Flatliners
1990
In this star-studded supernatural thriller, a group of medical students (Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt and William Baldwin) use their acquired skills to try and cross over to the "other side," only to be haunted by what they've seen when their fears, guilt and memories take root in the physical world. Spooked, the students struggle to free themselves from the dark manifestations they've recovered from the afterlife.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

I missed this film as a teenager and its premise has intrigued me ever since. Like a lot of pompous atheists, I'm confident in the ability of science to (eventually) explain everything unknown to man, and here's a film about med students who attempt to discover what happens after death. It's such a wonderful premise that the film could have presented almost any vision of the afterlife and been forgiven, but that isn't necessary; the film chose a psychological angle that was light on the jump scenes and heavy on the pathos. The film has a slow build-up as each character gradually comes face to face with their past sins, and even the shallow chauvinist inspires sympathy when he comes to regret his crimes. Given the director and year of release, I expected something cornier and more difficult to swallow; I was pleasantly surprised to discover an intelligent film, with heart, unafraid to deal with a profound subject. It has aged well.

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