As a franchise, I feel tht it did stay pretty strong throughout. Yes, it had a few questionable entries, but it didn't decline as steadily or steeply as Scream. The first FD is brilliant. It's the right combo of campy and scary. It's dark and twisted, but a lil tongue-in-cheek and entertainly over the top. The second film continued that grave and austere vibe. The third and fourth did go a bit downhill, too much on the camp and too ridiculous, even for its predecessors. But then the fifth one, just when all hope had been lost, was incredible. It hit the balance even better. Was just as dark as the first two, but just as fun as the last two. That was all well and good, but the twist at the end. Whoa. Beyond perfection. Did not see it coming, and it was a great way to tie everything in. That restored my faith, and that's why Final Destination (mostly the first one, but as a representation of all of them) is on my list.
Two things that really stick out to me about these films. One is that the death scenes are really creative. In the early movies they're incredibly creepy and suspenseful. By the later ones, they're more ridiculous, but that's the charm. Half of the fun in watching is seeing how they're gonna die, and the build up gets milked like crazy. However, what really strikes me most about these movies is that the concept scares the \m/ outta me.
I don't typically get scared with horror movies, usually because I can see a way out. Slasher movie? Um, run from the guy with the knife, and not to the upstairs bathroom. Shark in the water? Stay outta the water. Supernatural being haunting your house? Right. But here, you're running from death itself. When it's your turn, there is no escape. Even if you're lucky enough to get skipped, it comes back around. Sometimes our victims think they've found a loophole, but by the end (or the next movie) they're still wiped out.
The first time I ever saw this movie, it was about two weeks before getting on a plane to fly aross the country for a class trip. I obsessively checked the latch on my tray table to make sure it didn't break off. To this day, I still check it as soon as I sit down. God only knows what I'd do if it ever broke on me. On that same trip, after being edgy about the plane ride, the toilet in one of our hotel rooms overflowed. The water appeared to chase us around the bathroom.
I love the original cast so much too. Devon Sawa had been one of my biggest crushes in junior high,a nd this was one of the first times I saw him all growed up. I still adore the boy. He's why I started watching Nikita. This was also during the Dawson's Creek heyday, so it was a big deal seeing Kerr Smith. Roswell was also just starting up, so Brendan Fehr had a small role. You also got Seann William Scott before he was too typecast as Stiffler. And look, a pre-Heroes, pre-blonde Ali Larter!
Say what you will about these films being too silly or cheesey. That's what I love about them.