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How Final Destination Was Originally Even More Disturbing

After lying dormant since 2011, the Final Destination franchise was brought back to life in 2019 when it was announced that a new film is in development. While we wait to see what kind of absurd death traps will befall the next film's unlucky characters, we have some new behind-the-scenes info about the film series, which turned 20 years old in 2020.

The core concept of the franchise is especially gruesome, not just because of the horrifying deaths meted out to its characters, but also because of the fact that the victims are doomed to their fates. Unlike most other slasher films, where the villains may have the upper hand but are ultimately able to be defeated, there is no stopping death.

And yet, as revealed in an oral history of the film series in Consequence of Sound, the original concept for the first film was somehow more twisted and disturbing than the one we got. Read on with caution if you're wondering how the original story could be more horrifying than, well, anything we actually saw in the Final Destination franchise.

Death found its victims in a different way in the original Final Destination script

In telling the story of how Final Destination went from script to blockbuster horror film, screenwriter Jeffery Reddick revealed the original vision for the core conceit of the movie. Instead of being killed by a series of Rube Goldberg style death traps, the survivors of flight 180 would be stalked by the visions of their dead friends and relatives until they took their own lives. "In my original version, since death had messed up the first time, it couldn't just kill the people. It basically exploited their biggest fears and drove them to suicide," Reddick described.

He also gave details on characters who ended up on the, ahem, cutting room floor: "I had written a sister who stayed on the plane and a sister who got off the plane... The sister who died in the plane crash was the straight A student. The other was the one always getting into trouble," Reddick explained. "Her sister started haunting her, and so she started dressing like her sister and acting like her sister. When she couldn't be her sister, she set herself on fire."

While this version seems to be attempting to draw a clearer link between the miraculous survivors of the deadly plane crash and their own survivor's guilt, it's probably for the best that this concept of the story didn't make it past the script stage. Even for a Final Destination film, having a movie where every main character kills themselves is a bit extreme, and it would have removed the darkly comic moments that turned the otherwise grisly film into a cult classic.