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Columns : Screen Scene Last Updated: Oct 27, 2017 - 10:19:13 PM

Flatliners (1990): Movie review by Rouén Robinson
By Rouén Robinson
Oct 27, 2017 - 4:02:37 PM

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A horror film that answers the question of the after life with the question of forgiveness of past trauma


Five medical students concoct a plan to experiment with near death experiences through temporarily stopping brain activity for different lengths of time before being resuscitated. Some of them go through the process, but after the experiment is deemed a success a frightening side-effect could cost them everything in their present as their past comes back with a vengeance.

Nelson Wright is a brilliant medical student convinced that he can unlock the secrets of the hereafter with the help of his medical school friends and some borrowed hospital equipment. David Labraccio is a reckless medical school student who relies on his instinct over the experience of the faculty which leads him to ruffle the feathers of those in charge of the school. Rachel Mannus is a compassionate medical school pupil with a thirst for knowledge about the possibility of life after death due to a personal tragedy that has always been a driving force. Joe Hurley is a medical school apprentice with an active social life who wants to be a part of Nelson’s experiment in order to get a secure footing in his future career in medicine. Randy Steckle is an introspective med student looking to document the competitive events around Nelson’s experiment and the separate experiences of those who undergo it.

Flatliners is a horror movie with a touch of science fiction that entertains in its stylish atmosphere with thought provoking intensity. This film’s characters try to answer one of life’s biggest questions and each one who undergoes the experiment gets an answer that gives them closure without actually giving the definitive answer. The main cast of Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt give outstanding performances that helps you to understand the point of view of each character and relate to the life altering journey of each one. Joel Schumacher directs this film in a way that brings the right amount of fright with scary imagery that is enhanced by our natural fear of the unknown. The script by Peter Filardi provides us with engaging dialogue and James Newton Howard sets the tone using atmospheric music with cinematographer Jan de Bont setting the right mood with simple but effective scene details. This movie delivers a fresh cinematic adventure by mixing genres in just the right way to be enjoyable on different levels. I rate this movie a rating of 4 out of 5. 

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Flatliners (1990)

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