Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland and William Baldwin star in this psychological horror film about near-death-experiences.
It's not often that I'll watch horror movies older than I am--there are exceptions for stellar films such as The Evil Dead, The Thing or The Shining--but in general, I tend to avoid horrors pre-1995. Flatliners was an exception. I kept seeing this pop up again and again as I searched for movies on Netflix and decided to give it a try. It all ended up better than expected.

Flatliners is a different sort of horror that's still pretty unique--a group of brilliant med-school students decide to experiment with assisted suicide and resuscitation--essentially offing themselves for a few minutes to experience a possible life after death or near-death-experiences (LDE's). The premise is interesting and plays out a lot better than your typical slasher.

 The film is carried largely by Kiefer Sutherland (24) and Kevin Bacon's (Apollo 13) performances--Sutherland is the mastermind behind the experiment and the vivacious Bacon provides an excellent foil to Sutherland's chilling behavior. (He's got the wackiest hair, too; but so did a lot of people in the late 80's-early 90's). Julia Roberts is here also, in her first serious drama/horror--she hadn't quite attained the popularity that she held throughout the rest of the 90's after Pretty Woman and as a result, she's quite a decent actress here--plenty of guilt and emotion and all that jazz. William Baldwin (Backdraft)... I'm mixed about him-- he seemed to be constantly scared and paranoid all movie long--but I suppose I would be too if I saw scorned women who's lives I basically destroyed on every screen, all the time.

It appears that Mr. Sutherland herps while he derps. He also strongly resembles Frankenstein's monster.

 Flatliners has some chillingly spooky moments mixed in along far too much cinematic smoke-- we're talking smoke coming from manholes, grates, exhaust pipes, doorways, lawns, graveyards, and bridges. It seems that the director really had a fetish for smoke.

Picture this--times 50. Then add flashing lights and bad haircuts.

There are also some corny situations and bad makeup on a few of the dead that the med students see after they undergo the experiments, along with some outright strange stuff--it appears that the med school classes are in a museum being renovated with Italian-Greco architecture... ok...

That's a med school building? Wish my school resembled that.

Certainly, Flatliners cannot simply be compared to masterpieces of psychological horror such as The Sixth Sense, The Silence of the Lambs, or Psycho, but it does provoke thought and many questions.

DiCaprio's on da ball.
 For instance, when does the mind shut off and psychological death occur? At brain death? After? How is it that there are cases of people who are clinically dead "coming back" if brain death is final? What happens immediately after death? Is there an afterlife?

Wait a second... why am I on an island?? Oh @#$! Not this again!
 Flatliners is a fairly decent movie, and I saw it for free. I suggest you try to see it for free also if you are interested. Be prepared for funky 80's style cinematography, haircuts, clothing, and houses--gods above, that was a strange era. Also--Flatliners is rated R for language, violence, dramatic situations, blah blah blah and so on and so forth. It's worth a watch--don't expect a masterpiece, but just a good horror for a rainy day.

Flatliners gets 3.75/5 stars--mainly cause Kevin Bacon's hair is so damn amusing. It is rated R.

No comments:

Post a Comment