With accountability for bad behaviour even more of an issue in the internet age, the time is right for a revisit of Flatliners, the hit 1990 thriller about med schoolers whose induced brief-death experiences lead them to be haunted by past misdeeds.
But the only real update here is the diversity of its cast: Ray (Diego Luna), Jamie (James Norton), Marlo (Nina Dobrev), and Sophia (Kiersey Clemons) join their fellow resident, Courtney (Ellen Page), in her quest to plumb the mysteries of the afterlife via illicit experiments in a basement lab.
Their roles too often require them to explain themselves to each other, and a white-haired, returning Kiefer Sutherland is a damp-squib cameo.
Like its predecessor, the new Flatliners subjugates ethical and moral questions to the pedantic problems of its protagonists, but at least original director Joel Schumacher gave the material a pulpy kick; Arden Oplev is dutiful at best. The bottom line A hackneyed, plodding horror that’s D.O.A.