Remake Hell: Dead on Arrival: Flatliners (2017) Reviewed

At this point, I'm convinced it will never stop. This trend of remakes that trample former mythologies has grown tired beyond anything that should ever exist in modern cinema. Case in point. Flatliners: a remake that changes out eerie settings and carefully placed lighting for a sterile hospital environment. Just no. 

This last week saw the release of the hellish remake that's nearly a scene for scene retelling that ultimately lacks the brooding tone, visceral tension, and any sense of dread whatsoever. What plays like a made for television do over is one of the worst horror films of 2017 that revels in base level jump scares and too much lame exposition. Unlike the original, this new take lacks the gothic punch that made 1990 film such a modern classic. Some of the production values here make this look like a SyFy movie of the week. Yes. I said that. 

As our main star Ellen Page even struggles to carry any dramatic presence, her supporting cast here is like a wooden team of humans that lack any dynamic or talent. Actor James Norton is cringe worthy while he notably reads lines directly from the page with absolutely no soul. Diego Luna finds himself on a sinking ship of terrible dialogue. And Nina Dobrev anxiously attempts to put forth a convincing performance as Kiersey Clemons just stands around looking dumbfounded. Most of this can most noticeably be blamed on director Niels Arden Oplev who lost control of this movie. This is the man that directed the foreign release of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Somewhere along the way he lost his focus because Flatliners (2017) is a deeply flawed nightmare that was definitely marked for the late September/early October dumping ground. 

If  I sleep, I can't read these reviews. 

Great horror (even some remakes) can maintain the heart or feel of their predecessors. It doesn't happen often but if enough creativity is put into it, there can be a balance where the new one might up the ante of the original or at least capture much of the same feel. Oprev's attempt to recreate the world of doctors that flatline themselves just seems like no one cared. It's a constant string of repeated scenes that just don't ever take the audience down a darkened path of fear. Even as similar as this is, there is one creepy character that never even shows up in Flatliners. This alone changes some of the premise, leaving no real evil antagonist for us to cower from. 

Despite a few cool moments in the musical score, there's not much to suggest with Flatliners. Considering there was a much better version 27 years ago that starred a great cast of up and coming actors, that would be the one to watch. Considering this remake went for awfully rendered CGI effects and no real scares, go old school. The crew that starred in the 1990 flick were way better actors that were given some fat to chew on. They'd spit this one out. It tastes like overcooked leftovers.