Obsessed with stories of patients who were pronounced dead only to be revived a few minutes later, medical student Nelson Wright (Kiefer Sutherland) intrigues four of his friends when he decides to undertake a perilous experiment, involving temporary death, to determine whether there is an afterlife.
Wright’s hope is that his apprehensive colleagues will be able to revive him when the monitors to which he is attached indicate his death by showing a “flat line” (a flat line on EKG and EEG machines signifies heart and brain death).
Rachel (Julia Roberts) and David (Kevin Bacon) are among the other medical students who are trying to find the answer by inducing their own temporary deaths in this gothic mix of old dark house and hi-tech laboratory.
One by one, they volunteer to be put into a clinical death state in order to be brought back to life and report on their experiences. But they aren’t prepared for what they discover on the other side.
Schumacher puts more flash than flesh on the story but still manages to deliver the expected chills with cool efficiency as the students’ extracurricular experiments take a sinister turn.
John Joseph Duda
Afram Bill Williams