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Here's How You Can Watch Every Movie In The Final Destination Series

The Final Destination series is, at once, about as straightforward and about as complex as horror gets. Straightforward, because they don't feature any masked slasher with some kind of tragic past stalking hapless teens — the film's "villain," as it were, is Death itself, which always needs to find a way to even the score after each movie's main cast manages to avoid some bizarre, tragic accident. Complex, because the ways in which Death does so are among some of the most unique, inventive kills in the horror genre — often-ingenious, Rube Goldberg-esque set pieces in which victim after victim learns the hard way that there's no cheating the Grim Reaper..

The first movie, released in 2000, established the formula with ruthless efficiency. In it, high school student Alex (Devon Sawa, Nikita) is about to board a plane with his classmates for a trip to Paris. But after he has a startling vision in which the plane explodes upon takeoff, he panics. As a result, a handful of students including he, his rival Carter (Kerr Smith, Riverdale), Carter's girlfriend Terry (Amanda Detmer, Empire), their teacher Valerie (Kristen Cloke, Lady Bird), and loner Clear (Ali Larter, Varsity Blues) are removed from the plane — which promptly explodes just as Alex predicted, killing everyone aboard.

Some time later, one of the survivors "accidentally" manages to hang himself in the shower — and the mortician attending his case, Mr. Bludworth (the great Tony Todd, from Candyman), ominously informs Alex and Clear that Death has a plan, and when that plan is interrupted, it's only temporary. Soon enough, all of the survivors begin meeting their ends in increasingly improbable ways — and it's up to the trio of Alex, Clear, and Carter to try to figure out a way to avoid the inevitable.

The first four Final Destination movies are only available on digital rental platforms

Final Destination was a hit with horror fans and a box office success, and it led to four sequels: 2003's Final Destination 2, 2006's Final Destination 3, 2009's The Final Destination, and 2011's Final Destination 5. Each sequel features previously established characters and references the events of the previous movies, but if you'd like to run the series, you'll have to pony up some rental fees. As of this writing, the first four flicks are only available for rent or purchase on non-subscription digital platforms.

In Final Destination 2, a group of college students on their way out of town for spring break avoid a deadly pileup on the highway thanks to another mysterious premonition, this time by the shy and withdrawn Kimberly (A.J. Cook, Criminal Minds). Learning of the events of the previous movie, she tracks down Clear in an effort to prevent all of her friends from meeting their grisly ends.

The third flick's events closely follow the formula, kicking off at a theme park where high schooler Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, in her first lead role) has one of those freaky visions in which a roller coaster derailment has tragic consequences. Wendy panics, and her friends all get kicked off the ride — and into a nightmare with a ticking clock, as Wendy and her friend Kevin (Ryan Merriman, Pretty Little Liars) attempt to dodge the Reaper.

Briefly dropping the numbering convention, The Final Destination sees college guy Nick (Bobby Campo, Scream: The TV Series) predicting a gnarly crash at a racetrack, temporarily saving a bunch of his buddies from disaster. With all of these sequels, though, the predictable plots are secondary to the crazily creative kills, which are uniformly worth the price of admission. 

As for that price: it's $2.99 on Amazon Prime Video for every installment except the second, which has a slightly steeper rental fee of $3.99.

HBO Max has Final Destination 5

For as much as the Final Destination flicks satisfied their audiences, none of them were exactly critical darlings ... with the possible exception of Final Destination 5, the only entry to actually hold a Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This is largely thanks to the skillful direction of Steven Quale, who worked as an assistant director on James Cameron's world-conquering hits Titanic and Avatar, and whose knack for subverting audience expectations resulted in a fresh spin on the franchise's signature kills.

This time around, a young go-getter named Sam (Nicholas D'Agosto, who would go on to play Harvey Dent in the hit series Gotham) is on the way to a corporate retreat with some coworkers when he has a vision of a disastrous bridge collapse. The flick introduces the idea that survivors can claim extended lifespans by killing someone who wasn't fated to die in the accident that caused their predicament — but its sneaky surprise ending reveals that, no matter how hard those survivors might try, their fate can only ever be delayed, and never truly avoided.

At the moment, Final Destination 5 is the only film of the series to have a home on a subscription-based streaming service: HBO Max, with its library that just seems to get deeper every day. It's worth mentioning, though, that every flick in the series was co-produced by Warner Bros., the parent company of HBO — so it stands to reason that at some point, the first four movies will land on the streamer, as well.