All aboard the Remake Express! That's right, folks, Hollywood once again is blowing the dust off of a familiar property from our collective youth and putting a fresh coat of movie-making paint on a concept that they hope will work better the second time around. Usually, we end up with drivel like Point Break 2015 (shudder). But wait. This new trailer for an updated Flatliners looks... pretty damn good? Maybe it's just the use of Jane's Addiction's haunting "Up the Beach," instead of the latest Imagine Dragons track? Either way, check it out.
The idea behind Flatliners really can work in almost any decade, so I'm not vehemently opposed to Sony trying to bring it back for a new audience. For those unfamiliar with the original 1990 thriller, Flatliners follows experimental medical school students who want to investigate the afterlife. How do they do so? By killing each other -- medically -- and staying dead for longer periods of time, trusting that their colleagues will be able to resuscitate them each time. Only, the longer that these folks stay dead, the more trouble they start to create in the supernatural realm.
Directed by Joel Schumacher, the original Flatliners actually was a vehicle for some major talents. The first cast included Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt and Kiefer Sutherland. Back then, they looked like this:
The new cast is equally attractive, and egotistical, and slipshod with their science... which will lead to all sorts of chilling horrors. Inception and Juno star Ellen Page is back on the big screen in the new Flatliners, playing Courtney, the lead doctor in this dangerous experiment. She needs to convince Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons, and Beau Mirchoff to join her on this dangerous quest. And as the trailer points out, things are going to go south in a hurry.
Why does this one look better? Just because, with the advancements in medical technology, the idea behind Flatliners doesn't look as futuristic as it did back in 1990. Yes, the horror genre has evolved in the past few decades, but director Niels Arden Oplev looks to create a haunting vision of the ramifications of tinkering with the undead in this new Flatliners, and I'm hoping that this will be a chilling new look at smart people making dumb decisions. Because if it devolves into shock-and-awe basics, that will be a wasted opportunity.
Flatliners, so far, looks pretty solid. What did you think of the first trailer? The movie will hit theaters in September 29. And head over here for a full rundown of the movies opening in theaters in 2017.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.