Flatliners (2017 film)

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Flatliners (2017).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNiels Arden Oplev
Screenplay byBen Ripley
Story byPeter Filardi
Based onFlatliners
by Peter Filardi
Produced by
CinematographyEric Kress
Edited byTom Elkins
Music byNathan Barr[4]
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • September 29, 2017 (2017-09-29) (United States)
Running time
110 minutes[6]
CountryUnited States
Budget$19 million[7]
Box office$45.2 million[7]

Flatliners is a 2017 American science fiction psychological horror drama film directed by Niels Arden Oplev and written by Ben Ripley. A stand-alone sequel to and remake of the 1990 film of the same name, it stars Elliot Page,[a] Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, and Kiersey Clemons. The story follows five medical students who attempt to conduct experiments that produce near-death experiences.

Sony Pictures released the film in the United States on September 29, 2017. It was negatively reviewed by critics, who generally remarked that it repeated the problems of the original in failing to do justice to its interesting premise, but it was a moderate box office success, grossing $45 million worldwide on a $19 million budget.


A medical student, Courtney, is obsessed with the idea of the afterlife. She invites fellow students Jamie and Sophia to join her in an experiment, in an unused hospital room: using defibrillation to stop her heart for sixty seconds while recording her brain. She assures them they would not be held responsible for any accidents. Sophia is against this, but Jamie does it anyway. After sixty seconds, they are unable to revive her. Fellow student Ray helps them resuscitate her. Marlo, a rival of Ray, arrives and learns of the experiment.

Courtney begins to recall memories of past events such as her grandmother's recipe for bread. Courtney experiences increased intelligence and euphoria, being suddenly able to play the piano after 12 years and answer questions in class perfectly. Envious, Jamie flatlines, but has a disturbing near-death experience as he meets his ex-girlfriend. Marlo and Sophia follow suit and flatline, for an increasing number of minutes. During Sophia’s turn they are nearly caught and flee the hospital and arrive at a party. Courtney and Jamie start seeing visions of past mistakes, but do not tell the others.

Those who flatlined experience visions: Courtney is haunted by her sister Tessa, who died in a car crash she caused because she was using her phone. Jamie is haunted by the baby of his ex-girlfriend whom he got pregnant and begged to get an abortion. Marlo is haunted by a man named Cyrus who died when she accidentally mixed up his medication, and Sophia is haunted by a girl named Irina whose life she ruined out of jealousy by hacking her phone and sending out her nudes. This allowed Sophia to become valedictorian.

Courtney, traumatised by her visions, records a message apologising for the consequences and admitting that her interest in flatlining was due to the death of her sister, not for scientific discovery. She falls to her death from the fire escape of her apartment building after her sister's ghost pushes her off. The others are devastated when they learn of Courtney’s death, and realize they may be implicated if anyone discovers their experiments. After attempting to remove all notes and evidence from Courtney’s apartment, Marlo is sent to the morgue to find Courtney’s phone. She is once again haunted by visions. On his boat, Jamie again hears the cries of a baby and a woman weeping. He falls out of his boat and swims to the dock where a figure stabs him in his hand.

The group watches Courtney's recording and find out that she had encountered similar hauntings. They come clean to the mistakes they made and come to the conclusion that the hauntings they're experiencing are hallucinations because of guilt from their sins, not paranormal beings. The only one who didn't flatline, Ray, initially disbelieves what's happening.

The group takes action to stop the hallucinations by fixing their past mistakes. Sophia visits Irina to apologize, which Irina accepts. Jamie visits his ex-girlfriend and discovers she didn't get an abortion, but kept the baby; he apologizes and promises to provide for his son. Ray and Marlo get into a fight when Ray finds out Marlo covered up the real reason Cyrus died and she refuses to come clean. Marlo hallucinates being suffocated while driving and crashes her car. Tired of being haunted by her hallucinations, Marlo flatlines on her own in the hope of asking forgiveness of Cyrus. Ray, Sophia and Jamie rush to stop her. They resuscitate Marlo after she sees an apparition of Courtney, who tells Marlo that she needs to forgive herself. Later, Marlo comes clean to the Dean about Cyrus's death and is held on probation. Marlo, Ray, Sophia and Jamie reminisce about Courtney and celebrate their friendships in the little restaurant they hang out at, where there is a performance of the piano piece that Courtney played. Ray and Jamie proposes a toast, honoring Courtney.



