Flatliners (1990)


Alright, been holding on to this one for a little while, not because its THE BEST REVIEW EVARRRR but because… I’ve actually just been busy. So that’s how life works sometimes. Anyways, we’re going way way back in the way back machine, to 1990. What for? For this :

Medical students bring themselves near death; their experiment begins to go awry.

Alright, well, this movie is beautifully 90s. Everything from the casting, to the relatively cheeseball story is like a time capsule of the things you love, hate, and love to hate about the early 90s.

First off, the casting is fantastic. This movie has everyone you want from this period of time, giving a pretty great and slightly melodramatic performances. I was drawn to this movie initially from my borderline man-crush on Kevin Bacon, and of course my fascination with early 90s Kiefer Sutherland. We also get pretty enjoyable performances from Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, and Oliver Platt. Making this a pretty watchable movie based almost entirely on the people in it.


The story is based on some delightfully campy pseudo science, and focuses on this group of medical students experimenting with death, in the interest of finding out what comes after life. As far as the medical procedure goes, it all sounds scientific enough, but I couldn’t tell you if that is even remotely based on any kind of actual science or truth. If you’re a doctor, feel free to tell me how it works or if it works. It was believable enough in the context of the movie, so it doesn’t suffer from coming off as silly. Even 25 years later.

As far as the rest of the story, there are some satisfyingly creepy moments throughout, but it also feels muddled and does get a little bit convoluted when the students begin to see the sins of their past come back to haunt them. It seems to over-explain how you bring someone back from the dead, and then under-explains … everything else in the movie. Which makes it a bit more challenging, when there aren’t rules for the things that are happening.


All that being said, it’s not a terrible piece of 90s cinema. It’s not a masterpiece or anything, but its fun to watch and pretty entertaining from beginning to end. The performances are delightful, without being terrible, and it’s just a pretty good little throw-away movie.

If you come across it in your travels, watch it, but I wouldn’t say it NEEDS TO BE SEEN, or anything like that. Unfortunately, I don’t have much more to say about it, these right-down-the-middle movies are always the hardest to review.

So, that’s it. Thanks for reading.



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