Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
What is DEATH? and why does it exist? Answer in the Bible
What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and what do you need to know about it? Answer
What is RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD? and is it real? Answer
What happens to us after we die?
What is ETERNAL LIFE? Answer
What is ETERNAL DEATH? Answer
What is the eternal destiny of an infant or young child who dies? Answer
nightmares from childhood, reflecting SINS they committed—or had committed against them
What does God say about FORGIVENESS OF SIN?Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer
|Featuring:|| Ellen Page … Courtney
Kiefer Sutherland … Dr. Barry Wolfson
Nina Dobrev … Marlo
Diego Luna … Ray
James Norton … Jamie
Kiersey Clemons … Sophia
Madison Brydges … Tessa
Jacob Soley … Alex
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|Director:||Niels Arden Oplev—“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (2009)|
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Screen Gems, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment
“Flatliners” is a very mediocre remake of a mediocre horror film from 1990. The story revolves around medical students who dare to explore near death experiences first hand in hopes of discovering what lies beyond in the afterlife. They stop their heart using drugs, and then rely on their friends to revive them before their brain dies. However, when they return to life, they soon find themselves haunted by the sins of their past.
What is SIN? Answer
Are you GOOD ENOUGH to get to Heaven? Answer
What if the cosmos is all that there is? Answer
In some respects the film's premise is intriguing, if un-Biblical. However, like its predecessor, it lacks any real thrills or intrigue. The preposterous idea of killing yourself and being assured that your doctor friends can revive you stretches credibility itself, but this could have been overcome with tighter direction and script writing. The real problem lies not only in its pacing and its inability to rise above the flaws of the original, but also in its un-Biblical doctrines.
“it is appointed for man to die once, and then comes judgment” —Hebrews 9:27
It is also equally clear that there are exceptions, as not only Jesus, but Elisha and Paul had resurrected a few. Jonah, too, may have been resurrected, although some disagree. Consequently, it is apparent that Hebrews is a general statement, and not an all inclusive one.
Having said that, it has been pointed out that supposed near death experiences are not compatible with the Bible. The popular rendition of such experience (such as that promoted in this film) is an encounter with a bright white light. In fact, a Christian researcher studied such near death experiences and found that the popular stories about this omit the fact that over half of the experiences he had seen dealt with a Hell, and not exclusively with a bright white light. This is more consistent with the Bible.
What is THE FINAL JUDGMENT OF GOD? Answer
Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer
How good is good enough? Answer
Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer
When one physically dies without the protection of Christ’s atonement to cover their sins, they are held for ultimate judgment and eternal death. In this film, however, there is no hint of judgment until the students begin to be haunted by their past. It is in this part of the film that intrigue might lie, were it better made, but even then the film is flawed, for its final lesson is not that we should seek out forgiveness from God and from those we have wronged, but that we should “forgive ourselves.”
Unfortunately, most humans are all to quick to forgive (or overlook) their own sins—and too slow to forgive the sins of others. The Bible, however, says something different.
“If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” —Matthew 5:23-24
This seemed to be where the film was going, until it abandoned this for self-forgiveness.
Aside from the movie’s theological problems, there are many moral issues to address. The most obvious is the bizarre fact that everyone seemed to want to have immoral sex after their near death experience. One woman called her near death experience “a sexual” one. In another scene, a woman is shown having rough sex with one of her fellow students (partial nudity, not fully graphic). There is yet another sex scene, although not as graphic as the former. This sexual content doesn’t seem to have any relevance to the story or plot.
As usual, there is foul language and vulgar sexual comments. The PG-13 rating should give the reader an idea of how much language is present.
There are some violent images, including flashbacks to a man who had died with scarred face, disturbing ghosts, and a scene where a man is stabbed in the hand with a knife. There are other scenes involving death and a few scenes of surgery.
In the film’s favor, there is a brief pro-life message, as a man is haunted by a baby he thought he had helped abort, and there is a message of forgiveness and seeking forgiveness. These positive messages, however, cannot sustain the film.
The pacing is slow, and the script does not develop itself properly. Possibly in an attempt to shorten the running time, they trimmed many scenes, but, in so doing, they made the plot thinner, so that the film actually felt slower than the original.
Unfortunately, “Flatliners” is a mediocre remake of the mediocre original. Due to this and its heavy objectionable content, I definitely recommend you avoid this film.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.