In 1990 director Joel Shumacher brought us a film that successfully combined psychological horror and science fiction, I’m talking about the cult classic Flatliners. The all-star cast included Keifer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, Oliver Platt, and William Baldwin as five doctors who chanced death with secret experiments to see what’s beyond life. One by one each character would stop their heart, aka flatline, and the other doctors would bring him or her back by jumping their heart with defibrillators.
After each comes back from the beyond they eventually confess they did see something after their vitals had ceased. However, soon after their experience dark and unearthly consequences begin to plague their daily lives, and they come to realize they shouldn’t have breached the line between life and death.
Enjoy the trailer to the 1990 classic bellow!
Nearly three decades later the trailer drops for a movie of the same name that has been deemed more of a sequel than a reboot, despite the content of the trailer looking eerily similar without the dark and gritty original script intertwined with equally grim and chilling cinematography. More of a Flatliners for the Platinum Dunes crowd.
The sequel is directed by Niels Arden Oplev (2009’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and a young cast of actors who make up the new ensemble of young doctors; Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, and Kiersey Clemons. As an added surprise, which confirms this movie will be a sequel instead of a reboot, Keifer Sutherland will be reprising his role of Dr. Nelson Wright from the original. Read about Sutherland talking about his reprise of the role here.
Sadly, the return of the Sutherland’s character is the only thing that has my heart pumping. The new trailer seems to be a sequel for a modern day Point Break rather than the original Flatliners. Many of the elements that made the original great seem to be lost on the sequel, including the smart dialogue, music and scoring. The doctors seem to be more interested in the adrenaline high of cheating death than the science behind it and the haunting consequences that follow.
The consequences almost seem to be an afterthought. When the paranormal consequences finally catch up to them the movie looks like it’s going to take a turn down Final Destination lane with trendy kills rather character development and atonement; this one of the reasons the original is so near and dear to my heart. The characters had to live with their consequences, even if that meant their lives took a turn for the worse; depression, loneliness, or even becoming downright shitty in comparison to the lives they had lead before their experimentation, they had to continue on with their lives forever marked by the experience.
Bellow is the new movie’s trailer, what do you think?
The new film will be released September 29 of this year. Will it be a good day to die? We will see…