, I am scared of flying tires thanks to this scene.
31. The McKinley Speedway Crash – The Final Destination
Auto racing is such a dangerous sport.
In real life, cars go too fast, crowds are only protected by measly metal fences, and far too many drivers end up catching fire — and the McKinley Speedway crash from The Final Destination wasn’t much different.
If the cars crashing and catching aflame wasn’t bad enough, the flying debris and falling rubble surely was. While it was all just a hallucination, the disaster could very easily happen tomorrow in real life, which is why I refuse to pay money to watch fast cars go zoom.
30. Eye Perforated By A Rock – The Final Destination
Samantha’s death was so stupid, that it was almost cartoonish.
After a salon experience from hell, Sam opens the door just as a lawnmower picks up one of the rocks her kids were throwing and hurls it into her eye. But this death ranks so high because lawnmowers can pick up and propel foreign objects like stones, causing serious harm.
For this reason, and my pure laziness, I have never, and will never, touch a lawnmower.
29. Trisected By A Barbed Wire Fence – Final Destination 2
Rory’s death truly was one of the most gory deaths of the franchise, but watching him slide apart will never not be funny.
While I know that barbed wire can’t actually be flung across a field and work as a human cheese slicer, barbed wire is still scary as hell. This scene gave me an irrational fear of wired fences, and strangely, a hankering for some sliced cheddar.
28. Impaled On A Crane Hook – Final Destination 5
I feel like hooks feature far too often in horror movies for them not to be an everyday issue.
And even though I doubt I’ll ever work at a paper factory for it to be an issue like poor, impaled Roy did, I still have an irrational fear of accidentally falling on one.
27. Shot In The Back Three Times- Final Destination 5
This death is boring as hell, but getting shot is something we’re all scared of. While not so much of an issue in Australia, I still sometimes jump when an odd firework goes off in my street.
26. Strangled By A Clothesline – Final Destination
The first death in the series was truly just a series of unfortunate events, which is something highly relatable.
Tod dies from asphyxiation after his clotheslines coils around his neck, and he can’t get back up to stop it. Now whenever I slip in the shower because the floor is too soapy, I always think back to Tod struggling to stand up. RIP, to the king of bathroom laundry.
25. Burnt Alive And Blown Apart – The Final Destination
The most deserving death in Final Destination was Carters, the racist redneck who originally avoided death in the speedway accident.
There’s really is just something about seeing a racist catch on fire while being dragged away by his very own tow truck. Then, watching Carter’s head land on a lawn after his truck exploded truly was the pièce de résistance.
But even though the death was deserved, being dragged by a car and burning alive are two things I will be forever scared of.
24. Impaled By A Flagpole – Final Destination 3
The entire carnival scene from Final Destination 3 was just pure chaos.
With the horse running around the grounds and dragging Julie by the neck for what felt like forever, somehow Perry’s death seems anti-climatic.
While I’m not necessarily worried about horses breaking flagpoles, it feels like being impaled by anything should be a pretty genuine fear considering how many times Final Destination features it.
23. Hit By A Bus, Truck, Ambulance And Train – Final Destination 2, 3, 4 and The Final Destination
Getting run over by moving vehicles is a common problem in the Final Destination franchise — and it makes sense. It’s a common problem in real life too.
I mean, are you even normal if you don’t live in fear that you one day might be run over by a truck, train, bus or ambulance?
22. Decapitated By Flying Shrapnel – Final Destination
The mere concept of “flying shrapnel” is horrifying. I mean, you’ve watched those YouTube clips of random objects flying off cars and hitting windshields, right? Now imagine that with a giant piece of metal that just ripped off a car, which was hit by a train.
How can you NOT be scared of something like that? Truly terrifying.
21. Incinerated In Oxygen Explosion – Final Destination 2
Exploding gas tanks are a common trope in action flicks, and to be honest, they do look pretty cool.
So it was only natural that Clear Rivers would finally meet her end, after successfully cheating death for two whole films, by burning alive when a couple of tanks exploded — something that can very easily, and does, happen in real life.
20. Brain Shredded By A Engine Fan – Final Destination 3
Honestly, the only reason why this death ranks so high is because Frankie died as he was literally sitting in a drive thru line, which is where I too would happily meet my end.