In October 2015, Elliot Page[a] was cast in the film.[12] In February 2016, Diego Luna was added,[13] with Nina Dobrev joining in April.[14] In May 2016, Kiersey Clemons and James Norton signed on for the film.[15][16]

In July 2016, it was announced that Kiefer Sutherland, who starred in the original, would return in the new film.[17] Sutherland later disclosed that he was reprising his role from the original film, adding that the new film is actually a sequel rather than a remake.[9] Despite the announcement, Sutherland played a character with a different name than in the original, with no reference to the specific events of the previous film.[citation needed] In July 2016, Charlotte McKinney also joined the cast.[18]

Principal photography began in early July 2016 in Toronto,[19][20] Ontario primarily at Cinespace Film Studios' Kipling Avenue facility, and concluded on September 7.[citation needed] The film went into post-production on October 4.[21]

Nathan Barr composed the film score. The soundtrack was released by Sony Classical.


Box office[edit]

Flatliners grossed $16.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $28.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $45 million, against a production budget of $19 million.[7]

In North America, the film was released alongside American Made and 'Til Death Do Us Part, as well as the wide expansion of Battle of the Sexes, and was projected to gross $8–12 million from 2,552 theaters in its opening weekend.[22] It ended up debuting to $6.6 million, finishing 5th at the box office; even before factoring in inflation, the number was lower than the $10 million opening of the original film in 1990.[23] In its second weekend the film dropped 42%, grossing $3.6 million.[24]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 4% based on 79 reviews and an average rating of 3.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Flatliners falls flat as a horror movie and fails to improve upon its source material, rendering this reboot dead on arrival."[25] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 27 out of 100 based 20 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[26] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it a 66% overall positive score and a 46% "definite recommend".[23][27]

Criticizing the repetitiveness of the scenes and lack of tension, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film "even more witless and stupefyingly dull than the original." He gave it one star.[28] Ryan Porter gave it one-and-a-half stars in The Star, saying that like the original, it takes a solid premise and fails to develop it in an interesting or exciting way. He said the film's one positive is the unintentional humor which results from the stupidity of several scenes and the earnestness with which the actors approach them.[29] Matt Zoller Seitz similarly said that "[the] premise [of the original Flatliners], which could have opened the door to a visionary work of sci-fi horror, settled into a sort of gothic self-help drama groove, with the medical students realizing that the seemingly supernatural goings-on triggered by their experiments in 'flatlining' were manifestations of their past misdeeds. Director Niels Arden Oplev's remake ... sticks to that template, changing key details here and there while embracing a style that stirs every current horror movie visual cliche into a jagged paste." He also remarked that the obvious effort given by the entire cast could not overcome the contrived and clichéd scares and melodrama.[30] Both Travers and Porter derided the visual effect of the afterlife scenes as cheap-looking and silly.[28][29]

Home media[edit]

