Flatliners (1990)


The movie Flatliners (1990) is a psychological sci-fi thriller that follows a group of medical students who purposefully stop their hearts for short periods of time in order to experience near-death. They do this by injecting themselves with a paralytic while having another student monitor their vitals and revive them after a certain amount of time. The movie Flatliners (1990) stars Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin, and Oliver Platt as the five medical students. After their first experiments go seemingly well, the students become obsessed with pushing the limit and having longer “flights” into death, thinking there are no consequences. However, soon after, they each start experiencing paranormal events and visions of their past sins. It becomes apparent that they have brought things back from their afterlife experiences, and now must deal with the repercussions.

The movie Flatliners (1990) follows Nelson Wright, played by Kiefer Sutherland, as the instigator of the experiments. He convinces fellow students Rachel Mannus (Julia Roberts), David Labraccio (Kevin Bacon), Joe Hurley (William Baldwin), and Randy Steckle (Oliver Platt) to take part. Their first flatline goes successfully, though they realize they can’t resuscitate Rachel in time and need to use adrenaline. Nelson starts pushing the others to flatline for longer, believing there are great insights to be gained from a closer brush with death. However, soon after their second flatline experiments, the students start experiencing strange events tied to past traumas and wrongdoings that they had kept secret. Rachel begins having visions of a young girl she had unintentionally killed years ago. Joe is haunted by an old woman from his childhood he had let die. Nelson is confronted by a past girlfriend who committed suicide. David starts experiencing unexplained physical wounds. Randy sees a strange wolf-like creature. It becomes clear these are manifestations of suppressed guilt, sins, and secrets they are now being forced to confront.

The movie Flatliners (1990) shows the students descending into paranoia, obsession and mania as they deal with these paranormal aftereffects. Rachel becomes obsessed with finding out about the young girl she keeps seeing. David and Joe become aggressive and on edge, lashing out as their pasts literally come back to haunt them. Nelson persists in thinking they need to flatline again to fix the problems, though this only makes things worse. After another disastrous flatline experiment goes wrong, leaving Randy braindead, the students finally realize they have gone too far and must find a way to make amends for their pasts.

The movie Flatliners (1990) culminates with Nelson forcing the others into one final experiment, convinced it will reset things back to normal. However, during this last flatline, they are confronted with visions of their own deaths and funerals. This shocking moment finally gives them clarity. Rachel is able to find peace after helping the vision of the young girl. David and Joe admit to and let go of their past demons. Nelson finally accepts responsibility for his obsessive actions. They are successfully revived after this cathartic experience and decide to give up the experiments for good, having learned the cost of playing with death and not properly living.


  • Kiefer Sutherland as Nelson Wright
  • Julia Roberts as Rachel Mannus
  • Kevin Bacon as David Labraccio
  • William Baldwin as Joe Hurley
  • Oliver Platt as Randy Steckle


– The movie Flatliners (1990) was directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Peter Filardi.
– It was filmed in Chicago with a budget of $10 million.
– Julia Roberts was initially reluctant to take on the role but was convinced after meeting with Schumacher.
– Entertainment Weekly ranked it as one of the scariest movies of all time.
– There was a sequel released in 2017 but with a completely new cast.


Roger Ebert
The New York Times
The Washington Post


[1] IMDb
[2] Rotten Tomatoes
[3] Wikipedia

Last updated byAnonymous on October 29, 2023