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Flatliners Movie Review

Reviewed by on Sep 29, 2017
Rating: 2 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Flatliners. Is it scary? Is there a message to take home? Check our movie review.

By: Lynn Barker

In Flatliners, medical students Courtney (Ellen Page), Ray (Diego Luna), Jamie (James Norton), Marlo (Nina Dobrev) and Sophia (Kiersey Clemons) get caught up in an experiment to see just what does exist after death. They “flatline”.. basically kill each other…medically, then bring themselves back. At first it’s a rush since they come back enhanced, smarter, faster, etc. then the guilt for harmful or cruel things they’ve done in life comes back with them…in the form of some creepy spirits. That’s whatcha get for playing God.

The flatliners wonder if they can pull it offThe flatliners wonder if they can pull it off

Guilt and Curiosity

Medical Student Courtney has always felt guilty for checking her cell phone while driving which resulted in the death of her younger sister who drowned when the car hit a river. Now, she asks patients who’ve experienced near death to tell her what they saw. She goes further by setting up an experiment in which she can basically die, experience the afterlife for herself, have machines running to track what happens in her brain, then be brought back. Will her fellow students help her?

Courtney is ready to flatlineCourtney is ready to flatlineCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Flatliners Gather

All set up in the isolated hospital basement emergency area, Jamie, a rich playboy type who wants a career in Beverly Hills, Marlo, a hard working intern who made a medical mistake that cost a life, Sophia, driven to success as a doc by her mom and Ray, a dedicated, by-the-book resident, help Courtney die and cross over briefly. She floats over a city, sees lights inside a church and is brought back to life. Afterwards, she’s invigorated and has an amazing memory of everything she has learned. She impresses her teacher Dr. Wolfson (Kiefer Sutherland) with her smarts but, she also sees a human shape that disappears underneath her shower curtain.

Oh no. Someone is coming!Oh no. Someone is coming!Courtesy of Sony Pictures

More Flatline Trips

Jamie goes next and sees himself riding a motorcycle with a pretty girl on back so he’s thrilled with the process. The gang is super energized, drinks shots and parties.  Marlo’s flatline trip is creepy with her seeing a corpse covered by a sheet in a dark warehouse. The gang almost can’t bring her back. Sophia is desperate to succeed in school and thinks the process will expand her mind. Her trip takes her back to high school where she posted a rival girl’s near-nude pictures online, ruining the girl’s life. Almost discovered by custodian cleaners, the gang has to bring Sophia back quickly and run.

Marlo (Nina Dobrev) sees her patient's bodyMarlo (Nina Dobrev) sees her patient's bodyCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Hook Ups and Hauntings

Invigorated after her flatline, Sophia brings Jamie home to hook up. Her mom is freaked and she says she’s moving out. Ray and Marlo get closer and also hook up while Ellen sees her dead, drowned sister in a car and Jamie sees the ex-girlfriend he got pregnant and hears a baby crying on the yacht where he lives. Courtney again sees her sister in her apartment, she records a message to the group saying that her guilt over her sis, not medical curiosity, made her do her experiment then, her “ghost” sister pushes Courtney off her balcony to her death.

Sophia doesn't want to participate at firsSophia doesn't want to participate at firstCourtesy of Sony Pictures

After Death

The flatliners are freaked after Courtney dies and Marlo is attacked by the dead patient she misdiagnosed. Are the flatliners’ sins coming from the afterlife to get even? Are these things they are seeing just their own guilt personified? They decide to confess to those they harmed if they can. They will apologize. Will that help or will more of them die?

Jamie shocks Courtney into flatliningJamie shocks Courtney into flatliningCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Wrapping Up

There are a lot of loose ends in Flatliners and ideas that go nowhere. What the heck does Ray being a firefighter for six years before med school have to do with anything?  And is anybody changed or affected by drinking shots and partying? Curiosity over an afterlife is built into all humans so the premise of the film (and the 1990 Flatliners that starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, etc. before it) is an interesting one that could have been much better developed. Kiefer appears in the film, not as his original character but as an older doctor/mentor who could have been played by anyone.

Dr. Wolfson (Kiefer Sutherland) with his med studentsDr. Wolfson (Kiefer Sutherland) with his med studentsCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Instead of expanding upon the premise of the first film, this new one turns the flatlining experience into a typical horror movie haunting that really goes nowhere. Despite good acting efforts, especially by Ellen Page, all the old “jump-out-atcha” scary movie tricks get old after a while and the exploration of the afterlife that might have been interesting is just dead in the water. Even though a good lesson is learned, i.e. if you’ve done something cruel or hurtful to someone, apologize when you can and also forgive yourself, we can only go two stars.

Flatliners Movie Rating: 2

Flatliners Movie PosterFlatliners Movie PosterCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Flatliners is in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Are you curious about life after death? Would you do something crazy that you might regret to make sure you succeed in life? Can you forgive yourself for your mistakes? Comment below!