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 heartand 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.
What if you could stop your heart to simulate a temporary death, and then be revived so you could describe your near-death experience to others? The mysteries of life--and the afterlife--compel five medical students (Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt) to experiment with their own mortality, and what they discover has unsettling psychological implications. That's the intriguing premise of this neo-Gothic horror thriller, directed by Joel Schumacher (Batman & Robin
) with his typical indulgence of vibrant colors and hyperactive, hallucinogenic style. The movie borders on silliness at times, and the near-death recollection of memories results in some repetitious scenes, but the dynamic young cast takes it all quite seriously, which is what keeps this gaudy thriller on the edge. The fascinating premise could have been made into a better film, but Schumacher's mainstream excess doesn't stop Flatliners
from being slick, occasionally even provocative entertainment. --Jeff Shannon