Five medical students want to find out if there is life after death. They plan to stop one of their hearts for a few seconds, thus simulating death, and then bring the person back to life.
The arrogance of medicinally inclined youth! I remember coming out the theatre after having seen Flatliners in 1990 and being really annoyed. The premise of the story is so superb and was ripe for a terrifying horror film, but Flatliners then, and now, is not terrifying, but that actually doesn't matter. In 1990 some of the more bright young acting prospects were off making Memphis Belle, the other half that was made up of potential Brat Packers like Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt and Kevin Bacon, were joining director Joel Schumacher for this delve into life after death experiments. The tyro medical students, led by a darkly egotistical Sutherland, begin inducing their own deaths to see what awaits once the flatline has been reached. Seems great at first, but as the students push the time limits of being dead still further, what comes into their real worlds is actually not welcome. Pic is never close to being frightening, but the thematics involved are chilling and the big message at its heart is loud and clear. At times it's an uneasy blend of supernatural dalliances and medical science, but the breezy cast hold engagement, while cinematographer Jan de Bont's misty lenses are perfectly in the realm of the ethereal. 7/10
Stop for a minute and contemplate the fact that Joel Schumacher made this when he was channeling Joel Schumacher and it actually turned out to be a good, compelling, and frightening film. How the heck did that happen? I mean, sure, the story was good for a horror flick and it was pretty compelling. And, to be fair, it did have a great case and the acting was beyond par. So you know, there was a lot working for it despite it being Joel Schumacher in the 90s being Joel Schumacher in the 90s. I guess what I am saying is that you should give it a shot, despite the director.