Years before SCREAM made teen horror hip again — and long after the slasher genre faded into regional theater obscurity — a group of fresh-faced almost-A-listers convened together to put a youthful spin on psychological horror tropes, under the direction of a slick stylist best known for making a film about hot young punk vampires battling the Coreys. That movie was, of course, FLATLINERS, the slick-but-soulless Joel Schumacher thriller that starred a good chunk of the Hollywood-ruling youth brigade known as the Brat Pack. That film was a moderate box office success that went on to have a long and healthy shelf life as cult film — one that is apparently cult enough to have secured its own remake full of hot young stars.
Well, technically it’s a sequel, as it brings back Kiefer Sutherland’s character from the original as a new group of med school students decide to experiment with seeing “what’s on the other side”, only to bring something back with them. But let’s face it — this is a still a remake. It’s a THE THING situation — a supposed extension of the original that nonetheless uses the same title and story beats as before.
This new version inexplicably casts Ellen Page (in the Sutherland-originated ringleader role) and Diego Luna — both of whom seem well beyond this kind of stuff at this point in their respective careers — alongside Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons as the students with Niels Arden Oplev (director of the original Swedish version of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) at the helm.
From the looks of it, Oplev is ditching the grandiloquent Gothic opulence of Schumacher’s original for a lot of whooshing CGI razzle dazzle and stock modern horror tropes of creepy things being heard on the radio, characters looking at things slinking menacingly under sheets, and at least one person being dragged down the hall by an invisible force. In other words, it looks kinda generic, and not at all dissimilar to something like the recent bomb THE LAZARUS EFFECT.
Still, FLATLINERS could end up being a fun time at the theaters, and maybe end up starting it’s own little cult in the long run? Then again, it may not answer why we need a FLATLINERS remake — err, sequel — to begin with. Either way, we’ll find out when it drops from Sony September 29th.
Tags: Diego Luna, Ellen Page, Flatliners, James Norton, Joel Schumacher, Kiefer Sutherland, Kiersey Clemons, Niels Arden Opley. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Nina Dobrev, The Lazarus Effect, The Thing