Writer: Ben Ripley (Screenplay) Peter Filardi (Story)
Starring: Nina Dobrev, Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Keifer Sutherland, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons, Beau Mirchoff
Plot: Five medical students, obsessed by what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers a near-death experience – giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife.
Tagline – Cross the line. Death will follow you back.
Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Full Blown Flatliner
Story: Flatliners starts as medical student Courtney (Page) wants to push the boundaries of science by seeing if there is an afterlife using fellow students Jamie (Norton) and Sophia (Clemons) to bring her back, but when it goes wrong Ray (Luna) and Marlo (Dobrev) get involved.
When Courtney seems to have increased memory pulling ability Jamie, Marlo and Sophia all go under the flatliner procedure. Soon after they have all gone under the start getting haunted by a previous mistake and must learn how to deal with their sin.
Thoughts on Flatliners
Characters – Courtney is the student that has planned the idea of flatlining, she has her own reasons for this which we learn in the opening sequences, as her haunting is her own sister that died in a car accident. Ray is the best doctor of the students, he has the experience to handle the emergency world of being a doctor but he never goes under the flatliner, he helps bring the others out and helping them solve their problems. Marlo comes off as the nervous student struggling to believe her own abilities which becomes clear when we see her mistake, where she must learn to make up for her errors. Jamie is the slacker rich boy student that gets by using other skills to keep him in school. Sophia comes from the hardest background, her mother has been pressure into this career by her mother meaning she will lose everything her mother has put into this career. The biggest problem with these characters is that they have zero chemistry between them.
Performances – The performances here are pretty bad, it doesn’t help that the characters are written terribly, we do have big names here but they just can’t capture the magic the original film performances had.
Story – The story here focuses on trying to discover is there is an afterlife by flatliner for minutes to go on that journey, this is still an interesting concept because technology has come along way since the original and we still don’t know the answer. The problem is we rush the flatlining which seems to turn the characters into what feels like addicts on the rush of their lives. We then get the 4 characters that have done something wrong being haunted but we ruin the biggest question mark about Courtney’s in the opening sequence and the rest just seem too much ‘boo there is a spirit’ not using the reason of the sin as the haunting like the original. This is why remakes fail so badly.
Horror/Sci-fi – The horror is the most basic of jump scares you will see, none of them hit. The sci-fi side starts promising but then the film seems to forget there is a sci-fi element after the researching goes on.
Settings – We are in a generic hospital which for some reason you can run the length of within a minute, you drive to anywhere within a minute and geographical doesn’t make sense, we also are filled with flaws surrounding the settings.
Special Effects – The effects can look great in the flatlining stage of the film but soon end up being the same nonsense light effects.
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: Don’t think so.
Award Nominations: This could easily be a leading Razzie contender.
Final Thoughts – This is an horrendous remake of a loved original, it turns into a basic poorly made exercise in how to not do jump scares with characters that have zero chemistry and a plot that is rushed together.
Overall: Failure in the remake world.