Like it or not, the Final Destination series is alive and kicking for the foreseeable future. Originally planned for conclusion with the fourth film, a box-office take of $186 million worldwide ensured there were plenty more creative, grizzly deaths to come. As expected, we have this past weekend's Final Destination 5. Opening to a solid $18.4 million, we think death will be keeping plenty busy.
Rumors of Final Destination 6 and 7 shooting back-to-back are already swirling and, if they're smart, producer Craig Perry and Warner Bros./New Line will be making no similar claims of a conclusion until they've milked this cash cow of death for all she's worth.
Today we've decided to throw our creative hats into the ring and offer up some suggestions for the trademark big opening sequences of the next five films. To recap, so far we've had a plane crash, a massive highway pile up, a roller coaster malfunction, the melee of a Nascar-like car race accident and, in the latest, an epic bridge disaster. What's next? Here are our suggestions.
Part 6: The Sky Dive Parachute Mishap
A group of friends are set to go on a big sky diving expedition. They've completed the requisite eight-hour course so that they can do their first dive solo. They are part of a large group, say 20 people, some experienced and some fellow newbies. They're pumped and ready to go, shotgunning Red Bull, listening to Interpol and hyping one another up for the adrenaline rush to come. And then, you guessed it, one member of the group who we'll call Chad (probably a pretty good-looking, charming guy) gets a premonition. There's something wrong with the parachutes. They're all in for an accelerated meeting with Mother Earth below. Chad comes out of the premonition and tries to convince his girlfriend Becky and other pals not to jump. Becky and another friend reluctantly agree. The rest of the group razz Chad, calling him a chicken before plummeting to their death. A young couple listening to the conversation also decide to opt out. 16 people die when their parachutes don't open. Five survivors... for now.
Part 7: Don't Play with Fireworks
You know those massive firework stores on the border between any state that has outlawed fireworks and a state that hasn't? If not, trust me, they're all over the country, thriving (surprise, surprise) in the Southeast where they are frequented by old pickup trucks sporting rebel flags and gun racks. On July 4th, a group of seven friends in two cars head to the nearby border town to stock up for the big, booze-soaked July 4th celebration weekend ahead. There'll be girls in bikinis, hot dogs on the grill, and enough sparkly firepower to outfit a small army. The problem is, besides dumb college kids, these stores are also frequented by even dumber rednecks. The kind who think playing with lit matches in a store filled with explosives is, you know, funny. A fetching brunette named Stephanie gets a bad feeling and has the inevitable premonition. 23 people across this fireworks megastore, from customers to cashiers and, ultimately, the dumb-a#@ rednecks that started the whole thing, meet their doom in a colorful array of patriotic fire play before the whole store burns to the ground. She's attractive enough to convince the guy who likes her and four others to wait outside. Their friends brush them off and head inside while a reluctant Stephanie and co. grab a Tastee Freeze across the street. Then Kaboom! A series of small explosions. They race towards their friends, but it's too late. A few more big booms and the place goes up in a hail of glory. A few flaming survivors race out and stop, drop and roll. They'll make it to the hospital and one will survive. Stephanie and her friends have a long road ahead after the funeral.
Part 8: Public Pool Mass Electrocution
Public pools are a regular breeding ground for filth, disease and, of course, uncomfortable moments spent passing through one of those inexplicable warm patches in the water. The good thing about this one is there are lots of reasons our protagonist, Skip, can give in order to convince his friends to hang back. The problem is, he's also kind of a dweeb. I mean, he wears glasses and dresses badly (under all that he's pretty much a male model). Just when he's about to do a cannonball, he has a flash. On a playful summer day at the pool undistinguishable from a hundred others, families, teens and a few seniors of a local suburban community frolic in the neighborhood pool. But when a drunk driver swerves into an oncoming bus on the street outside, the bus must swerve to the side to avert disaster. Or so the bus driver thought. He slams into a power line which starts a domino effect that drops two more. Timber! Two of the power lines drop right into the pool. The poles take out five or six swimmers and the rest meet a few million volts of electrical current spread throughout the contaminated chlorine. It's the old toaster in the bath tub gag on a massive scale. Skip tries to get everyone out of the pool, but the lifeguard calls security and has Skip escorted out. Three friends join Skip while the rest will mock him eternally... which is about five minutes. Just as security has escorted Skip out, we hear the crash, the creak of poles dropping and, of course, the horrific screams. The security officer forgets Skip and races back inside. Skip and co. follow to witness the tail end of the electrical slaughterhouse. This is one heck of a visual - 29 swimmers doing the dead man's float in an epic shot from above. Our four survivors (for now) look on in horror as Final Destination 8 credit slaps onto the screen and lousy rock music blares.
Part 9: Mudslide on a Hike
A group of longtime friends are meeting up for an epic hike to the top of a mountain in the far reaches of Southern California. The trip was almost called off due to some bad weather reports, but the latest update says all should be clear until morning. If they get going now, they should be A-okay to arrive at the campsite by late afternoon and set up before the rain. But they should know you can never trust a weatherman. Especially in Southern California. Those guys are chosen for looks over skills anyway. About midway up the hill, the group stops for a water break. Tyler rests on the ground and looks up through the trees to the sky above. Flash! A premonition of a hail of thunder bringing a sudden torrential downpour. Mudslide. The whole group is wiped out in a matter of minutes. Tyler leaps to his feet and realizes it didn't really happen. It was all in his head. He tells the others and they laugh. "What if it meant something?" he asks. "What if that was a warning?" As usual, no one takes him seriously, but Tyler can't get the vision out of his mind. He tells them he's turning back. Three others join him reluctantly while the other eight continue up the mountain. Once at the bottom, the group that followed Tyler give him the evil eye. Nothing has happened. They are missing the big trip for nothing. Bang! A burst of thunder. Then another. Rain pours down. They race into his car and start trying to call their friends above. No answer. They call the authorities, who warn them of mudslides. As the group narrowly escape being swept away in their car, they witness the dead bodies of their friends float by them in the coursing mud.
Part 10: Animal Trampling at Circus During Earthquake
Good old Barnum and Bailey. Nothing safer or more family-friendly than the familiar confines of the local multipurpose arena and a three-ring circus. But... what happens if the animals get spooked? And what happens if they keep getting spooked and then spooked a little more. An earthquake with an 8.7 magnitude and seven or eight aftershocks ought to just about do the trick. This one has potential for bloodshed on a massive scale. Elephants, lions, tigers, chimpanzees going ballistic and stomping, swinging and flailing right into the audience. Better than 3D, right? For a somewhat controversial change of pace, Final Destination 10 will feature a 12 year-old protagonist named Billy. He is excited to see the show right up until the point when he dozes off during the opening clown act. Billy was always more of a lion-and-tiger kind of kid. He sees everything. The earthquake, the animals losing it – trampling, mauling, you get the idea. Billy tells his parents what he saw. Dad tells him to "man up, it was just a bad dream." But mom decides to take Billy outside to get a soda. Dad stays inside with sister Jenny. A few kids seated near the family are similarly spooked by the details of Billy's tale and go outside as well. Just as Billy tells his mom he doesn't want the soda, the place starts to shake. Billy grabs his mom's hand and tries to convince her to go outside. What about Dad and Jenny? "It's too late for them?" says the creepy kid with telepathic abilities. Mom fights back tears and follows Billy's lead. The family from inside follow. Hundreds die in the history-making circus disaster. The survivors don't know it yet, but they're still on the calendar for a date with death.