With Flatliners coming out soon, we went back and had a look at the original 1990 film, Flatliners. Directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt, Flatliners follows five medical students attempting to discover what happens after death by intentionally dying – “flatlining” – before being resuscitated.
I honestly had no idea that Flatliners was already a movie and going back to watch it was something of an experience. It has amassed something of a cult following over the years. Do I see why? Sure. The film delves into the abstract and could almost be called an psychological arthouse thriller. Its themes, characters and, surprisingly capable direction from Schumacher make this a memorable one to watch.
I’m honestly not sure how to feel about Flatliners. It’s entertaining for the most part but incredibly campy. There is no way I’m going to rush out and buy the Blu-Ray.
So, is it worth another look?
While there is undoubtedly something unique and interesting about Flatliners, I just feel like my time could’ve been better spent watching something else.
It also devolves into a fairly substandard storyline, despite having a lot of potential. Melodrama and pandering to a young, thrill-seeking audience overwhelms the rest of the film most of the time.
The movie, for me anyway, feels weird to watch. Everytime something genuinely good happens on screen, something equally as dumb occurs to undercut it. If a movie was to have a definition of “love it or hate it”, Flatliners might be it. Personally, I kind of hate it.
The sequences where each student “flatlines” are kind of fun and actually create a good sense of mystery and tension. A lot of the other scenes however devolve into painful 90s camp. The film poses a lot of questions but makes very little effort to answer any of them.
Maybe the ‘sequel/remake’ coming out soon will retroactively make this film better, but we will have to wait to see. The new Flatliners is out September 28 and stars Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev and Kiefer Sutherland reprising his role from the original.
What do you think of Flatliners? Are you going to see the new one? Sound off in the comments and on our Facebook page.