Review by Jason Minton
Flatliners – 1990
Nelson (Kiefer Sutherland) convinces his fellow first year medical students to kill him. The five students take turns killing each other briefly before reviving themselves in order to study the effects of the afterlife. “Some lines shouldn’t be crossed.” Scientific exploration turns into a deadly obsession. These med students may have figured out how to defy death but they brought back dark forces with them from the other side. The group must face their darkest secrets before they’re consumed by their own guilt and maybe something far worse.
Flatliners is a new concept on a supernatural aspect of horror. Flatlining explores the moment of death in a tower of Babel aspect of returning from the other side. This supernatural thriller not only probes ghostly and possibly demonic forces following from the other side, it also questions a psychological alternative and how humans torture themselves over the guilt they feel inside. Flatliners is a multi-faceted horror film with an all-star cast, dark settings and a story that breaks free of the Hollywood mold. Kiefer Sutherland in particular impresses in his obsessed, tortured role. A back-up cast includes Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt and a Baldwin. More time could have been spent on each of the five student’s personal hauntings, giving the wonderful cast the opportunity to show their talent. The film we’re given still excels in providing hauntingly good scares.
Watching Flatliners nearly thirty years later, I went into the movie fresh with few memories. I’m pleased to say that viewing Flatliners as an adult is far more enjoyable than the film I’d forgotten. The films dark settings are a bit cliché for the time period but the story is unique and the cast is good enough to hold up over time. I've never a huge fan of Joel Schumaker’s works but a Flatliners re-watch has given me a new appreciation for the directors finest films. It's definitely a movie to check out if your memories were as faded as mine.
4 out of 5 Headless Critics