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Vidiot: 3SR

Flatliners (1990)

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Director Joel Schumacher (The Lost Boys, Batman Forever, 8MM, The Number 23) clearly loves dousing his films in darkness, but Flatliners might very well use the least amount of light of all the films on his long and illustrious resume.

This lightweight, turn-of-the-decade thriller in which young doctors-in-training set about sending each other into temporary death in order to explore the fringes of the afterlife, then encounter haunting images from their pasts upon their return is brimming with future Hollywood A- and B-list talent—Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt—but also has more than its fair share of dim settings, nighttime activity and darkly disturbing hallucinations.

The premise is nifty (doesn't everyone wonder what happens when they die?) and the flashbacks are both creepy and dramatic, but the characters are flat and the resolutions come a little too easily, especially for one doctor, whose story ending—or lack thereof—leaves viewers (even more) in the dark.