Flatliners: Film Review
Cast: Ellen Page, James Norton, Nina Dobrev, Diego Luna, Kiersey Clemons, Kiefer Sutherland
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
27 years ago, a couple of fresh faced Brat Packers made a sci-fi film that was pure hokum, but tapped into something that troubles many - and in the resulting film formed something of a cult.
Now, mixing a cast and one original together, the resultant toothless Flatliners remake is dramatically and creatively dead on arrival, feeling like a CW drama that doesn't even bother to really pack in the jump scare moments.
Centring on a group of interns, it's the same story.
Page plays Courtney, who decides to embark on an experiment to see what lies beyond this world by stopping her heart and technically dying for a few minutes, before being brought back.
Dragging along Clemons and Norton's fellow students, the experiment initially promises a heady high, but soon delivers them all various nightmares.
Full of pretty people and a terrible American accent from Happy Valley ruffian Norton, Flatliners is frankly a mess.
It lacks any edge and is as flat as the ECGs in the film itself. Relying on wet bus ticket jump scares, the 2017 remake of Flatliners is creatively limp and narratively weak.
Page takes it all too seriously and becomes the science exposition nerd of the group, setting up the premise and presenting the calm in the ensuing laughable panic that sets in.
There's just nothing that fires any of the neural synapses here whatsoever, and while Oplev manages to make some of the afterlife visuals feel hyperreal, it can't quite shake off the fact that it all seems like a music video for the MTV and teen-loving CW generation.
Maybe needlessly glamourising suicide and self-harm, the 2017 Flatliners is a waste of everyone's time from the cast to the audience. Slapped with a cinematic Do Not Resuscitate would be a kindness, because there's little here to engage anything of the cinema-going audience - be it in this life or the next.