The remake of the 1990's Flatliners remake is getting torn apart by critics and moviegoers, resulting in a zero percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based off of 20 reviews as of this writing. Currently the movie is projecting to make between $5 and $8 million dollars at the box office this weekend with a budget of $19 million dollars, which is not a good sign for a movie that some are calling "the definition of meh." It isn't clear if the studio signed a Do Not Resuscitate contract because it looks as if the Flatliners has flat lined.
The trailers and promotional material looked promising, plus there was a cameo by Kiefer Sutherland who starred in the first Joel Schumacher directed Flatliners in 1990. Sutherland announced that the movie was intended to be a sequel last year before filming began, but it appears as if they lost the script for the planned sequel and found a crappy version of the original script to use instead. Basically, the only thing being praised about the Flatliners 2017 movie is the diversity found in the cast. The movie stars Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, and Kiersey Clemons as medical students who stop their hearts in order to get a glimpse of the afterlife. Unfortunately for them, aspects of the afterlife start to follow them back into real life to haunt them.
Though the original movie wasn't very good either, the new one has gotten some pretty choice reviews who are wondering why the Flatliners movie was even made in the first place. The A.V. Club's Mike D'Angelo wonders why the movie was brought back from the dead and gave the movie a D+. D'Angelo says, "Flatliners 2017 is the same dumb movie as Flatliners 1990, minus most of the surface charisma." The New York Times' Glenn Kenny suggested that the movie was just "meh." He had this to say.
"This film did not screen for critics, nor was it previewed in New York theaters on a Thursday night, as is usually customary with studio pictures. I imagine Columbia understood that it had something arguably worse than a dog on its hands. This Flatliners is in fact a new definition of "meh."
Vulture's David Edelstein called the movie "embarrassing" and "third rate" in his review while Rolling Stone's Peter Travers calls Flatliners a "fright free-fiasco." Empire's John Nugent calls the return of Kiefer Sutherland pointless. He explains.
"Kiefer Sutherland was sold as the connective tissue between the two films, and his character could have offered true mentorship or advice to students performing identical experimental procedures to his, but his cameo is largely pointless. There is zero reference to the events of the last film. Instead he is left to stomp around irascibly with a walking stick, like a less brilliant Dr House. He is the most visible ghost of all: the vision from the past, haunting the present, reminding us that this all happened before, and marginally better."
The Los Angeles Times' Noel Murray was able to find a bright spot in the otherwise critically panned movie. Murray said, "the new filmmaking team of writer Ben Ripley and director Niels Arden Oplev makes the original's members look like peerless masters of horror." Wait, that's praise for the original movie. Whoops.
Flatliners may have a zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing, but it will surely raise a little bit higher in the coming weeks. For instance, The Emoji Movie started with a zero percent as well, but now has gone up the ranks to earn a whooping ten percent after nearly 3 months. Regardless, you can head over to Rotten Tomatoes now and read some of the reviews in full for yourself. Or maybe help out Flatliners with a good review if you happened to see it and actually liked it.