The night before last was my mimi’s birthday, so last night, Friday, my wife and I took her to the movies to celebrate. For those of you who don’t know mimi, she loves horror movies, which might be surprising to you if you’ve ever met her, because she is truly one of the sweetest and most mild mannered people in the world, but she absolutely loves everything scary, from the books she reads to her favorite movies, so that is how the three of us ended up at the opening night showing of Flatliners at the Memphis Paradiso theater. We bought our tickets and the obligatory snacks that enhance the movie going experience tenfold, then settled into our seats, smack dab in the middle of the movie fairly empty movie theater. Personally, especially when it comes to scary movies, I prefer to sit in the back of the theater for two reasons, one so nobody sees me jumping out of my seat in fear, because that is very embarrassing, and secondly, to prevent a monster from sneaking up and attacking me from behind, but on this night I decided to put my fears aside to give mimi the ultimate movie viewing experience. The lights went down and the previews started up, me growing more nervous as each one passed, knowing that very soon, I was going to be terrified, which shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has read this blog because as you know, I’m scared of just about everything.
If you continue reading there will be spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.
The movie started with a car accident, like the very first scene, which made me think about how if only I’d been in a car accident on the way to the theater, I would have been mercifully spared the horror that was to come. So these doctors that allowed themselves to be killed briefly so they could experience the afterlife, were haunted by people from their past after they were brought back to life, people they were harboring a guilty conscience for, because they felt they had wronged them for one reason or another. Ellen Page, the lead in the movie and the only cast member that I recognized, was killed first by her demon, her little sister that had died in the car accident in that first scene of the movie. The other doctors that had flatlined were haunted by people that they had actually wronged and did terrible things to, so it seemed a little silly that the first and only death in the movie would be that of the character who’s only fault was having a car wreck with her sister in the car. The story was pretty dull but it did deliver a few scares, which I was not too fond of. The thing I hated most about it was the buildup to the scary moments, when fast paced music would play, then everything would go silent, and that is when you knew that something was going to suddenly appear with a loud noise and I would inevitably jump in my seat, despite the fact that I knew it was coming, a monotonous and predictable pattern that the director followed throughout the course of the entire movie.
Out of five, I give Flatliners a two, only because as a horror movie, it did deliver some actual scary moments. For me though, it is the lowest on the totem pole in terms of horror movies, because I really don’t think it’s all that hard to scare an audience when you incorporate loud noises and disfigured faces suddenly appearing, and it’s certainly not the type of horror film that haunts you once you leave the theater. The dialogue was dumb and unconvincing a lot of the time, punctuated by random bursts of laughter throughout the theater during some of these particular moments. Despite it being a bad movie with a bad plot that didn’t make much sense, it was a fun night because of the people I got to spend it with, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend going to see it, not unless your mimi wants to go, because if she’s anything like mine, she will have fun no matter what you’re doing together.