The Final Destination - Bobby Campo and Shantel VanSanten
Nick (Bobby Campo) and Lori (Shantel VanSanten) © New Line Cinema

Shantel VanSanten portrays Lori, whose boyfriend Nick (Bobby Campo) has a horrific premonition at the race track where they, along with their friends, are sitting in the bleachers. Foreseeing a devastating crash, Nick convinces his friends to leave just before the accident occurs, taking them out of harm’s way. But in this franchise, there is no cheating death, as Van Santen acknowledges.

The Final Destination - Shantel VanSanten
Lori (Shantel VanSanten) © New Line Cinema

Since doing this film, do you start noticing things in normal life that might kill you?

For sure, especially when you’re shooting and thinking about death every day, there’s always mousetraps and other things and you’d be, ‘Okay, if the back of the truck fell and hit that, then that would shoot up to the power line and I’d be electrocuted and die.’

Do they have to up the ante on each movie?

Besides the fact that’s it’s the fourth one in the franchise and it is going to be the last one, you have to make sure that the deaths are ‘better’ and bigger than anything else and exceed everyone’s expectations, because these are the kind of movies where you go home and start thinking ‘Oh, that would be awesome if they killed somebody in that way or if they would do a death like that.’ There’s so many possibilities.

I’ve talked to Craig [Perry, the producer] before whenever I was on set and said, ‘How do you come up with some really sick stuff like this?’ I guess he does tons of research and finds these sick, gory ways that people truly have died. They probably give them a little bit more entertainment value, but he finds things that have actually happened to people. It plays on normal fears that we all have and death being the culprit for it all.

The Final Destination - Bobby Campo and Shantel VanSanten
The scariest moment doing the film? © New Line Cinema

What was the scariest moment doing the film?

I got my shoelace stuck in an escalator going up. It was awful. People think of that all the time. I guess there was a little girl in India that it really did happen to and, when he told me that, I was like, ‘Wow, that really brings that into perspective’. That, for me, was the most intense scene.

There was one day when we were shooting it and I kind of lost it. You’re in these scenes where you think, ‘I’m never going to truly understand what this feels like, because it just doesn’t happen with these kinds of rare circumstances.’ How would I feel? What would I do?  What would I think? Then, you get on that escalator in the middle of a mall. You’re three stories high. Bobby’s holding my hand and as safe as I feel, because David Ellis (the movie’s director) is a stuntman, there’s still a part of you that is this raw adrenalin and you’re like, ‘What was the last thing I said to my mom?’ Or, ‘My God, what if my dad never sees me get married?’ There’s these crazy thoughts that I never envisioned would come to my mind. You have your own mortality in check.

Have you seen any of the other Final Destination movies?

I had to see them.  I hadn’t seen them previously.  Then, when I got this, Craig Perry, who has been part of the franchise from the beginning, was like, ‘You have to see the other ones just to understand what the audience expects and what the whole franchise is about,’ So I watched them and I grew to understand what the nature of the beast was, the formula for all of it and it was really good to do because we wanted to make this the best one. Even though there are better stunts and more killings or whatever it might be, you still want to elevate the performance in every one that you see.

Are you a Horror film fan at all?

I don’t like Horror films at all. It’s so hard for me. Even when I saw it last night for the first time, there were still parts of it where I had to look down. Like the pedicure scene, I can’t do it. I get pedicures all the time.

Because you saw it made were you able to look at it?

A scream moment for Lori (Shantel VanSanten) © New Line Cinema
A scream moment for Lori (Shantel VanSanten) © New Line Cinema

No, even scenes that I’m in. The escalator scene is really hard for me. When we did ADR, I vomited. The first time I saw it with sound effects and everything.

It was really hard for me to see it. I made it through watching most of it last night without looking over at somebody and looking back, but it’s different than the horror movies I grew up on which were people running around killing each other and there’s a person in a mask and there are zombies. This one is something where you wonder, ‘Is this something that really happens?’ It plays with your brain in that way instead of any other movie.

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.