This week I went to see the new movie Flatliners. Next weekend I'll be seeing it again, this time with my mom. Yes, it is definitely good enough to pay to see twice.
Not everyone agrees. A lot of those who saw the original saw the remake as a disappointment. Apparently, it doesn't bring any newness to the story. I will not be comparing this movie to the original. Mostly because I never saw the original (it came out five years before I was born), but also because I want to judge the movie on its own merits.
Med student Courtney (or as I refer to her, Dr. Juno) gets into a car crash that kills her sister, and as a result becomes obsessed with death and reaching the other side. She ropes in a handful of other medical students into an experiment that involves stopping her heart, then reviving her. After seeing how flatlining has "improved" her (she has perfect memory recall, which is a huge advantage in the medical field), all but one of the other students takes a turn.
Of course, what Courtney neglects to mention before everyone else jumps in is that, in addition to awesome Limitless-style memory, she also starts experiencing not-so-awesome hallucinations of her dead sister. Everyone else soon gets the same problem: Jamie keeps seeing the girlfriend he abandoned, Sophia sees the girl she bullied in high school, and Marlo gets creepy blood-notes painted across the walls.
My only complaint about the movie was that the climatic scene at the end was a little underwhelming. The story does a great job of ramping up tension as the hallucinations get worse and characters start dying. But then that tension doesn't really go anywhere, or rather it gets interrupted. One of the characters flatlines herself in what was probably an attempted suicide to face her guilt, but this is after the other characters face their guilt in a much more mature, less dangerous manner and take responsibility for their actions. As a result, that character that had until now come across as rather intelligent (if a bit bitchy) looks incredibly stupid. The two sequences should've been reversed: near-death guilt trip, then heart-warming real-world forgiveness.
I also wish that they'd gone deeper into Ray's character. He's the logic/moral compass of the group, being the only one who doesn't flatline but sticks around because he's the most competent and experienced. We get a hint of a tragic backstory when he mentions being a firefighter, but nothing else. Having a scene with him sharing some gut-wrenching story with the other characters in an attempt to convince them to own up to their mistakes would've added an excellent emotional layer.
Other than that, it was a great movie. James Norton (Jamie) was what I would argue the best actor of the group, although they were all fantastic. In the span of a single scene--the one where Courtney convinces her friends to legally kill her before bringing her back--he goes from "Sure, whatever, you wanna kill yourself I'll help you, mostly because I'm just pissed that I'm not getting laid tonight" to "This is more nerve-wracking than I'd thought it be, you sure you wanna do this?" to "#^%^#$%%#!" freak-out.
And there are very few horror movie mistakes. Most people would argue that flatlining in the name of science, especially when you aren't actually a medical professional, is a pretty stupid thing to do. But when you consider Courtney's obsession, along with the academic edge she receives in this extraordinarily stressful, fast-paced environment, their decisions do make sense.
So I'll definitely be seeing this movie again next week. And if you haven't seen Flatliners yet, then I hope to see you there.
The first Dragons, Zombies and Aliens blog was started in 2015. Somewhere between college coursework, paying rent with door-to-door sales, and keeping up with my sorority sisters, I wrote reviews, rants and commentaries on books, TV shows, and movies. Now, this blog has moved, improved, and the sky's the limit!