Final Destination (2000)
Alex Browning had a vision that his plane would crash, and it did. He and five other students survived. The twist in all this is that Death is pissed about their survival, and would proceed to throw its tantrum like a whiny little kid.
I remember when I first saw this film and its chilling premonition sequence. The first time (and even a few times after) I saw it, it was one of the most horrifying scenes I ever saw. The built-up of that opening scene was perfect, the way the various omens and signs created the atmosphere that something is terribly wrong. In spite of any pacing issues it might have later, the opening alone was very well-crafted. It's ironic that one of our biggest fears would also be our biggest dream - flight. I've always been afraid of flying even before I watched this film, and seeing it certainly didn't help. I still haven't flew.
Alongside Scream, Final Destination was a horror film of my generation, so that might attribute to why I felt like it was underrated. In spite of the terrible sequels, I felt like the first one was often overlooked or forgotten in due to the whole franchise becoming a joke. It was a more serious fare compared to the rest, which became parodies of themselves like many horror sequels. I also prefer its theme music over the rock/metal version from the fourth one, which was just plain obnoxious IMO.
Due to the fact that the killer is a supernatural entity that's practically godlike, it leaves for a lot of creativity in the manners of execution. Lewton's death was agreed by consensus to be a rather comedic scene because of how it happens: escalation. Just when you think one object would deal the fatal blow to put her to rest, it just keeps building up into ridiculous levels that puts Kevin McCallister to shame. And it's thrilling the first time you watch it to figure out how they're going to beat Death again like a puzzle. I do feel that the full potential of this wasn't fully utilized though (till the second film which some found to be better than the first), as it could have escalated into much more complex designs of killing.
Another thing worth noting is that male heroes are not common in horror films. Usually, it's the female that beats the killer after going through hell. Even with the '90s slasher flicks, it's still a female portrayed as the tough survivor beating all odds, so it's kinda refreshing to see a male protagonist for a change, one that shows a healthy balance of fear, panic, and at times, bravery.
It's a shame that the franchise ended up the way it did, and even with this first film's ending, I wasn't too happy about how Death couldn't be beaten at all. But I suppose that's the whole point of it, the message. You can't escape Death no matter what. It's a morbid message, but perhaps also a pragmatic one worth telling just this one time, not worth its rehash throughout the franchise.