“You are obsessed with Final Destination,” my boyfriend told me the other day, as I was talking on the phone in my car, describing the freakish accident I totally could have just gotten into, in my mind.
“Of course I am.”
“But why? They’re not even good movies.”
“Well .. the first one is. No, you’re right.”
“Then why do you bring those movies up at least once a week?”
I know I am not the only girl obsessed with the Final Destination Series. They’re movies that we all go to, hunched together, secret wine in hand, because we can’t not go to those movies. Watching them is like letting out a strange tick of mortality and fear and worry and anxiety that lives quietly and guiltily in all of us.
The first time I saw Final Destination it made me think about parallel universes. What if there was a universe, just like they say in the movie, where dead people are still alive, narrowly missing their gory and freakish deaths? What if there are universes where I am dead because a thumb piano gruesomely broke or a chain reaction in the cereal aisle left me trampled?
I made the mistake of watching the second movie while on a road trip. After watching a car pileup happen after a truck carrying wood let its tree trunks loose, my friend and I became paranoid that the exact same thing was about to happen to us. I still can’t drive behind trucks carrying anything that looks like it might come loose.
Women are worriers. Whether it’s a mothering instinct or the fact that we are small and more vulnerable, we’re wired to constantly examine our surroundings for possible dangerous scenarios. The Final Destination series has a unique ability to tap directly into our most troubling anxieties in a way that we can never forget.
When we reference these movies, it’s not cuz we think they’re great – it’s cuz they make us grateful every time we don’t appear to be in the path of even miniscule danger. They unlock our anxiety in ways that help us encounter it face to face, so that we can start to reckon with it. We know they suck, but we just can’t not see them.
P.S. For anyone who agrees with this essay, I very much recommend that you never see Frozen.