Dead on arrival

OUT NOW! The remake of Joel Schumacher's FLATLINERS falls short in every way possible. Save your money for presents instead.

The end of the year isn’t always easy on the wallet, with the silly season dictating that you should spend whatever spare cash you may have on trinkets that will blatantly be re-gifted by New Year’s… So, don’t ignore this seasonal tip: save your time and pennies by not going to see Flatliners. Indeed, this remake of Joel Schumacher’s 27-year-old cult film of the same name, this time directed by Niels Arden Oplev, is both pointless and utterly brain-dead. Quite fitting really, considering the med student protagonists take up brain-death as a pastime, as they conduct a series of ill-advised experiments centred around bringing themselves back from the dead. It’s chock-a-block full of cheap jump-scares, as well as embarrassingly unrealistic character developments that see our death-defying numbskulls elect to go to raves and fuck each other senseless instead of wasting their precious time even pausing to contemplate the fact they’ve brought themselves back from the beyond. Then again, it’s hardly surprising behaviour coming from disastrously stupid people who utter lines like: “Why didn’t you tell us there would be a downside to flatlining?”. University entrance standards have clearly nose-dived.

While it’s hardly difficult to turn Flatliners into the end of year whipping boy, what makes it an ideal candidate for the position is that the idea of remaking the original wasn’t unthinkably terrible. The 90s flick had aged and a competent update could have made for a genuinely chilling psychological thriller. Furthermore, drafting the Danish talent behind the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film was a promising move. Sadly, this dud really proves that some films should never be brought back from the dead.

Flatliners | Directed by Niels Arden Oplev (US / Canada, 2017) with Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev. Starts November 30.

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