‘Flatliners’ resurrects Hollywood’s afterlife fixation

News Hour

For many it’s harps, halos and angel wings, for some celestial spheres and astral planes and for others still, reunions with long-departed family and friends in sunlit Elysian fields.

Whatever your image of what lies beyond there’s a version of it immortalized on celluloid somewhere in Hollywood’s rich canon of life-after-death movies.

From “Heaven Can Wait” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” to “The Sixth Sense” — still the most successful horror movie of all time — Tinseltown has been offering a window into the heavenly realm for decades.

The latest take on the hereafter is “Flatliners,” a reboot of the 1990 cult classic about student physicians shocking themselves to the other side and back — with a young new cast and a masters degree in medical authenticity.

“Death is the last great unknown, in some ways. It’s like the depths of the sea and the depths of space,” Danish director Niels Arden Oplev told AFP.

“We know more about the Big Bang than we do about the final countdown.”

Movie-goers over the age of 40 will remember the premise of “Flatliners”: a group of devil-may-care medical students, obsessed by the mystery of what lies beyond, embark on an audacious, dangerous experiment.

Stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers their own near-death experience as their colleagues monitor their brain activity, to see if they can find any proof of the afterlife.

A cast of established talent and rising stars replace the original ensemble led by Kiefer Sutherland, who gets a sizeable cameo this time around, Kevin Bacon and Julia Roberts.

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