Saturday, November 4, 2017

Flatliners - Not the Best Remake but Entertaining Nevertheless

This movie was making me quite curious. I knew it was a remake of the 1990 movie of the same title and when the trailer was shown few times earlier, it seemed to me like a good horror movie. So I was kind of looking forward to when the movie would be playing in Indonesian theaters. It was already playing in US for few weeks when finally this film premiered yesterday. Strangely enough, it did not open on a wide scale and instead only playing in several theaters. I guess the time was too near with the movie Thor: Ragnarok which was still occupying a lot of theaters. My wife who was actually not feeling really well was kind enough to accompany me seeing this movie. Thanks Hon! So let us get on with the movie now.

Brief Story Line

Courtney (Ellen Page - Juno, Inception etc) was a medical student who was looking for answers of what happened after a person died. She asked the help from her friends Sophia (Kiersey Clemons - Dope etc) and Jamie (James Norton - Happy Valley TV series etc) to assist her in making her temporarily die (or in the medical terms: flatline) and then revived her again while recording her brain's activity. Despite the protests from Sophia and Jamie, they still went through with the experiment and brought the help from a bright student named Ray (Diego Luna - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Elysium etc) with Marlo (Nina Dobrev - Vampire Diaries TV series, xXx: Return of Xander Cage etc).

After successfully doing the first attempt, Courtney seemed to become a lot brighter than she used to. This intrigued the other students who also wanted to experience this. Little they realized that when Courtney returned, she was starting to seeing things from her past. When the next student did the same experiment, the person also being haunted with the past. Only 1 student who felt that the experiment was getting out of hand and recommended not to continue with these activities. But none of them listened. Until all of them finally realized that the haunting and visions were truly dangerous and they had to do something to stop it.

So could they find out what was causing the visions that haunt them? Could they save themselves from this? Find them all in this drama horror movie.

End of Brief Story Line

Well this movie was a bit different from what I expected. I did not remember the exact events from the original movie (1990 version) so I decided to watch it once again the day before. It was a bit of a habit for me to do this to be able to compare with the remake and see if I could experience it better or worse. This movie felt more like a modern horror movie with the occasional appearance of disturbing images combined with the usual shocking music/sound effects, plus the intensity of waiting when the shocking moments would appear. However, it was not a full time movie of such. Those moments only started after the second person experienced the flatline. And the ending was more like a drama, rather than a climax of the usual horror movie.

The movie surprisingly had few funny moments where the audience was quite amused and those scary and horrific moments were also quite entertaining for some people. My wife was definitely excluded as she mostly put her hands on her eyes to avoid seeing the scary moments. Lucky for her that those scenes were not as frequent as a full horror movie. The good sound effects were actually the thing that made the scary moments quite successful in scaring us.

After seeing the movie, I could actually understand why it was not really commercially successful. For hard core horror movie fans, this one might feel too soft (not a full movie filled with horrific moments from start to end) and for fans of drama horror movie, it also felt not deep enough. Unlike the original one where I felt more suitable as drama horror, since it was focusing more on the terrifying events and the creepiness of things haunting the students from the past, rather than scaring us with the horrific images. 

Furthermore, the stars from the original movie at that time were considered as talented young actors then, such as Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, Notting Hill etc), Kevin Bacon (Apollo 13, Mystic River etc), Oliver Platt (Casanova, 2012 etc), William Baldwin (Backdraft, Sliver etc) and obviously Kiefer Sutherland (24 TV series, Phone Booth etc) who also appeared in this movie playing as a different character. This was a bit of a question mark for me as I thought it would have been a nice touch had it been the same character. And this made his role here seemed unnecessary as it could have been played by someone else. It was a real shame on this part. But I do like that there was one famous line from the original movie that was mentioned in here.

One thing to be taken into consideration for those who have seen the original was to forget about that and just enjoy this movie. This one though still having 5 students, but their characters were completely different from the original (such as the gender, or the motivation of each student for doing the experiment, and who actually did or did not). Such changes would definitely be intentional, but perhaps not necessarily a plus for the fans of the original.

Overall, as I said above, this is not the best remake of a movie, but nevertheless it was still entertaining to my opinion. So if you would like to see this kind of drama horror movie then this one certainly worth to try. But do not expect nonstop terrifying movie like those Conjuring movies and a very scary climax in the end. There was no need to wait till the finish of credit scene since there was no surprise scene for us to see. 

Mike's movie moments rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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