Sony’s new release ‘Flatliners’ has earned the somewhat less-than coveted distinction of a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Assessing the critical response to the new take on the 1990 supernatural chiller, reviews aggregator site has to date taken into account 30 reviews – a close number to the 31 reviews which also gave ‘Blade Runner 2049’ a 97% rating this week – and there hasn’t been one favourable write-up among them.
Indeed, there’s a rather pointed contrast between the ‘Flatliners’ reviews and the ‘Blade Runner 2049’ reviews, as where many of the latter praise how that film challenges preconceptions about sequels/remakes/reboots, the reviews for the former seem to confirm all those old prejudices.
Andrew Barker of Variety says ‘Flatliners’ is “as inessential as reboots get,” whilst David Ehlrich of Indiewire calls it “agonisingly boring.”
As is often the case with films that go down badly, a lot of critics have been drawing on witty put-downs in their damning appraisals. Playing on the film’s central conceit of medical students exploring the near-death experience by voluntarily stopping their hearts, Michael Gingold of Time Out notes the film needs to “get a defibrillator in here, stat.”
On a similar note, John Nugent of Empire remarks, “the original Flatliners should have had a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order attached to it,” whilst the assessment of Jim Slotek from Original Cin reads, “a group of people who should know better find themselves eager for the cold embrace of death. But enough about the poor souls who bought tickets to Flatliners.”
In fact a semi-sequel to director Joel Schumacher’s 1990 movie starring Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon and Julia Roberts, ‘Flatliners’ is directed by Niels Arden Oplev and stars Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, Kiersey Clemons and James Norton as a new generation of medical students flirting with death. Sutherland also appears in a supporting turn, reprising his role from the original.
Still, whilst the critics seem unanimous in not liking the film, it’s worth noting that it has a 46% positive response from audience members at Rotten Tomatoes, and a 5.4 rating at IMDb at the time of writing.
‘Flatliners’ is in cinemas now.