So, of course we know that this series has gone on for a while. Likely, it's finally over, since '5' was released back in 2011. It, much like 'Saw' or 'Paranormal Activity', became something audiences kinda got tired of. There's only so many ways you can do it. That said, I highly recommend the bookends of the series, 'Final Destination' and 'Final Destination 5'.
The first movie features a group of high school students, getting ready to go on a trip overseas to Paris, France. Before the plane takes off, Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) has a precognitive dream, showing the plane that they're on exploding, killing everyone on board. He causes a scene, is dragged off the plane with a select few others, and sure enough, they witness the plane explode from the ground.
As the movie goes on, we basically discover that death isn't something that can be cheated, and one by one, in order, these guys get theirs in different and creative ways. All the while, Alex and his new friend Clear Rivers (Ali Larter) seem to be the only ones who fully understand that they all need to be on their toes in order to dodge death - thus making it pretty thrilling and suspenseful.
This whole idea was great at the time (I'm going against most critics on this one), but it was soon followed by the exact same deal with a massive traffic collision in 2, a broken down rollercoaster in 3, a race car crash in 4 (entitled 'The Final Destination') and a suspension bridge in 5. As mentioned before, it pretty much just got old and stale, at least until 5.
What sets 5 apart from the others is that it's generally self-aware, and gets very creative with its kills. For example, a gymnast who you're 100% convinced is gonna get horribly electrocuted just straight up lands stupidly and breaks her neck. By far, it's the best of the series. However, I had the need to start with the first one 'cause, well, it's just the first one. I'd almost go so far as to say you could watch 1 and 5, not be terribly lost on anything, and get the most from the experience.
I'm not sure this one quite plays on fears of death as much as something like 'Arachnophobia' plays on fears of spiders. But I will say that it keeps you on the edge of your seat, especially fully knowing that no one is safe at all. Hell, it even ends on that not so friendly reminder.
So, if you're looking for a fun classic thriller, definitely check it out. I find it doesn't quite get the credit it deserves, and I mostly blame the sequels for wearing it thin. But again, 5 is pretty much just awesome. So check those out (along with the in-betweens if you feel so inclined) and see for yourself where you stand on these films. Opinions are generally split down the middle on these, but for myself, I'd say they're kinda the 'Saw' or 'Paranormal Activity' of the early 2000s - some good titles, some terrible titles.