What happens when you intentionally stage a near-death experience? PTSD and more haunting nightmares than the human brain can possibly handle, that’s what.
That’s the predicament facing five best-in-class medical students in today’s first look trailer for Flatliners, Sony’s thrilling follow-up that’s set to flicker into life this September. Headed up by Ellen Page, Diego Luna (Rogue One), Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons, this long-in-development sequel is coming by way of Niels Arden Oplev, the Danish filmmaker best known for his work on the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series.
That means Oplev is well versed in reworking dark, brooding drama for a modern-day audience, but for all of the talent attached – behind the lens, and in front – today’s two trailers fall flat rather quickly. We begin with Ellen Page’s curious med student pushing the boundaries of life itself, only to emerge radically different. It makes for intriguing sci-fi drama, but lacklustre effects and wonky dialogue (“it’s like her brain’s been rewired!”) leaves much to be desired.
Per Sony, Flatliners chronicles the story of “five medical students who, hoping to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring and dangerous experiment. By stopping their hearts for short periods of time, each triggers a near-death experience. As the investigation becomes more and more perilous, they are forced to confront the sins of their pasts, as well as contend with the paranormal consequences of trespassing to the other side.”
Joel Schumacher’s cult classic first blew our minds back in 1990, when Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt and Kevin Bacon all ventured over the other side and were left dealing with the nightmarish consequences. Out of the original crew, we understand that Sutherland will hold a small cameo role in Sony’s reboot.
Flatliners jolts into theatres on September 29th. The film’s international trailer contains a sliver of additional footage, which you’ll find embedded below along with the rather brilliant poster.