March 14, 2008

Friday Film: Flatliners

One of many people's greatest fears is death. What does it feel like? What happens afterward? Is there an afterlife? The characters in the film Flatliners are determined to find the answers to these questions.

Flatliners (1990)
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Produced by: Rick Bieber
Michael Douglas
Starring: Kiefer Sutherland
Julia Roberts
Kevin Bacon
William Baldwin
Oliver Platt
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
All Movie Guide

Medical student Nelson (Kiefer Sutherland) plans a dangerous experiment, in which he will experience clinical death for a full minute before his four classmates revive him through emergency measures. His four friends of course are very uneasy about the whole thing. Apprehensively, they help Nelson with his experiment, and he is 'flatlined.' A minute later, they manage to resuscitate him but not without difficulty.

Given Nelson's success, the rest of the group wants their own turn, each increasing the amount of 'dead time': 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes. However, these trips to 'the other side' aren't without consequences: each of the students begins to experience strange visions and events after they are brought back. Their encounter with death isn't over.

The film is set in Chicago, and several of the scenes incorporate Chicago's 'eL' trains, Loyola University, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Anyone who has seen the outside of the Museum at night knows just how gloomy and spooky it is'the perfect setting for a film about dangerous experiments and death.

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