The story of Flatliners follows much in its predecessor’s footsteps. A group of medical students tries to figure out the science of life after death by temporarily killing themselves, but soon realize that they encountered something they shouldn’t have made contact with. The beginning of the film starts out fine, with a typical but decent character development. The film is peppered with great actors like Ellen Page and Diego Luna, but the story then drudges through a cheap and mild-mannered horror film plot, with weak scares and broken down writing.
I think the plot really crashes (as in the original too) because the medical students begin to have hallucinations about past sins they have committed. They then realize that they must atone for their sins in order to be released from the horrors they see. To me, this makes me dislike the characters, because they really don’t want to fix the wrongs they have done, but they really just want to stop being tormented. If they never tried to “flatline” in the first place they would still be partying and living life as normal.
In terms of a thriller, it doesn’t deliver. All of the “scares” in this film are typical and weak, with no surprise factor at all. There is a reliance on the music to usher scares with harsh spikes in audio to try to scare the viewer. I think this is a cop-out, and a dull way to make a crowd jump a little bit in their seat.
All in all, Flatliners isn’t worth your time. I’m not a fan of the original, but my hopes were high that this remake could surpass the original and make a fresh and engaging story out of the source material. I actually got excited at the beginning of the film, because Kiefer Sutherland plays their educator in the movie, but they do nothing with his role. This is a film that leaves me scratching my head, asking why Hollywood insisting on recreating any and all franchises. This, along with many others, are prime examples of movies resurrected for no good reason at all.