You'll Never Escape The Scariest Scene In Final Destination 2

(Welcome to Scariest Scene Ever, a column dedicated to the most pulse-pounding moments in horror with your tour guides, horror experts Matt Donato and Ariel Fisher. In this edition: Matt recalls the scariest scene in any "Final Destination," and Ariel reluctantly agrees ... sort of.)

I cast no shade by chasing Ariel's "Final Destination 3" pick with the title's elder sibling. The franchise isn't known for haunting scares — audiences buy tickets to gawk at sensational deaths. But that doesn't mean each movie is without traumatic moments, typically the opening disaster that each central character witnesses as a premonition. The original has a plane crash, the third a roller coaster breakdown, the fourth a race track collapse, the fifth a suspension bridge collapse ... and then there's "Final Destination 2."

The O.G. sequel stands as my favorite entry into the fatality-forward franchise. It's not only because of the calamitous highway to hell. My favorite death of the entire franchise is when Timmy Carpenter gets squashed pancake-thin by a windowpane, which almost stole this edition of Scariest Scene Ever. I only backpedaled because the smusher death is grotesque, but the opening haunts us all whenever we see a logging truck while behind the wheel. It's an impossible danger to wipe from our brains. "Final Destination 2" has ruined turnpikes and automobiles for so many horror fans, which is a fact I couldn't ignore.

The Setup

According to the "Final Destination" franchise, you can't cheat death. The Grim Reaper has a list, and he's a stickler when it comes to rules. Pesky individuals start every movie by saving friends and strangers from horrible ends thanks to newfound intuition, which pisses off Earth's soul collector. One by one, the universe rights course as those who think they've escaped an ugly demise find themselves the victims of elaborate, deadly coincidences — some worse than the termination they once avoided.

The Story So Far

One year after the tragic explosion of Flight 180 and the horrific events that ensued, the phenomenon strikes again. Kimberly Coleman (A. J. Cook) is a college student driving down Route 23 to Daytona Beach for spring break shenanigans with three friends. There's nothing particularly unsettling as travelers careen down the roadway. It's just another road trip like countless other vacations, no worries in sight — until Kimberly has a horrific premonition that scatters bodies all over the roadway.

So it begins ... again.

The Scene

It starts when a logging truck's fastening chain snaps and tree trunks roll into oncoming traffic. The first one smashes through Officer Burke's (Michael Landes) windshield and punches a bloody mist through shattered rear window glass. It's the beginning of a chain reaction that involves multiple vehicles, explosions, and metallic carnage.

High school teacher Eugene Dix (T. C. Carson) perishes next; a motorcyclist hurled from his two-wheeler. Eugene skids along the tarred surface as his bike follows behind until slamming into one of the logs. Eugene's bike projectiles into his torso, crushing the owner upon impact.

After cutting the wheel too tight, stoner Rory Peters (Jonathan Cherry) flips his unimpressive sedan. The car becomes a tumbler that barrel rolls over and over. Somehow the hunk of junk lands upright with Rory still conscious — but his fuzzy dice decoration only brings so much luck. A garbage truck plows through Rory's whip, breaking the body in half with a fiery blast.

Businesswoman Kat Jennings (Keegan Connor Tracy) collides with a log head-on, flipping her SUV on its back. Mother and son combo Nora (Lynda Boyd) and Tim Carpenter (James Kirk) try to avoid adding to the ongoing pileup but fail miserably. A water bottle gets jammed under Nora's brake pedal, which prevents her from slowing down. Nora cruises right into Kat's overturned tomb, and both vehicles go up in flames, roasting whoever's inside.

Kimberly tries to avoid an oncoming log moving like it was tossed by Donkey Kong, but it clips her front tire. Like Rory's shitbox, Kimberly's red mega-SUV starts overturning down Route 23. Lottery winner Evan Lewis (David Paetkau) wedges his hot rod under the bed of the instigating logging truck, which has now jackknifed to a halt. A plume of fire bursts upward, which isn't enough to kill Evan. That's the job of the so-called "Truck From Hell," which steamrolls through Evan's scrap metal, its trajectory set on turning everyone inside Kimberly's wrecked vehicle into roadkill right before she snaps back to reality.

The Impact (Ariel's Take)

The notion that there can only be one scariest scene in a movie or a franchise isn't something that Matt and I subscribe to, and for good reason. Different things scare different people and sometimes there's more than one gem to choose from. That and neither of us want to pick between our favorites. So I'm thrilled Matt picked this absolute legend.

If you've ever driven a car on the highway or been a passenger in one, you've likely passed or driven behind a logging truck. They seem sturdy enough, sure. Their strong chains and bars keeping everything nice and properly contained, safely tucked away for transport. And yet, I'm willing to bet that we've all — every single one of us — had the flash of fear that something could slip, and a log could fly off the back seriously altering your plans for, you know, life.

"Final Destination 2" capitalized on that very rational and extremely plausible fear and forever made us terrified to come anywhere near these f***ers on the highway.

Don't know about you, but any time I see a logging truck, I immediately pass it or encourage whoever's driving to get the hell in front of it, pronto. Without fail. Is this a touch excessive? Maybe a bit illogical? No, no it is not.

While the tanning beds from last week's edition of Scariest Scene Ever may be one of the most gruesome kills in the franchise, this is without question the most terrifying of the lot. Of all of the premonition kills, the big ones where everyone bites it, the logging truck from "Final Destination 2" is the most likely to happen. Rollercoasters break down all the time, sure, but how often do people die on them? There are accidents at race tracks all the time, but not to that extent and with that much carnage. Planes don't even crash that often let alone explode on take-off. And massive bridges do not collapse as often as "Final Destination 5" would have us believe.

Logging trucks, however, are on highways all the time, and car accidents, especially highway pile-ups, are not as rare as we'd like. There's an actual chance that this could happen, and that's what makes it so terrifying.

You'll never look at logging trucks the same way again.