Did anybody ask for a remake of Flatliners? Or at least remember that movie? Certainly not. I thought we technically already had one two years ago with The Lazarus Effect. It feels like Sony is trying to reboot movies that shouldn’t be touched at all. They already ruined it with failures of Total Recall and Robocop, in my opinion. But with every horror movie being remade for unnecessary reasons besides nostalgia, it was pretty clear very quickly that 2017’s remake, not a sequel, as Flatliners was already DOA.
Five medical students (Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons) 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 of their past while facing the paranormal consequences of journeying to the other side.
I’ve never watched the 1990 original Joel Schumacher movie that launched the careers of Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, and Kevin Bacon. From what I heard, it was cheesy, but it wasn’t anything really worth remembering about. Besides a cast of talented people on this, this was directed by Niels Arden Oplev, the director of the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and written by Source Code’s Ben Ridley. Those two combined should’ve pushed this concept in a positive direction. And even then, nothing about Flatliners looked interesting as the trailers were painful to watch and the fact that I wanted to know spoilers beforehand just says something. So, I wasn’t surprised that Flatliners is one of the worst horror remakes to come out in a while.
Who’s gonna think this is scary? Nobody, because this is ridiculed with unscary jump scares that are not subtle any time the film itself wants us to feel frightened. There’s a scene where one of the characters gets stabbed in the hand with a knife, and in the next scene, he’s with the group. Baffled at its finest.
It looks so everything about the premise stays the same. But it’s the direction and writing laying upon it that doesn’t even try to make this interesting. There was never a single moment where I need to care about our main character because they just turned into unlikable, cliche people. Page is possibly the only good thing about the entire movie since she was kind of the one person I liked.
Any time where it’s trying to be funny failed immensely. This felt less like a horror movie and more like an unintentional comedy at the occasions of how many times I actually laughed at something when it was meant to be taken seriously. You can’t have a radio play “If You’re Happen and You Know It” and be scared of it.
And why is Kiefer Sutherland in this movie at all? He was in the original movie as Nelson Wright. But he plays a completely different character named Dr. Barry Wolfson, the dean of the medical school. What was the point of bringing him back when he only has three scenes serving no purpose and just wasting him altogether? Even though this won’t help save the movie any less, he should’ve been the voice of reason and have a scene explaining the students that flatlining is a dangerous thing. Just an extended cameo at its worst.
For a story revolving around exploring near-death experiences and wanting to know about past life, this just failed to bring anything to justice. There’s never a reason why somebody would want to kill themselves and come back just so they can feel alive in the same way of taking the pill from Limitless. It just becomes boring at the middle mark. The best thing that can be said about this is was Jon Schepp’s thoughts when Diego Luna was cast and said, “I don’t know…f**k it”. My attention span while watching Flatliners: _________________________-.
Flatliners is an embarrassment of a remake showing nothing but cheap scares and showing no life whatsoever.