Release: 5th February 2017
Format: BR / DVD / DGTL
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.
Remember that time you really wanted to see a remake of Point Break? Thought not. Well prepare for that feeling of prophetic apathy once more as 90’s paranormal thriller Flatliners re(makes) its way on to screens.
You’d be forgiven for expecting this remake to suck, and you’d be right, because it does. There is very little to enjoy here as Ellen Page and Grantchester lead a team of seemingly subnormal “doctors” in an effort to explore the true nature of life after death, and fail in toto to bring Joel Schumacher’s pulpy original to the modern age. Plot holes abound as each character bumbles from ‘experiments’ to the slowest looking car race in cinematic history to the most awkward sex scene too. The most obvious and continually frustrating snag is that you’d think before sending each other in to cardiac arrest, they’d first actually learn how to resuscitate someone; because it seems that each scene hinges on the idea that only one of five in the group seems to have any idea what the hell they are doing.
There needed to be some serious revision of the story to make it work in modern cinema, because this version of the film does not exploit enough nostalgia to coast, or present anything interesting or edgy enough to subvert the kitschy nature of its predecessor. This version of Flatliners feels like ‘grown up’ material for a young adult market. It might not be Final Destination, but it could easily fall in to that category of film suitable for a very specific demographic of pubescent teens. All the more terrifying is the fact that director Niels Arden Oplev was once responsible for the Noomi Rapace breakout The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. How the mighty have fallen.
Film Grade: D-
Some Deleted Scenes that show a bunch of love interests that were cut out, and a wealth of Making Ofs that address pressing matters such as “why was the original so good?” and “would you flatline?”, but no one asks, “why is this film so awful?”.
Special Features Grade: C-
The cast might be flirting with the afterlife, but it will be your brain that’ll flatline permanently.