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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

August 21, 2009 at 10:24 AM

When the “Final Destination” isn’t final

I love to imagine how Hollywood movies get named. Perhaps, for a horror movie opening next Friday — the fourth in a seemingly endless franchise– the process went like this:
Setting: an elegant conference room on a studio lot
Cast: a number of well-paid people in suits. The remnants of coffee, croissants and other upscale snacks litter the table.

Suit #1: Can’t we just call it ‘Final Destination 4’? We’ve been sitting here for two hours.
Suit #2: But I still like ‘Final Destination: Death Trap’.
Suit #1: I’ve explained this a hundred times. If the title is ‘Final Destination,’ then the death trap thing is implied. You know, subtly. The final destination is, like, death. People are going to die in this movie. It’s like a code.
Suit #3 (a more junior person, under her breath): Why did we use the word ‘final’ if the movie was going to keep coming back? It seems unfair.
Suit #1: It doesn’t matter what we call it. Let’s just call it “The Final Destination” and get out of here.
Suit #2: But that’s what we called the first one.
Suit #1: No, that was “Final Destination” without the “the.” Totally different.
Suit #2: Oh, OK. I get it. Subtle.
Suit #3: But now what will we call the sequel?
Everyone glares at her, annoyed.
Suit #3, muttering: Those ‘Saw’ people had the right idea.

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