Medical students begin to explore the realm of near death experiences, hoping for insights. Each has their heart stopped and is revived. They begin having flashes of walking nightmares from their childhood, reflecting sins they committed or had committed against them. The experiences continue to intensify, and they begin to be physically beaten by their visions as they try and go deeper into the death experience to find a cure. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film's title refers to "flatlining", which show-business trade-paper Variety defined as "the lack of vital signs (which) produces a flat line on EKG and EEG monitors." See more »
When Rachel goes to inject Nelson in the neck, the syringe close-up reveals a spring contracting inside the casing. This is an often used prop that lets needles retract into the syringe and then come back out when pressure is released. See more »
Flatliners has all the ingredients of a good Joel Schumacher film - intelligent, youthful characters, stunning cinematography, a gripping story, and excellent performances. It's escapist fun but it's done very well and resonates with a positive spiritual message despite the unnerving precedings.
Schumacher has a knack for spotting talented young actors, and all of the main five here have gone on to greater things (see the cast list). Their believable performances help to raise this movie well above average. Kiefer Sutherland shines in his egotistical med-student role.
The cinematography really stimulates the right side of the brain, which is what I love about Schumacher; his use of light and location create images that stick. A disturbing nightmarish atmosphere is created which unsettles you while you watch the film and haunts you when you go to bed - reminded me of The Lost Boys.
This is a film that takes an awesome premise - curious students want to find out what's after death, and successfully follows it through into a scary, gripping tale of redemption. One of Schumacher's best; highly recommended.
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