The Final Destination series definitely gets credit for not having the usual killer. Instead of a slasher or a monster, the killer in this series is literally Death. Each movie presents you with a group of people that will be picked off by Death in a series of different ways. The basic premise for each movie is something horrible is about to happen when the group of people is able to avoid it due to a premonition that one of them has had. From there, Death starts to kill them off because they managed to escape their “destiny”.
(There are spoilers for the movie ahead!) Here is a quick rundown of the plot of Final Destination 2. We’re introduced to the cast of characters right away. We meet our main character, Kimberly. Kimberly is the one who has the premonition of the horrible pile-up that will kill them on a trip they’re setting off on. Once seeing the premonition and all of the people who will die, she gets out of the car she and her friends are in; effectively altering their destinies and the way all those people were supposed to die, though her three friends that had been in the car with her still die due to a truck crashing into the car. From there, each of the 8 other characters including Kimberly and a police officer named Thomas deal with the “freak accidents” that pick them all off. After the first freak accident that kills a man named Evan Lewis, Kimberly goes to see Clear Rivers. Clear is the only survivor of the first movie. She initially refuses to help Kimberly and Thomas but eventually she does show up to assist them. Afterwards, the people that cheated death are killed off in various ways, including Clear. By the end of the film, Thomas and Kimberly are the only two who managed to change the tides for their own lives.
As far as the overall plot of Final Destination 2 goes, it follows the same premise as the original. It’s all about characters who are trying to cheat Death and keep themselves alive. And almost no matter what they do, they will most likely die one way or another. Personally, I find Final Destination 2 to be kind of slow moving, though it does keep up suspense when you’re about to see a death scene with all of the little shots showing different ways that said deaths might happen. This particular trope is called “Chekhov’s Gun”: “so many things get set up that it gets so convoluted, and then subverted when something comes straight out of the blue.” This certainly keeps the characters on their toes while they try and figure out the signs of how they may die.
Though I don’t much care for the plot or how they chose to show character development in this movie, the movie is fun. The death scenes are rather unexpected and are the best parts of the whole film. Being a frequent horror movie viewer, I don’t find myself getting too squicked out at death scenes a lot of the time. The deaths in the Final Destination series manage to make me cringe. Here’s a short sum up of all the deaths scenes in this one, minus the victims in the pileup:
Evan Lewis – Killed by impalement
Alex Browning – Hit in head by brick
Tim Carpenter – Crushed by falling glass
Nora Carpenter – Head caught in elevator door, decapcitated
Kat Jennings – Hit with airbag, head was impaled by a pipe
Brian Gibbons – Blown to bits by an exploding grill
I think that Tim’s death is the most cringe worthy out of this entire list. The poor kid is crushed by a large pane of glass that falls from several stories above, and you see everything. As a whole, Final Destination 2 is worth a watch. The characters are shown throughout the film dealing with the imminent threat of death in their own ways while Kimberly, Clear and Thomas somewhat struggle to save all of them. I honestly don’t think there’s too much here plotwise, but the suspense lets the movie hold its own in the 5 film series. It’s most definitely a good popcorn movie!