Frankie died doing what he loved most: Fanging for a bit of fast food.
19. The Movie Theatre Explosion Premonition – The Final Destination
I’m sorry, but you’re a liar if you say you haven’t worried about your cinema catching fire at least once after watching The Final Destination.
While getting impaled by a metal pole probably isn’t super likely, cinemas catching on fire actually can be.
18. Head Crushed Between Weights – Final Destination 3
Thanks to both Lewis’ head-crushing death in the gym and the Ice Block Trap in Saw, I have the biggest fear of having my head squished between anything now.
17. Blown Apart By A BBQ – Final Destination 2
Brian’s death is probably one of the most realistic deaths in Final Destination.
Honestly, fire and propane are never a good mix, and yet we constantly use the two together to grill up anything in summer. What is, and I cannot stress this enough, wrong with us.
16. Impaled In The Eye By A Ladder – Final Destination 2
As I don’t live in New York, escape ladders aren’t really an issue I’ve ever come across.
But whenever I’m laying down and see something directly in my eyesight, I quickly move because I refuse to suffer the same eye-busting fate of Evan from Final Destination 2.
15. Impaled By A Kitchen Knife – Final Destination
Valerie’s death is funny because it was basically the result of pure clumsiness.
But honestly, pouring vodka all over her computer and forcing it to explode is a mood. The vodka bottle then catching fire and exploding is pretty damn iconic too, tbh.
In the end, Valerie’s demise was ultimately reaching for a towel that was under a knife block, which ended up falling into her chest. However, while clumsy, having a knife fall on me is something I can picture happening any night of the week.
14. Shot In The Head By Nail Gun – Final Destination 3
While I’ve literally never been around a nail gun in my life, Erin’s death is seared into my brain forever. There’s just something about watching a nail gun rapidly discharge that so horrifying, that I’m fine with never even finding out how the tool works.
13. Head Crushed By Statue – Final Destination 5
While Isaac didn’t technically die from acupuncture, it’s all everyone knows.
I can simply never fathom even going to an acupuncture session after the needles enter into Issac’s body after he fell to the floor. Honestly, I’d argue that the needles going into his body were easily worse than his watching head getting crushed by a Budai statue.
12. The Plane Crash Premonition – Final Destination
There isn’t a single person in the world who hasn’t thought their plane might crash when they feel a tiny bit of turbulence — and this feeling was only made 100% worse by the Final Destination plane premonition scene.
While plane crashes aren’t that common, one can only imagine that what goes on inside them is exactly how Final Destination portrayed it: Seats flinging out of the broken plane, flames engulfing everything, and just a whole lot of screaming.
11. Disembowelled By A Pool Drain – The Final Destination
Final Destination’s pool moment was just so fucking disgusting, but as someone who avoids those pool vacuums just because they sound scary, the scene was truly scarring.
Watching Hunt’s organs get sucked out of him via his asshole and then seeing his insides get shot out of the pool pump… I think that truly says everything you need to know.
10. The Rollercoaster Premonition – Final Destination 3
Look, rollercoaster accidents are very real things that we should all be scared of, with or without a movie.
I mean, people have literally died by falling out of restraints, so rollercoasters were already scary to begin with. But seeing the Final Destinations writers show every single terrible fate you can suffer on a ride of death really was next-level.
9. Impaled By Pipe – Final Destination 2
Getting impaled right through the skull is never a good thing, but Kat’s death was especially sad because she had actually survived the original car accident.
Despite a PVC pipe going through her headrest, it was actually the airbag that killed her when emergency crews used the jaws of life. After using the jaws too hard, the airbags set off and pushed Kat’s head back onto the pipe, which is exactly why you never have anything near your headrest or steering wheel, kids.
8. The Bridge Collapse Premonition – Final Destination 5
While the fateful bridge collapse from Final Destination 5 was just a premonition, every single death featured was horrific. From getting impaled on a yacht mast, to getting burnt by hot tar, to being sliced in half by a falling metal sheet, it was all a terrible way to go.
But even though these deaths were all a little far-fetched, you’d be lying if you said you’ve never thought about a bridge collapsing underneath you as you drove across it.
