Friday FaBOOolousness – The “Boo” Factor: When Death Decides

How many of us are paranoid about something?  We all are, right?

Do movies help or hurt with our paranoia?

I shudder to think about spiders (thanks, Arachnophobia!), scorpions (thanks, Clash of the Titans!), snakes (thanks, Snakes on a Plane!), sharks (thanks, Jaws!), and severe storms (thanks, Twister!).  I could keep going, but you catch my drift. 

But, does paranoia stop us from watching these scary movies?

Usually not!  Most of us have babysat and been alone in the dark of someone else’s living room and pictured Michael Myers, right?  Or gone to bed and prayed Freddy is really only a fictional character? Or maybe we’ve gone camping near water and crossed our fingers that Jason is tied tightly and cemented to the bottom of the lake, right? 

What do we do when Death decides it’s our time?

If the question alone isn’t enough, the Final Destination franchise doesn’t help the paranoia, at all! 

It all started in 2000 with the release of Final Destination and the curse of Flight 180.  Alex (Devon Sawa, Nikita), Clear (Ali Larter, Varsity Blues & Heroes), and their classmates gather at the airport for their senior trip.  But before take-off, Alex has a premonition that they’re all going to die.  Pandemonium breaks out and Alex and Clear, along with a few of their friends, are booted off the flight.  Guess what?  Alex’s vision saves their lives; the plane explodes and everyone left on board dies. 

Matters continue to worsen when Alex’s friends start to die in freak accidents – in the order of their original seat number on the doomed flight!  One accidentally hangs himself in the shower; another is splattered by a moving bus; one is stabbed by a kitchen knife (that’s right, no one was controlling the knife; it did it all on its own); one is decapitated at the scene of a train wreck; and one is pummeled by a neon sign. 

To add to the paranoia, in 2003, Final Destination 2 hit the movie theaters.  Kim (A.J. Cook from Criminal Minds) envisions a massive wreck on the highway she and her friends are about to pull onto so she stalls her vehicle.  Crisis averted, right? Nope! Not minutes later, an 18-wheeler causes an accident.  Kim, as well as a few of her friends, survive the crash, including Officer Burke (Matthew Landes, Special Unit 2) who would have died had it not been for Kim’s actions.       

Knowing the past mysterious deaths of the survivors of Flight 180, Kim and Officer Burke visit Clear in the mental hospital, but Clear only warns there is nothing they can do to escape Death.  And, guess what?  One by one the survivors of the wreck die in freakish accidents.  One can always count on at least one character death by impalement, decapitation, explosion, or by being crushed by some object.   One of the deaths that grabbed our attention in FD2 followed a car crash when an emergency worker accidentally set off the airbag trying to remove a survivor from the wreckage, knocking her head into one of the metal pipes thrown through her car from a truck involved in the accident — brutal!


The fun doesn’t stop there!  In 2006, Final Destination 3 introduced cinema-goers to a new crowd of unlucky teenagers.  Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Kevin (Ryan Merriman, Pretty Little Liars), and friends board the roller coaster at a local theme park.  What happens next? Wendy has a premonition; some get off the doomed ride; and, the rest fall to their death.

Kevin tells Wendy about the others and warns that everyone that managed to escape the roller coaster will start to die.  And?  They do!  The death scene in FD3 that still haunts me to this day is when two girls get trapped and roast to death inside a couple of tanning beds –talk about a case of vanity kills! 

The Final Destination was released in 2009, and thinking this was the last installment in the series, I was sure not to miss it!  Nick (Bobby Campo), his girlfriend Lori (Shantel VanSanten, One Tree Hill), and their best friends, Janet and Hunt, are attending a Nascar-like event where Nick envisions debris on the track causing a wreck, that leads to mass chaos, and eventually explosions killing nearly everyone in the crowd.   

Like clockwork, one by one the survivors die in even more crazy accidents.  The climatic tension surrounding the hot mom’s (Krista Allen) impending death was pretty great.  Will she get chopped up by the loose ceiling fan?  Will the hair dresser accidentally stab her with her scissors?  Or will she escape?  Well, we know that’s not going to happen.  Instead, she dies when a flying rock rips through her eye after being tossed by a lawn mower across the street.  I normally wouldn’t mention the almost situations, but TFD filmed one potential death scene that really freaked me out when Janet’s sun-roof opened and malfunctioned inside a drive-thru car wash.  She managed to escape, but the thought of what that would feel like is haunting.   

Everyone dies in The Final Destination, another reason why one might think this movie wrapped up the franchise.  But, guess what? 

Final Destination 5 in 3D hits theaters this August!

What do you think now: Do movies help or hurt with our paranoia?

Which of the Final Destination movies do you like best? Because of these movies, do you think twice now when flying? Do you fall farther behind or drive past the trucks hauling metal pipes? Do you check the tanning bed to make sure you can open it once inside? Do you watch a roller coaster and envision something horrible happening?  Will you take your car through a drive-thru car wash and stare at your sun-roof the entire time?  Do you avoid walking under large, dangling signs or cranes lifting large objects? What makes you paranoid?  Will you see Final Destination 5?  I’d love to hear from you!

29 Replies to “Friday FaBOOolousness – The “Boo” Factor: When Death Decides”

  1. Well I’m officially disturbed for the rest of the day. (I don’t watch horror movies.) The paranoia doesn’t extend to real life, but I’m worried I may dream about it now. And my dreams are pretty vivid! Actually, there is one thing I cannot watch in movies that does make me paranoid in real life and glad I live in California–volcanoes. They freak me out. When I visited Hawaii, my mom and I drove out to the lava flows, after dark! There are no streetlights out there! I was terrified we were going to lose the road and end up driving straight into one! Yeah, I don’t like volcanoes.

