Never Trust a Horror Franchise When it Tells You it's Ending

Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 12 2011 5:58 PM

Never Trust a Horror Franchise When it Tells You it's Ending

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Emma Bell as Molly in New Line Cinema's "Final Destination 5," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Doane Gregory.

Final Destination 5 opens today and seems poised to do very well at the box office. And yet, for a while it didn’t seem like we’d ever see the fifth chapter of the popular “people cheat Death, Death kills them anyhow” franchise. The filmmakers were so adamant back in 2009 that No. 4 was going to be the final destination for Final Destination, they used a definite article in the title: It was to be The Final Destination.

But as we know, horror franchises operate by very strict, unspoken rules, and their naming conventions are no exception.  When a horror series claims that the current film really truly is the very last one, you should never, ever trust it. To wit:

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Released in 1991. Three more Nightmare on Elm Street movies followed.

Released in 1994. Five more movies about puppets that come to life and occasionally kill people followed.

Released in 1981. Two TV movies about Satanic offspring and a feature film remake followed.

Released in 1984; eight more films followed, including 1993’s equally mendacious Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (installment No. 9 out of 12).

Released in 2010. Though the 7th film was billed as the final-final Saw film, series creators James Wan and Leigh Wannell have said, “since it's such a huge, well-known franchise, it's gonna come back at some point."

Horror series: Like Death itself, they always come back for you in the end.

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