The check-in lady at JFK airport notices Alex Browning’s departure time of 9:25pm is the same as his birthday: September 25th. Alex notices John Denver singing. The artist died in a plane crash.
For the seven hour flight to Paris, pretty friends Blake and Christa want to sit together. School friend Alex agrees to switch seats. Tod Waggner’s upset. He wanted to sit by one of these girls. Alex’s table breaks. Minutes into the flight, there’s turbulence and hysteria. Oxygen masks drop, wiring from the ceiling catches fire and the plane explodes.
It was a dream. Alex’s table is broken and he must leave the plane. In the melee, he and several others are removed. Another of the forty students, Carter Horton, mocks Alex and they fight. Billy Hitchcock safely watches flight 180 explode.
FBI Agents Weine and Schreck have questions. Alex says he saw the plane explode before it did. Student, Clear Rivers, heard him saying this and believed him. All two hundred and eighty seven passengers are feared dead.
At the funeral, a giant eagle monument is revealed. Carter tells Alex that just because his name isn’t on the wall he doesn’t owe Alex anything. Carter adds that he’s never gonna die.
That night, Tod sits on the toilet and there’s a drip below it. The water slowly spreads across the floor. The stereo’s playing John Denver.
Alex throws a copy of Penthouse at an owl and it flies off. The magazine gets shredded by a desk fan. A piece of paper lands on Alex’s leg showing Tod’s name.
Tod slips on the water, the washing line wraps around his neck and he falls into the bath. He’s hanged by the neck and his eyes become bloodshot. Once he’s dead, the water retreats. Clear tells Alex to leave the scene.
Alex asks Clear why she was at Tod’s house earlier. Clear knows the FBI doesn’t investigate teen suicides. Either they still don’t have a clue what caused the crash or they haven’t ruled anything out.
On the plane, Clear felt what Alex felt. She didn’t know where those emotions came from until Alex started freaking out. Alex asks if maybe Tod was just the first of them to die. Alex and Clear break into a funeral home. They find Tod’s body and his arm jerks. Technician, William Bludworth, says the vascular flush creates cadaveric spasms. The tiny marks on Tod’s body came from cuticle lacerations from pulling at the wire.
Clear asks if Alex saw Tod die. Alex says no, but he might as well have. Tod’s name on the paper is a message from something hinting at a design. Alex says maybe she, Alex, Tod, Carter, Terry, Billy and teacher, Ms Lewton, all messed up death’s design.
Alex saw death’s plan and cheated it. He asks what if it still is their time. He proposes they find the patterns and cheat death again. Carter and Terry pull up. Clear still believes Tod killed himself.
Carter confronts Alex again. Alex shouts that he and the other survivors are in danger. A speeding bus hits and kills Terry Chaney, splattering blood over everybody else.
Alex recognises Tod’s airline seat in a news report. A spark under the coach cabin in the fuselage may have ignited the fuel line. This proceeded to the fuel pump which would have set off the catastrophic explosion. Alex traces the path of the explosion. First Tod, then Terry. The survivors are dying in the order they would’ve died aboard the flight. Ms Lewton’s next.
Ms Lewton’s lived in Mount Abraham her whole life and everywhere she looked were great memories. She notices Alex lurking outside and calls the FBI. Agent Schreck soon says Alex should get in the car. Alex believes that Ms Lewton’s next because there’s a pattern that’s occurring.
Alex saved six people’s lives and everybody thinks he’s a freak. He isn’t suffering from post-traumatic stress. He doesn’t have a narcissistic deity complex. He says there’s a pattern for everybody, but he’s going to break this one.
Ms Lewton plays John Denver and fills her kettle, spooked by the reflection. She drapes a towel over her knives. Her kettle whistles and she pours water into a cup. She’s spooked again and hurls the water away. It’s a Mount Abraham High School mug.
She fetches vodka from the freezer and pours herself a drink. The mug cracks and leaks. She unwittingly spills vodka on her computer monitor and continues packing.
Her monitor explodes and a shard of glass lands in her throat. Blood spills onto the floor and she slips. Sparks from the monitor ignite the vodka. A flame chases up to the oven where the kitchen catches fire. She collapses to the floor and reaches for a towel. This launches a knife at her chest.
Alex calls out to her. He follows the blood and sees her impaled on the floor. The fire has weakened the base of the kitchen cupboards and the oven explodes, causing a heavy chair to fall. This firmly embeds the knife in her chest. Billy sees Alex run out of Ms Lewton’s house, then the house explodes.
Billy, Carter, Alex and Clear meet at the eagle monument. Alex knows which one of them is next to die according to death’s design. Carter asks, of the four of them, who’s next to go. After a silence, Carter figures it’s him.
In the car with the others, Carter stamps the accelerator and runs a stop sign. Other cars swerve to avoid them. Billy grabs the wheel, but Carter elbows him in the face. Carter lifts his hands from the wheel whooping. The car comes to rest on a level crossing.
The barriers lower. The others leave the car. Then, Carter instead wants to live, but the car won’t start and the locks go down. At the last moment, Alex pulls Carter from his seat. Alex says he saw the seat belt just before.
Billy says Carter’s next. The train sends shrapnel from Carter’s car flying through the air to decapitate Billy. Alex knew the seat belt would tear. That’s how he saved him. Because Alex saved him, it skipped Carter and went to the next person. If Alex sees it and intervenes, he cheats the design.
At Clear’s late father’s cabin, there’s a near-fatal accident for Alex. He finds a picture of Blake and Christa. Christa asked him to change seats, but Alex stayed put. Clear’s seat was in front of his. Clear is next.
Lightning strikes an electrical cable in Clear’s house which lands sparking on the floor. A spinning clothes line comes loose and a pole lands in the ground by Clear’s head. The swimming pool is punctured. Alex falls down a slope and lands with his face inches from a pointed tree branch.
Clear avoids the electrified water and climbs a trellis. A falling tree almost lands on Alex. Clear’s hanging onto guttering by her fingertips. She climbs inside and the TV explodes, as do other electrical devices all around her.
She runs to the garage and gets in her car, but the garage door button’s broken. She reverses through the door. Part of the doorway impales the windscreen near her face. Turpentine falls onto the floor.
Alex calls out to Clear. The door mechanism comes loose, but the car conks out. Turpentine spills across the floor. Alex tells Clear not to move. She’s grounded by the tyres. Alex tries using a spade to hit the cable, but the spade flies at a gas canister which is then propelled under the car.
The sparks ignite the turpentine. Alex shouts that the car’s gonna explode, but the car is still electrified. Alex grabs the end of the cable and the car explodes, Clear landing yards away. Alex isn’t breathing.
Six months later
Carter, Clear and Alex are sitting outside a Paris cafe. They toast to Terry, Tod and all their friends who aren’t there. Alex says the explosion path determined the order of their deaths. When Alex intervened and saved Carter, it skipped him and went to the next person, Billy. Then, it was Clear.
Alex intervened, so it went to Alex. But in Alex’s case, nobody intervened. He was thrown from the power line by the explosion. Carter asks why it skipped Alex.
Somebody’s got to intervene before death can skip them. Alex proved that three times with the plane, Carter and Clear. Carter says he’s the safest in the world because Alex is still next.
Alex warns Clear to stay away from Alex. She has a vision of a bus and screams his name. Alex avoids being hit by a bus, but it launches a street lamp into the air. This dislodges a big sign which swings down toward Alex. Carter pushes Alex out the way, but the same sign swings back down towards Carter.
Starring Devon Sawa. Ali Larter. Kerr Smith. Rated 15. Dir James Wong. Released in the UK 2000. Runtime 1hr 38mins