Flatliners

Flatliners

2017, PG-13, 108 min. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev. Starring Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons, Madison Brydges, Kiefer Sutherland.

REVIEWED By Danielle White, Fri., Oct. 6, 2017

Flatlining is a little bit like playing with a Ouija board: It opens a portal to all sorts of demons who might come along and mess up your life. Both offer a sort of payoff in knowing what is (or isn’t) waiting on the Other Side. Leave it to a group of cocky med students to take things a little too far, as they compete over who can stay dead the longest. That’s more or less the premise of 1990’s Flatliners, which has been exhumed inexplicably for a shitty remake. (Reboot? Sequel? Whatever.)

Ringleader Courtney (Page) casually enlists peers Jamie (Norton) and Sophia (Clemons) to help with her morbid experiment in a scene that feels rushed and weird. It has an amateurish acting class vibe: Clemons’ nail-biting reads weak and contrived; Norton brings zero charm to a character who is supposed to be some type of sexpot. Meanwhile, Marlo (Dobrev) and Ray (Luna) are meant to provide some romantic friction, in that hate-you-but-really-love-you way, but they failed to convince me that they even like each other let alone want to get busy. Kiefer Sutherland (looking like someone dragged him out of a crypt) has a small role as one of the teacher/doctors, who may or may not be Nelson from the original, but there’s nothing storywise that makes that connection. (Although there has been talk of a significant scene that was deleted because only the old people got it. … Rude.)

Although the new script notably adds some diversity to the roster, it otherwise follows nearly every original plot point, from the characters’ backstories to the soaring depictions of the afterworld (only this time with bad CGI, sterilized set-pieces, and smartphones). After the clique first starts taking turns at doing the death, they briefly develop superpowers, in a hitch that presents itself like a trap door – for one fleeting moment we could have had a very different film. Instead, the action resorts to cheap-shot scare tactics: eerie whispers, bloated ghosts, technology gone haywire, etc. This movie is what might happen if Grey’s Anatomy crossed frequencies with What Lies Beneath, but that actually sounds like it might be good, and this is not. Considering the other options on the horror menu at the multiplex right now, it was no wonder the theatre was empty. If you find Flatliners to be conceptually interesting (which it is), stay home and rent the original.

Showtimes

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Wed., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 9:00

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 18

digital 4:30, 10:20
digital, luxury lounger 4:30, 10:20

Wed., Oct. 18

digital 5:20, 10:35
digital, luxury lounger 5:20, 10:35

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 18

digital 12:50, 3:45, 6:40, 9:20
digital, luxury lounger 12:50, 3:45, 6:40, 9:20

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Wed., Oct. 18

2:10, 4:55, 7:45, 10:20

Thu., Oct. 19

2:10, 4:55, 7:45, 10:20

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Wed., Oct. 18

11:00am, 10:45

Thu., Oct. 19

11:00am, 1:40, 4:20

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 12:25, 10:35

Thu., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 12:25, 4:15

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 1:00, 10:35

Thu., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 1:00, 3:55, 6:35, 10:35

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Wed., Oct. 18

10:35am, 1:35, 4:15, 7:05, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 19

10:35am, 1:35, 4:15, 7:05, 10:00

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 18

2:00, 4:35, 7:50

Thu., Oct. 19

2:00, 4:35

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Wed., Oct. 18

11:50am, 2:40, 5:20, 8:00, 10:45

Thu., Oct. 19

11:40am, 2:20, 5:00

Tinseltown North

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Wed., Oct. 18

digital 1:05, 4:05, 7:00, 10:20
digital, luxury lounger 1:05, 4:05, 7:00, 10:20
READ MORE
More Niels Arden Oplev Films
Dead Man Down
Noomi Rapace, the original Lisbeth Salander, reunites with her The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo director for this NYC gangland thriller starring Colin Farrell.

Kimberley Jones, March 15, 2013

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
This Swedish film is an icily sleek masterwork of sustained suspense, much like Noomi Rapace's visceral, envelope-pushing performance.

Marc Savlov, April 2, 2010

More by Danielle White
Happy Death Day
Living your death over and over again

Oct. 13, 2017

Stronger
The story of Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman

Sept. 29, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Flatliners, Niels Arden Oplev, Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons, Madison Brydges, Kiefer Sutherland

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