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‘Flatliners’ Reviews: Critics Agree the Remake Is ‘Unrevivably Dead’

The reviews are in for the remake of the 1990s science fiction horror film “Flatliners,” and so far the consensus is that the film is dead on arrival.

The film follows the same premise as the Joel Schumacher original: A group of medical students die and revive themselves in order to get a taste of the afterlife. The only thing the remake seems to offer is an updated cast and visuals, but neither are enough to justify the remake, which Variety says only “demonstrates basic competence” and is “deadly dull.”

Currently, “Flatliners” has not received any positive reviews and sits at a zero percent on website Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s what the critics are saying:

Variety’s Andrew Barker:

“About as inessential as reboots get, ‘Flatliners’ finds a replacement cast of equally overqualified actors, and beefs up its depictions of the afterlife with some updated visual effects, but otherwise offers no reason for reanimating this long-expired property.”

Vulture‘s David Edelstein

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“‘Flatliners’ loses its most intriguing element, going from a medical sci-fi picture to a pop-up spook movie that’s like a third-rate ‘The Ring.’… But no matter how skeptical you are, the premise of ‘Flatliners’ is intriguing enough to draw you in. It’s the movie’s hard right turn into tidy, cornball, Sunday school moralism that leaves it unrevivably dead.”

The New York Times’ Glenn Kenny

“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.'”

The Los Angeles Times’ Noel Murray

“The best that can be said about the ‘Flatliners’ remake is that the new filmmaking team of writer Ben Ripley and director Niels Arden Oplev makes the original’s members look like peerless masters of horror.”

IndieWire’s David Erlich

“Once upon a time, Hollywood used to cook their crap with at least a modicum of care; now, its hit-and-run horror movies are just kind of insulting. The movie builds to the realization that asking people for forgiveness is a lot easier than forgiving yourself, but it’s hard to imagine anyone offering audiences an apology for this debacle. It’s even harder to imagine those audiences accepting one.”

IGN’s William Bibbiani

“The complex ideas that Flatliners introduced in the first half give way to a simplistic moral parable [in the second half]….The ensemble cast is game for anything, and sells every scene to the best of their ability (which is to say, some better than others), but they’re let down by a film that — like the original — cuts away the best parts of itself in order to satisfy an artificial need to be scary, instead of smart.”

 

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