Thursday, 5 October 2017

Flatliners Film Review

I saw Flatliners earlier this week and it isn't anywhere nearly as bad as the critics make it out to be. Everyone complains about remakes and then moans that the remake isn't like the original. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev and starring a clutch of hot young actors as medical students, it was almost like the critics had decided this would fail from the start.

Ellen Page's Courtney is in a tragic accident that kills her younger sister, but 9 years later is one of the students and looking for a way to experience the afterlife. She invites Kiersey Clemons's Sophia and James Norton's Jamie to an experiment where they will stop her heart and after an agreed time resuscitate her. Of course it goes wrong and Diego Luna's Ray and Nina Dobrev's Marlo are paged to help. After the trauma of saving her the students are then transfixed with the brain images, and the sensations and visions she describes. And when they discover this near death experience has accelerated Courtney's brain and she's a whizz in class, answering all of Dr. Kiefer Sutherland's questions. Well of course they all want to go next. Except Ray.

They become more competitive and flatline for longer. But then the brain starts to play tricks after the initial rush of blood, and long dead memories come clawing to the surface. Not all of them happy. Each of the students has a secret that needs to be told with a supernatural element. Although I do like the supernatural and it was creepy at times, it wasn't as chilling as Personal Shopper. But the near death scenes were great sci-fi and you can see why the students wanted to score so high. The cast worked hard to sell the story and for us to care for them.

The ending ties everything up neatly with a toast, but we are still left to wonder about the afterlife, and whether what was on the other side, for some, should have been left there.

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