Well, it was only a matter of time before another truly great contemporary 1990’s film got the modern Hollywood do-over, wasn’t it? In 1990, a great film directed by Joel Schumacher was created, and it starred Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, Oliver Platt and William Baldwin. That movie was called Flatliners. It had a very dark and suspenseful undertone throughout, and it could be classed as the epitome of a contemporary thriller, so one wonders, why the need for a remake in 2017, twenty-seven years later?
Let’s get a closer look and just try to understand it, shall we? The new Flatliners film stars Ellen Page, Diego Luna, and hardly anybody else worth mentioning apart from Kiefer Sutherland as Dr. Barry Wolfson who is pretty much just in there to give this new remake some credence. It begs the question: how could this relatively unknown cast ever come close to the cast in the original film?
But hey now, let’s give this new film a chance though… But not before we revisit the official trailer of the 1990 classic film first. It is evident from the whole vibe of that original film that it was film noir to the core, and that it got your pulse racing right from the get-go, even before you’ve watched the full film. After all, that’s how a thriller should be, right?
Indeed, this film is iconic, and if you haven’t already, just order the DVD and give it a watch if you haven’t already seen it. The 35mm film still holds up today, as does the cinematography, the direction, and most definitely the performances by the cast stand the test of time too, so why the need for a remake? Why not use that creative energy and funding to make something else? Guess we will truly never know how Hollywood comes up with these crazy ideas.
The plot of the film surrounds the lives of five medical students who bravely decide to experiment with “near death experiences” by flatlining, going under, and then coming back to life, in the spirit of science in order to discover the afterlife, which later involves their haunting journey into past tragedies, until those dark consequences begin to jeopardize their current lives.
Once they go under and come back, they begin to get haunted by past childhood experiences, old sins, and the film communicates a dark element that leaves you hooked until the very end. This is especially so in Kiefer Sutherland’s role of Nelson who suffers reliving his own troubling experiences from his childhood past, such as with bullying and with Billy Mahoney.
Anyway, so now that you’ve been reminded of that scene in higher quality from YouTube, let’s take a look at this new 2017 Hollywood remake of the cult classic and try to understand what the point of all this is and why Sony Pictures Entertainment has seen the need to remake this film for a new generation.
On first look, it looks very pristine and very vanilla compared to Joel Schumacher’s original masterpiece, even within the scarier scenes. Could that be because of it not living up to our expectations from just the trailer alone? Probably. I mean, it’s a little bit weird for us going from seeing a young Julia Roberts to Ellen Page. No offence.
Sure, while it’s a remake, one can argue that it’s a remake with a few brand new story elements thrown into it which sort of changes up the original plot a little bit, but perhaps it would have been better as a sequel then. Why not just have made it a sequel?
Regardless of if it’s a sequel or not, what does Rotten Tomatoes have to say about it? Well, it’s too early to tell, but 93% of reviewers want to see the film, and surely out of those 93%, many will want to see how it matches up to the original film in some way too.
How is this a remake and not a sequel? Is it simply a homage, or are we to believe that this film will live up to the original in any kind of way? We have a sneaking suspicion that it won’t even come close to the original. Yet again, it seems like even with a whole host of brilliant actors/actresses out there and tons of screenwriters brimming with fresh ideas, Hollywood have ultimately decided to ruin the memory of a cult classic from the 1990’s for a new and lesser clued up generation.
Of course, let’s not jump to conclusions just yet! We’re awaiting the Rotten Tomatoes rating in about a week or so to see how things have shaped up, however, we’re willing to bet big money that it won’t be anywhere near as good as the original film, something which is so common place these days with movie remakes…
Brainstain, over and out!
<Story by The Narrator>
Featured Photo Credit: YouTube