Flatliners Remake Earns 0% On Rotten Tomatoes

Posted 2017/09/29 0 0

The current 0% rating for this new Flatliners officially makes it the worst reviewed film of 2017.


The new Flatliners film isn’t doing well with critics, evidenced by its current 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The remake (and technically also a sequel) of a neon-lit 1990 thriller from director Joel Schumacher, focuses on several medical students (this time played by Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons) who find a way to come back from the dead, with spooky consequences. Columbia Pictures unceremoniously dumped the new Flatliners into theaters today after not much pre-release marketing, and the critics who went and saw it aren’t very happy. For the sake of full disclosure, it’s worth noting that the film was not screened for critics in advance, so anyone who saw it and filed a review today actually paid to see it.

In his D review, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich writes, “If only its irony were the most painful thing about Flatliners, an artless and agonizingly boring remake of a semi-forgotten movie about the dangers of bringing things back from the dead.”

Read more reviews below.

David Ehrlich (IndieWire)

Lazily recycling the ’90s schlocky Joel Schumacher thriller of the same name (once a staple of video store shelves everywhere), this lifeless new version hits all the same beats as the original, but does so without a speck of the baroque style that made it such a fun thing to rent on a Friday night. At a time when making a movie — any movie — can feel like experimenting with life after death, there’s really no reason to belabor the point.

Andrew Barker (Variety)

About as inessential as reboots get, Flatliners finds a replacement cast of equally overqualified actors, and beefs up its depictions of the afterlife with some updated visual effects, but otherwise offers no reason for reanimating this long-expired property.

John DeFore (The Hollywood Reporter)

But instead of improving on the original’s visualization of the liminal state between life and death, director Niels Arden Oplev turns the conceit into just another excuse for rote haunting, making this Flatliners often indistinguishable from its 2017 thriller peers. Hustled into theaters with plenty of advertising and no critics’ screening, it clearly hopes to recoup some cash before audiences tweet their disappointment. As with the protagonists who stop their heartbeats and hope to be revived before serious brain damage occurs, every minute will count.

Mike D’Angelo (AV Club)

The existence of this remake, then, is somewhat puzzling. Flatliners itself, as a “property,” doesn’t really have major nostalgic pull. The new cast, headed by Ellen Page and Diego Luna, isn’t designed to lure unsuspecting viewers into garbage. Is it possible that screenwriter Ben Ripley (Source Code) managed to come up with a more compelling take on the material? Is this a rare example of Hollywood taking old dross and spinning it into contemporary gold? Nope. Flatliners 2017 is the same dumb movie as Flatliners 1990, minus most of the surface charisma.

David Edelstein (Vulture)

But no matter how skeptical you are, the premise of Flatliners is intriguing enough to draw you in. It’s the movie’s hard right turn into tidy, cornball, Sunday school moralism that leaves it unrevivably dead.

Glenn Kenny (New York Times)

This film did not screen for critics, nor was it previewed in New York theaters on a Thursday night, as is usually customary with studio pictures. I imagine Columbia understood that it had something arguably worse than a dog on its hands. This “Flatliners” is in fact a new definition of “meh.”

Noel Murray (Los Angeles Times)

One by one the students find themselves in deadly situations, seemingly assailed by physical manifestations of their worst choices — while styled and posed to look like catalog models. It’s the same dreary hooey, made more tedious and witless through repetition.

Robert Abele (The Wrap)

Swedish director Niels Arden Opley (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and new screenwriter Ben Ripley (Source Code) serve up a fast-moving but seriously underwhelming and charmless display of young-and-dangerous tropes and paranormal consequences.

William Bibbiani (IGN)

Flatliners had every opportunity to improve on the original, and it doesn’t take most of them. It falls flat as a horror movie but the cast is good enough, and the sci-fi concepts are interesting enough, to keep it from crashing completely.


So far, 2017 has seen long-gestating adaptations and sequels achieve critical and commercial success, while others have seen dismal returns and turned into critical failures. It’s not that remakes and reboots don’t work, it’s that they need to stand apart from past chapters and pave their own path. Of course, the 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes only accounts for critic reviews. The site’s audience score, although much more optimistic, is still “rotten” at 44 percent. It’ll be interesting to see how the cast and crew respond to the abhorrent rating, especially considering the dichotomy between critics and audiences when it comes to Rotten Tomatoes and how much influence critics have over a movie’s box office success.