12. Flatliners

12-flatlinersBackground info

Title: Flatliners
Director: Joel Schumacher
Year: 1990
Run time: 1hr 54m

“Are you afraid to die? Kiefer Sutherland isn’t. He’s an ambitious, charismatic medical student who persuades classmates Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon to take part in a reckless experiment. To see if there is life after death, they will kill themselves: temporarily shut down (“flatline”) their heart and brain functions to briefly experience clinical death. After Sutherland survives the first experiment, the others flatline for increasingly longer intervals. But their horror begins when they realize that although they’ve come back alive… they haven’t come back alone. FLATLINERS is a chilling suspense thriller of obsession, fear and redemption that will take you across the line to a place where terror lives forever.”

Live blog

0:57 – Quite the dramatic start. Choirs singing like that is always menacing.
1:55 – Aw, bless young Keifer Sutherland.
2:49 – Not so much bless for the long haired Kevin Bacon.
9:01 – Are doctors really taught they’re supposed to be battling against each other? Fancy knowing what grades you’re going to hand out before the class even begins.
10:35 – People keep telling me the answer is 42. I guess that isn’t enough for these people.
14:24 – I like to think you can’t get away with stealing things from a hospital, but I guess if you work there, it’s easier.
16:35 – When they fill a hypodermic needle and then squirt it upwards, that always fascinates me. Have they put too much in already so they can squirt some out, or do you just get a little bit less than intended?
21:26 – Death is running through meadows with a ribbon and a dog? Meh.
32:39 – Ah, phew. Death isn’t always a meadow.
38:30 – It seems odd to me that they have concluded there is activity after death, when really, is a minute long enough for the body to completely shut down? You still get muscle spasms and things, don’t you? Although, I’m not a doctor, I know what I know from Casualty.
40:33 – Why is this film so smokey? They must have kept the dry ice industry going for at least six months while shooting this.
41:37 – There’s also an awful lot of blue lighting in this film. I quite like it. More films should be done in blue.
48:02 – Will being electrocuted by those paddle things when you are healthy always kill you? I know it’s not great but is it always instant flatline, or are they just “lucky”?
54:37 – How come some of them live in rubbish student digs and Mr Sutherland has the poshest flat I’ve ever seen?
1:00:24 – It can’t be at all sensible to do the flatlining thing in the rain. Electricity and water and all that. Of course, it’s not sensible to do it all. Just saying.
1:02:50 – How do you act out that kind of jump? The “I’ve just been electrocuted” jump?
1:15:20 – Perhaps this is just me, but I reckon getting whacked round the face with a hockey stick and a screw driver is slightly worse than being chased by women.
1:23:36 – If bullies from my school turned up on my doorstep, I would slam the door in their face. Thankfully, I’m positive my mother wouldn’t just hand over the number!
1:40:32 – What is this place they keep going to? Is it a church? What are the building works being done to it? A film that tackles the subject of death, and I’m more interested in the architecture.
1:50:17 – What happened to the guy being chased by women? Was losing his fiancee enough to scare off the demons?

Conclusions

I have definitely seen this one before, perhaps at the request of Mr C, but I think it might have been late at night and I probably wasn’t paying attention. I recall it as “the one where they pretended to be dead” which is factually incorrect.

I like the idea of this film, and the story is good, but my god it is hard work. All that smoke, and blue/red lighting, it gets a bit trying. Still, some of the lines are funny, and the characters are good. I’m not sure I would recommend this onwards, but I don’t want my two hours back.

Rating: 2/5

2 comments

  1. Steven Roy

    You seem to have many more questions than answers which is good if the film makes you question things but this one just seems to leave you with lots of unanswered questions you probably don’t care about.

    The reason that people squirt hypodermics upwards is to get air bubbles out. Air bubbles in the blood can be fatal.

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  2. I hadn’t realised how many questions I’d asked whilst watching this. I guess the problem is they answer all the questions about the actually interesting theological stuff about death, but leave me with all the other mundane stuff 🙂

    Still, the dry ice made up for it.

    Like

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