    I also can’t stand spiders. I cover my eyes. Although back when LoTR Return of the King was scheduled to come out, I started therapy so I could watch the movie (Shelob) without freaking out. I used Harry Potter 2 as “practice.” (shudder) I survived, I managed to watch those movies with no problem. And now I’m back to closing my eyes.

  2. Well, having a counseling degree, may I just say that the two treatments for phobias taught to us were habituation and flooding? The former is slowly getting close to your fear, and the latter is shoving it right in your face. (Think room full of tarantulas!) Presumably, they both work, but one is preferred.

    Maybe we like scary movies because they help us deal with fears we already have – for the most part. Like in Final Destination, what if there really is a “your number is up” day? Will it matter where I am or what I’m doing?

    As for myself, it was a little unnerving the first few times I took a shower after watching Psycho. You can almost hear that screeching music in your head and imagine the large knife just outside the shower curtain. Yikes!

  3. I LOVE scary movies, but I guess I could be slightly paranoid about some stuff (thinking strangers are serial killers and what not). Hahaha I like to think of it as hyper aware of my surroundings. I like the first Final Destination movie best. I thoroughly enjoyed your post.

    1. Hey, Liz! You know…your Dark Corners could be considered for a future Boo Factor. I’ve heard great things! I am so looking forward to reading it. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. I for one, refuse to do scary movies. My husband gets frustrated, so if there’s one he wants to see, he goes in one theatre and I go in another and watch the latest chick flick or comedy. I work in the court system. See enough of the “real horrors” that I’m not paying to watch fake ones. I have an active imagination, so for me, yes, seeing these types of movies would definitely encourage my paranoia (spiders?? Ick!)

    1. Hi, Joelene! I’m sorry to hear that….I hope my post didn’t haunt you. I’ll write some lighter posts on the Titter Factor. Despite your scary movie fears, thank you so much for stopping by!

  5. Holy C^@$! Final Destination 5?? I heard it hear first guys!

    I think my favorites are 2 and Final (I guess its 4 now). Some of the death scenes they come up with are awesome (I have a pretty twisted mind) and I can’t wait to see what they come up with 5. And no, it doesn’t make me think twice about ladders, electrial power cords, scaffles, flying etc.

    1. Hi, Claudia! Aren’t you so excited about the new one? And in 3-D! It’ll be a theater go for sure…, you don’t thik twice; but don’t you at least laugh when you walk past ladders, power cords, scaffles, etc? C’mon……thanks for stopping by!

  6. Ewww – this is why I detest scary movies. It’s just not fun at all for me – maybe I’m too sensitive or have an over-active imagination. The only kind I’ve ever liked were the campy ones what weren’t too prolonged-scary. The one I remember best in that category is “Blood Beach.” It was so bad it was funny. It was about this giant sand monster that lived below the beach and yanked people down under the sand and ate them, and the only evidence would be a stray body part here and there. It was a few years after “Jaws,” and the tagline was: “Now that it’s safe to go back in the water, you can’t get to it.”

    I kid you not.

    Thanks, Tiffany, for a great (though gory) post!

  7. The first two Final Destinations were the only ones I’ve seen and first one is the one I liked the best. It’s true I do hate to follow behind trucks with cars or pipes on them but not because of the movies although they don’t help. I’m just paranoid and like to worry.

  8. Movies absolutely make my paranoia a little worse. TV is even better. My mother got me hooked on watching all those ridiculous shows about real people who get abducted and murdered or just disappear entirely…. It makes me very paranoid to be single, in my twenties, living alone, and dating. Lol.

    1. Hi, Katie! Thank you so much for stopping by ~ I watch those television shows too….and usually not until it’s dark outside, the lights are out, and I’m in bed! Why do we do this to ourselves?

  9. The Final Destination series creeps me out every time. I’d say that movies help advance the paranoia we all carry as long as they hit on something we openly or subconsciously are already afraid of. For instance, Freddie never frightened me, but Arachnaphobia make my skin crawl.

    Great post Tiffany 🙂 *now to go hide under the covers*

  10. This was fun. I hadn’t seen anything past Final Destination 2. The first one was a hip, scary idea, but the second one didn’t entertain me the same way. I might need to catch up and go see the 3-D one in August? Right?

    Paranoia…I dunno. I do believe we each have an…expiration date. Once your numbers come up, you’re done. I’m not worried about. I live each day like it’s the last one and just love it for what it is.

    However the old Carol Kane version of When a Stranger Calls scared the fire out of me. I can still wig out pretty easily when I’m alone. Vacancy made me take a new view of cheap motel rooms. I’m always looking around, trying to see a hidden camera.

    Thanks for this post. It was fun. 😀

    1. Catie! How was vacation? Yes, the new Final Destination comes out this August – along with the new Fright Night. I’ll do a Boo Factor on FN in August….I’m very excited. You are not alone on Vacancy – I can always feel eyes on me in hotel rooms now – cheap or expensive. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I don’t know the answer to your question, but here’s an interesting thing. My Middle Weasel is ten, and she actively seeks out books from teh library that freak her out. Last month it was “true” ghost stories, last week she brought home the graphic novel of “Dracula”…. She’s been too scared to go into the basement on her own, too scared to go upstairs and shower after six pm. These terrors seem to come and go with her, but they’re all a result of her conscious choice to get these books from the library. Like choosing to watch Arachnophobia when you hate spiders, I guess.

  12. No scary movies for me. Period. I don’t do horror movies, books, comic books or even posters. I am afraid of things that go bump in the night. And have an imagination that is way too overactive! 😀

  13. I love scary movies, and the Final Destination franchise is pretty good, though a little played out! Won’t stop me from watching the fifth one though!

    A x

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