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Flatliners


Loaded with movie stars in their earliest days of stardom, 1990's horror/suspense thriller FLATLINERS fails to deliver on its interesting premise.

We meet a young group of medical students who are led by their ballsiest (is that a word?) member Nelson (Kiefer Sutherland) into experimenting with death and the afterlife.

Under controlled conditions in a suitably spooky old abandoned Gothic building, they medicate themselves into death and then jump start their mates (clear!) back to life.

Nelson sees himself as an explorer into another realm and each member of the group pushes themselves to stay dead longer and longer.

A young and beautiful Julia Roberts is Rachel, Kevin Bacon is wild-man med student David, William Baldwin is lothario doctor in training Joe and Oliver Platt brings some common sense as Randy.

After a few of them spend some time on "the other side" they have the shared experience of some nasty little things coming back with them.

Physical manifestations of their worst deeds, they battle these specters with varying degrees of success and soon must team up to defeat them.

Director Joel Schumacher can be stylish and clever (Batman Forever, The Lost Boys, The Phantom of the Opera) or a complete hack (Batman and Robin, by far the worst Batman movie ever made) and lands somewhere in the middle here, providing plenty of cool set design and a moody, wet, dark look to every set, but the story itself peters out long before the unmemorable conclusion.

Solid photography by Jan deBont, who would go on to direct "Twister" and "Speed".

For maybe half its length, FLATLINERS has an interesting pulse, but soon, its just.............__________________________.

We'll zap it a C. Get the paddles.....CLEAR!

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