7. Falling Out Of A Window – Final Destination 5
Anything to do with eyes in horror movies is automatically fucked.
So seeing Olivia’s eyeball literally get burned by a laser as her head was stuck in place was the absolute worst. After her cup of water fell onto the power unit and the laser strength increased, Olivia was left blinded and burned in one eye and all over her hand.
Sadly for her, this wasn’t even what killed her. Instead, Olivia ended up tripping on the plastic eye of a stress teddy bear that she squeezed too hard, and fell four storeys to her death.
6. Fatally Contorted From Gymnastics – Final Destination 5
One of the most nail-biting deaths of the entire franchise was watching Candice Hooper’s body fold over like a lawn chair during her gymnastics routine.
Her death was so unexpected because we were made to think that stepping on a loose screw, getting electrocuted by the leaky AC, or the high beam bars coming loose mid-routine would be her demise. Instead, it was just some powder blowing into a fan that distracted her and made her lose grip.
Honestly, the whole spine crack and her body literally being backwards thing truly was a sight to see, but gymnastics is such a dangerous sport that it doesn’t feel that far from reality. And even though I would never have the skills to even find myself in this situation, this death makes me never want to even try to attempt any gymnastics. Ever. I mean, not even a forward roll.
5. Decapitation By Elevator – Final Destination 2
Getting trapped in an elevator is a very real fear. In fact, elevatophobia is an actual phobia. Plus the general idea of having your head chopped off is, as expected, also something that people tend to worry about.
So it’s only natural that a bunch of us think this scene is fucking terrifying. Starting with the weird old man with his box full of prosthetic limbs, which is never a good sign, Nora ends up freaking herself out and tries to run out of the elevator. As we all know the scene goes, she fails and her head gets trapped between doors before the pressure slices her head off.
4. Burnt Alive In A Tanning Bed – Final Destination 3
While I have never used nor ever plan to use a solarium, this death is truly horrifying.
I can’t think of anything worse that feeling yourself burn alive in a tanning bed and then being unable to get out of said bed because multiple things are holding the lid down. Not to mention it being so hot that your goggles end up melting into your eyeballs and the glass bulbs shattering all over you from the sheer heat.
Ashely and Ashlyn’s deaths truly was the greatest, unintentional anti-tanning campaign ever.
3. Crushed By A Pane Of Glass – Final Destination 2
Tim Carpenter’s death was scary because it was a real build up of events.
Final Destination has a knack for building tension that usually results in nothing. In Tim’s case, his dentist visit turned into hell after a plastic fish fell into his mouth rendering him unable to breathe.
But despite the dentist trip going wrong, it was actually a distracted crane driver who killed Tim when they accidentally dropped a giant glass pane right on top of him.
And this, kids, is why you ALWAYS look above you and never walk under crane loads.
2. Ground Up By An Escalator – The Final Destination
I’m sorry, but escalators are death traps.
In 2015, an escalator literally swallowed a mother whole in China, when a panel above the death machine fell loose. Prior to that, a toddler had her hand ground up as she was playing near an escalator.
But even before these events, I had an irrational fear that my shoelaces, followed by my entire body, would be swallowed up by the machine’s metal teeth if I wasn’t careful.
Perhaps it was The Final Destination’s impact or just my mum telling me to be careful around them, but watching my nightmare come true on screen with Lori’s body getting torn to shreds by the escalator was more horrifying than it needed to be.
1. The Log Truck Premonition – Final Destination 2
The general idea of a highway pile-up is already genuinely terrifying because we’re on the road so often, whether it’s as a passenger or driver.
But there is no Final Destination death scene more seared into my mind than the Route 23 freeway massacre all because of that damn log truck. In case you forgot, even though it’s impossible to, at the start of Final Destination 2, a chain that held a truck’s load of heavy logs snapped and the trunks came hurdling down the freeway causing a massive accident.
The worst part of it all, however, was watching a log slam right through a cop car windshield and right into the cops head. Truly gory stuff, but stuff that actually could happen in real life, which is why trucks and logs are CANCELLED for the foreseeable future.
Michelle Rennex is a senior writer at Junkee and you will find her never driving behind a truck holding logs ever. She tweets at @michellerennex.