Five medical students embark on a daring and dangerous experiment to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life. The bold adventure begins when they trigger near-death experiences by stopping their hearts for short periods of time. As their trials become more perilous, each must confront the sins from their past while facing the paranormal consequences of journeying to the other side.
I’m not completely sure I understand why there are so many negative comments about this movie or the fact of how fast it flew through the theaters. I went in fully expecting this film to be complete garbage based on those two things but I was pleasantly surprised. No, it’s not the perfect movie, in fact, perfect films are pretty rare these days, but this one certainly does not deserve all the hate surrounding it. It was actually a pretty damn decent movie. I think in all honesty that the underlining issue of this film is that it suffers too much from viewer nostalgia, where the viewer mentally prefers the original movie for the hell of it, which causes many to be unfairly critical.
If you could get someone to use some medical equipment to stop your heart, wait a few minutes after you are dead, and then they resurrect you so one can see what it was like, would you do it? Is there light at the end of the tunnel, or something else? To me, the concept would be sufficiently enticing, I mean, who wouldn’t be a little bit intrigued by the question of what’s beyond, or what happens after death? Flatliners is about a group of students who do just that and are not satisfied with their lives one of them finds something beyond comprehension that changes their perspectives about life.
Flatliners starts out with a young girl, Courtney, who is experiencing a tragic loss in her life. Nine years later, she becomes a medical student and tries to convince her colleagues to help her with an experiment. Courtney’s experiment involves her death, and an attempt to record what happens to the brain after a person flat-lines. Her friends Jamie and Sophia attempt to discourage her intentions but quickly become involved in her plan. Once she passes to the other side she discovers that the world is visually beautiful, and light and sound are a new and fantastic experience. After returning from her near-death experiences, she is miraculously gifted with a greater sense of intellect, able to remember things that she could not before and even play the piano after 12 years of not being able to.
Envious, her Jamie decides to flatline, but he ends up having a disturbing near-death experience when he meets his ex-girlfriend who he got pregnant and begged her to get an abortion. Marlo and Sophia follow suit and flatline, for an increasing number of minutes. During Sophia’s turn, they are nearly caught and flee the hospital and arrive at a party. Courtney and Jamie start seeing visions of past mistakes but do not tell the others.
Much like in the original, the characters begin to realize the consequences of traveling to the other side. It is during these moments, when the film fully embraces its dark material, that Flatliners is at its best. The music adds to the already well developed spooky atmosphere, and the performances of the cast further heighten the sense of dread. Though occasionally predictable, the feature has its share of unexpected scares, the chase sequences being very gripping. I doubt Flatliners will win any awards, but it’s still a good and solid movie, with good acting, good plot and an excellent combination of horror and sci-fi mixed in, and there are definitely a few highly tense moments that will have the hairs on your arms standing up. Go see it, ignore the critics and see it for what it is, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Release Date: September 29, 2017
Runtime: 1 hour, 49 minutes
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Studio: Sony Pictures
Starring: Ellen Page, Nina Dobrev, James Norton
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Directors: Niels Oplev
Reviewed by: Dr. Butcher
Our Rating: 3.0 /5
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