Damn. This movie went from a solid 8/10 to a 3/10 for plot.
I didn’t watch the original. So I kind of went in blind? I mean I saw the trailer. It seemed like a side effect of flatlining and coming back was hallucination.
The movie starts off with a car crash. Courtney (Ellen Page) was driving the car. Her sister was inside the car. The sister doesn’t make it. And Ellen feels remorseful. She feels like she’s the one to blame. And so I guess she’s very interested in what happened to her sister in the afterlife. So Courtney does all kind of afterlife research while studying to be a doctor. At some point, she fools/convinces her other medical student friends into helping her die and then resuscitate her. As a by-product of this flatline experience, Courtney’s memory improves a lot. She can recollect things from her past to an impressive extent. Cool. Her friends, Jamie (James Norton), Marlo (Nina Dobrev), Sophia (Kiersey Clemons) decide to follow suit and flatline. (All her friends except Ray played by Diego Luna). Anyway, the common by-product seems to be a constant hallucination of their past sin or at least a sin that they feel most guilt for – which I find problematic. If it’s this common, shouldn’t Courtney’s research on the afterlife have picked up on this very horrible side effect?
So Courtney’s haunted by her dead sister. Marlo’s haunted by a dead patient. The other two are haunted by people that are still living, interestingly.
Courtney dies by the way which I kind of didn’t see coming actually. She was hallucinating real bad. And she decided to take a video to tell her friends the truth. Because earlier on, she’d told them the whole idea of the flat-lining experience would help them in their career. It’ll be a pinnacle discovery when in actual fact she was just feeling guilty over the car crash. But during this video, she sees her sister. Her sister comes after her, and Courtney ends up falling over the ledge, plunging to the ground and dying.
The video makes it to the hands of the friends. The video doesn’t show the sister but Courtney calls out her sister’s name and all. So the friends are uncertain if Courtney had been hallucinating or if the hauntings were demonic.
AND I REALLY WISH THE HAUNTINGS HAD BEEN DEMONIC INSTEAD.
Because apparently, it was just hallucinations. And fast forward to the remedy: the only way to stop the hallucinations is to forgive yourself.
Like are you serious?
Are. You. Serious?
It’s upsetting, really. I mean think about it. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone hurts someone else at some point. But the only ones who will suffer from this side effect of dying are people who have a conscience. And the only ones with a conscience are good people. So if you’re a good human, congratulations, you’re fcuked.
And what’s up with the last scene of Marlo’s hallucination? Courtney comes in her hallucination to tell Marlo that she has to forgive herself. So ridiculous. Since we’ve established that these are all hallucinations…. isn’t this just Marlo’s brain conjuring Courtney so that Marlo will feel that if she forgives herself everything will be okay? So… in the end, everyone’s brain is just fooling themselves into believing that forgiving themselves will mean everything will be okay. The brain practically manipulated how she felt about a certain thing she’d did.
Conclusion: The brain is a monstrous thing.
Read Vicious by V.E Schwab for a different take on flatlining.