The Real Villain In Final Destination Isn’t Who You Think
Horror fans and, more specifically, fans of the “Final Destination” franchise would be forgiven for scratching their heads if they were asked to identify the true villain of the movie. For many, the immediate question of whether multiple movies about people meet unbelievably grisly ends might be more, “Why is this happening?” rather than “Who is responsible for this?” Do the “Final Destination” movies really have a villain?
Technically, the answer is both yes and no. Generally speaking, the “villain” in the “Final Destination” franchise is not a singular killer, like Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger; it is quite literally Death itself. Death is an unseen force in the world of “Final Destination,” never interacting directly with the characters but simply guiding them off this mortal coil like the puppeteer of some gruesome master plan. Each character in the film series has escaped death, and so, they are fated to meet a horrific death when they least expect it, no matter how they try to outsmart or outrun this unseen elemental entity.
So, the “villain” in this franchise is more a force of destiny than it is a true antagonist. However, there is one physical character who fits the mold of a real villain much more than this abstract representation of Death.
The coroner in the Final Destination franchise is highly suspect
William Bludworth is introduced in the very first film in the franchise, 2000’s “Final Destination.” Played by horror icon Tony Todd, Bludworth is a mysterious character from the start. As a coroner and the owner of Bludworth Funeral Homes, he is easily the most knowledgeable in the whole series when it comes to the forces and powers that death can wield.
In “Final Destination,” Bludworth shares the single most powerful rule about death with protagonists Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) and Clear Rivers (Ally Larter). The coroner explains that those who cheat their end will be hunted down by the unseen force until it gets its way. Bludworth returns in the second film to explain how only new life can defeat Death completely. However, it’s his appearance in “Final Destination 5” that throws his true intentions into question. In the 2011 film, Bludworth’s advice is very different. He offers an alternative to the new life theory to a group of survivors, explaining that the only way for the characters to keep on living is to take the lives of others. In doing so, every person they kill adds that person’s lifespan onto their own.
So why is there such inconsistency in Bludworth’s advice? He neglected to tell any of the survivors in the first movie how to escape death. Then, his advice in “Final Destination 5” seems to serve Death itself by leading many of the characters to consider (and in some cases, commit) murder as a way out of their horrifying circumstances. Bludworth’s vague, dangerous guidance makes it seem that he is not as trustworthy as appears. His culpability in the survivors’ mistakes and their deaths implies he is perhaps the true villain in the “Final Destination” series.