Final Destination 3 (2006)

I realize that I watch a lot of movies. However, this point was hammered home when I realized that I saw three movies where people were killed by a tanning bed in one week. For anyone else, they’d see this as a moment to step back. Not me. I glared into the gaping maw of early 2000’s teen-friendly horror sequels and looked back before diving in, sternly speaking right to the camera, stating “I’ll see you in Hell.”

Directed by the returning James Wong (series creator Jeffrey Reddick did not come back), this film starts with a rollercoaster accident scene that will, much like flying in the first movie and driving in the second, make you never want to go to a theme park again.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as Wendy Christensen, whose premonition of the disaster keeps her friends from getting on the coaster, which leads to…look, if you’ve seen any of these movies, you understand how they work. You show up for the insane death sequences and wait for Tony Todd to show up and remind you exactly how much you love him. This time, all you get is his voice as the Devil before a ride and as the announcer on the subway.

Winstead teamed up again with Ryan Merriman, who she also appeared in The Ring Two as the teens that try — as always, in vain — to rescue the people that Death is killing. The funny thing is, this movie makes it obvious that you shouldn’t fight fate, because then you end up baked to a crisp while just trying to get a good summer glow on.

My DVD of this movie also features a Choose Their Fate option, which gives you some control over the movie, mainly changing some of the death scenes. My favorite part is that if you decide to keep the characters from even boarding the roller coaster, the movie goes directly to the credits. Like I always say, when people ask, “Why do people do such dumb things in horror movies?” I say, “Well, we wouldn’t have this movie otherwise.”

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