A group of medical students (Ellen Page, Nina Dobrev, Diego Luna and James Norton) begin experiments that see them experience vivid hallucinations when close to death. However, the hallucinations begin to seep over into their waking life with horrific consequences.
Who honestly asked for a remake to Joel Schumacher's 1990 silly horror-thriller Flatliners? Was there a groundswell of support for it? Was there fervent online chatter about what a new version of the film would look like? Maybe it was something to do with unrealised effects that might enhance the story? No, the truth is that nobody wanted this and it's telling that Flatliners arrives to cinemas with little in the way of fanfare or positive buzz chasing it. In fact, it's most likely going to come and go from cinemas, reappearing in a couple of months on streaming services which will see you swiping over it on the way to something more interesting.
The film follows the exact same plot - pretty much beat for beat - from the original. You have a group of young students, all impossibly good-looking and with just enough of a personality for them to register as human beings to function in the story. Like the original, they all carry some kind of guilt that manifests following their near-death experience, but it's the way in which the film handles that makes it borderline laughable. Ellen Page's character is chased by a little girl around her impossibly large apartment that looks her sister - who died, it must be added, in a car-crash caused by Ellen Page texting while driving. James Norton's character is visited by the noise of a crying baby, owing to the fact that a woman he dated had an abortion which he skipped out on. In all instances, you're reminded that these are fundamentally bad people which doesn't exactly allow you to care what happens to them.
More to the point, the acting is so universally poor that you're not even interested or invested in them. Director Niles Anders Oplev, who's steadily making a name for himself as a hack-for-hire, uses all the artistic grace of an airhorn to scare the viewer. There's about as much subtlety here as a fart in a bath-tub, and the screenplay from Ben Ripley is filled with the kind of cheap explanatory dialogue that you'd expect to find in a straight-to-DVD film with Steven Seagal. The film doesn't even look all that pretty or exciting, and there's so little in the film that even explains why it's there in the first place.
Oh, the best bit? Kiefer Sutherland turns up in an extended cameo and has a cane ala House MD. That's about it. Insert flat-line, dead-on-arrival, medical procedure joke here.