Flatliners was released on Digital HD on December 12, 2017, and on Blu-ray and DVD on December 19, 2017 in Canada, and on December 26, 2017 in the United States.[31][32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Initially credited as Ellen Page, Netflix updated the onscreen credits, from Ellen to Elliot, within a week (by 8 December 2020) of Page announcing his name change. as well as credits on other Page works in its exclusive library of streaming products,[2] including the film Tallulah (2016), the tv series The Umbrella Academy (first two seasons, 2019–2020) and the tv miniseries Tales of the City (2019).[3]
  2. ^ A deleted scene identifies Wolfson as being an older version of Dr. Nelson Wright from the original film, having changed his name.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b c McNary, Dave (June 13, 2017). "Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev Experiment With Death in 'Flatliners' Trailer". Variety. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  2. ^ Lang, Brent; Donnelly, Matt (December 1, 2020). "Elliot Page Will Continue to Star in 'Umbrella Academy,' Netflix Changes Credits on His Past Films". Variety. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  3. ^ "Netflix amends Elliot Page's name on all past credits". Special Broadcasting Service. 2020-12-08. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  4. ^ "Nathan Barr to Score 'Flatliners'". Film Music Reporter. August 8, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Film releases". Variety Insight. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  6. ^ "FLATLINERS (15)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Flatliners (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Instagram post by Nina Dobrev • Aug 11, 2016 at 10:40pm UTC". Instagram. Archived from the original on 2021-12-24.
  9. ^ a b Lee, Ann (27 July 2016). "Kiefer Sutherland reveals who he's playing in the Flatliners reboot". Metro. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  10. ^ Oplev, Niels Arden (28 September 2016). "There's A Flatliners Deleted Scene That Connects The New Movie To The Original". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  11. ^ Gallupo, Mia (27 July 2016). "'Awkward' Actor Beau Mirchoff Joining Sony's 'Flatliners' Reboot (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 5, 2015). "Ellen Page in Talks to Star in 'Flatliners' Remake (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  13. ^ Geier, Thom (February 29, 2016). "'Rogue One' Star Diego Luna in Talks to Join Ellen Page in 'Flatliners'". TheWrap. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  14. ^ Patten, Dominic (April 20, 2016). "Nina Dobrev In Talks To Join Sony's 'Flatliners' Reboot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  15. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 3, 2016). "'Dope's' Kiersey Clemons to Star Opposite Ellen Page in 'Flatliners' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  16. ^ Galuppo, Mia (May 9, 2016). "James Norton Joins Ellen Page in 'Flatliners' Remake (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  17. ^ Busch, Anita (July 7, 2016). "Kiefer Sutherland Crossing Over To 'Flatliners' Redo". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  18. ^ Busch, Anita (13 July 2016). "Supermodel Charlotte McKinney Supercharges 'Flatliners'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  19. ^ Eigenmann, Conan Geisler (July 11, 2016). "'The Vampire Diaries' star Ian Somerhalder's ex Nina Dobrev filming 'Flatliners' remake; Kiefer Sutherland returns as doctor". YIBADA. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  20. ^ Lesnick, Silas (July 12, 2016). "Flatliners Reboot Set for 2017 Release - ComingSoon.net". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  21. ^ Hime, Nelly (August 29, 2016). "The Flatliners Remake – Everything You Need to Know". Nagame Digital. Archived from the original on October 9, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  22. ^ Faughnder, Ryan (September 27, 2017). "'It' drives record September box office with Tom Cruise's 'American Made' ready to battle 'Kingsman'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  23. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 2, 2017). "'Kingsman' Edges Out 'It' In Fierce Three-Way B.O. Tie; Early AM Figures Have 'American Made' In 3rd – Monday". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  24. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 9, 2017). "'Blade Runner 2049' Still Rusted With $36M+ Columbus Day Weekend Opening: Monday Postmortem". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  25. ^ "Flatliners (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  26. ^ "Flatliners reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  27. ^ "Is the Flatliners remake any good?". BBC News. October 2, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  28. ^ a b Travers, Peter (September 29, 2017). "Flatliners Review: This Thriller Remake Is a Fright-Free Fiasco". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  29. ^ a b Porter, Ryan (September 30, 2017). "Flatliners Amounts to Uninspired, Redudant Viewing Experience". The Star. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  30. ^ Seitz, Matt Zoller (September 29, 2017). "Flatliners Movie Review". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  31. ^ "Flatliners synopsis and movie info". Tribute.ca. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  32. ^ "Flatliners DVD Release Date December 26, 2017". DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved December 27, 2017.

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