Flatliners comes with an obviously fascinating premise, albeit one which does not instantly catch you as a terror hook: exactly what happens after we die? We have all heard the tales between glowing lights, tunnels, and vaguely angelic presences reassuring us as our own lives flash before our eyes, but the reality is that this question has haunted humanity for ages. Maybe we like to believe death is going to be a comfort since the fact is a whole lot more unsettling-or at least that is exactly what the people behind Flatliners assumed when this ceaseless question was twisted to the stuff of nightmares. Imagine if courting-and cheating-death just opens the doorway to the completely repressed horrors of your own life?
And, even better, what if somebody researched this idea with a throw of sexy 90s celebrities with Joel Schumacher at the helm? "Now is a great day to die, " he intones, causing you to wonder if you have only really only watched the opening scene into a bombastic 90s action film. Say what you would like, but it is a hell of a way to open what's finally a somewhat romantic narrative that locates Nelson recruiting his fellow medical students to run an experiment to ascertain what really lies beyond death. To be able to collect information, Nelson induces a clinical departure before he is resuscitated, at which stage he returns with stories of eccentric visions. Something is there, '' he insists, however he is not certain what.
Shortly, his fellow pupils are tripping over themselves in a bid to accompany him, basically daring each other to push farther to the afterlife. Nelson specifically suddenly finds himself literally terrorized from the soul of a deceased boy out of his youth, something he is reluctant to disclose to his coworkers, lest they disrupt his deranged pursuit of keys humanity is not intended to understand. Flatliners feigns at the weary old moralizing chestnut: "do not play god, " it half-heartedly warns, possibly because it knows you have heard it earlier.
And, to its credit, it hardly tries to position at this: of course, it is essentially another parable about pushing the limitations of knowledge and science, therefore it does not find the necessity to live on it. Rather, Flatliners mainly exists to produce a string of repetitive scares and suspense sequences in its own attempt to work out just exactly what it's about. Screenwriter Peter Filardi certainly needed a hell of a pitch to put him to the area; I am not very sure he actually had enough to get a fully-formed film, however, since Flatliners wanders to a bit aimlessly through its overlong 110-minute runtime before finally settling to a weirdly sentimental, almost schmaltzy notice.
Near-death adventures here finally come to be a way of investigating and atoning for one's own sins and guilt, which, quite honestly is nice, though not somewhat unexpected considering its first spook-a-blast ambitions. Also good: hitching this rickety script into the likes of Schumacher, who often excels in molding clever hooks to slickly produced amusement. Since the script requires every pupil's afterlife experience-and following haunting-to differ, the movie becomes an open palette for Schumacher to research different stylistic tics.
A few of the sequences resemble overwrought Dior advertisements; others catch a valid nightmare logic which jumbles up memory, regret, and fear to powerful, changing sequences. Schumacher is rightfully indulgent here. Together with the script fighting to reach its own meaning, the manager goes for broke in an effort to divert the crowd with overblown scenes which exploit the assumption for many of its aesthetic possibilities. After the group conducts among its experiments on Halloween night, it requires on the tenor of a otherworldly ritual.
It is a little detail which provides an ideal Gothic atmosphere, helping to usher this rickety narrative to its own threshold. Maybe it never arrives at anything deep, but it will feature a few rad creepy children and unrested dads, gathered here in evident backlot sets that enhance the movie's surreal, almost dreamy quality.
Wallpaper from the movie: