I picked up the movie Flatliners (1990) because a friend mentioned that its theme aligns with that of my own screenplay, “Melissa”.
Flatliners is a highly entertaining movie with a near-death experience theme that has a spiritual twist.Life after death has been one of the most intriguing themes in Hollywood since the first Frankenstein movie. Flatliners is one such movie, with the exception that it’s a horror drama with a strong spiritual message.
The spiritual core of the movie is represented as receiving negative karma for crossing a prohibited line. The Flatliners, several students in the medical field, experience the “cause-and-effect” law for the wrongs they committed, whether during their childhoods or in more recent times. The amount of suffering depends on how bad each individual sin was.
The flaw in the plot is a lack of personal motivation among each student to accept the extreme risk of the experiment. The competitive games they play with each other, such as “who will be dead longer “, are not strong enough to provide natural reasons for engaging in such a dangerous gamble.
The story could be more powerful if it had drawn a link between the motivation to take the risk and the past deed.
Because this is a group of extreme risk-takers, it would be a good idea to introduce something in common among them, something that brings them all together in terms of their “life-after-death” urges. Haunting dreams or psychological problems could result in their gathering together for a club focusing on “life-after-death experiences”.
There is a strong spiritual statement in the story’s conclusion – “Everything you did matters”.