An extremely sad bit of news today as reports are emerging that director David R. Ellis has passed away at the age of 60. Ellis got his start in Hollywood as a stunt coordinator (and stunt man), working on such films as 1978′s Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Scarface, Lethal Weapon and Misery. He worked as a 2nd Unit Director on Waterworld, Deep Blue Sea and the first Harry Potter movie among other films.
But where he really earned our love was as the director of such fun, unpretentious films as Final Destination 2, Snakes On A Plane, The Final Destination, Cellular and Shark Night 3D. I particularly loved how he elevated the Rube Goldberg style traps in Final Destination 2. At the time of his death he was prepping to reunite with his Snakes On A Plane star Samuel L. Jackson on the film KITE.
Ellis passed away this morning in Johannesburg, South Africa. The cause of death is not known at this time.
The story kicks off when a teenager’s premonition of a deadly racecar crash spares his life and those of a few lucky others. But death continues to stalk those who escaped it.
On what should have been a fun-filled day at the races, Nick O’Bannon has a horrific premonition in which a bizarre sequence of events causes multiple race cars to crash, sending flaming debris into the stands, brutally killing his friends and causing the upper deck of the stands to collapse on him. When he comes out of this grisly nightmare Nick panics, persuading his girlfriend, Lori, and their friends, Janet and Hunt, to leave… escaping seconds before Nick’s frightening vision becomes a terrible reality. Thinking they’ve cheated death, the group has a new lease on life, but unfortunately for Nick and Lori, it is only the beginning. As his premonitions continue and the crash survivors begin to die one-by-one–in increasingly gruesome ways–Nick must figure out how to cheat death once and for all before he, too, reaches his final destination. The film marks the latest in the highly popular “Final Destination” series, and its first 3D installment, giving horror fans an especially visceral thrill ride.