I saw the original film and was really looking forward to this one. A friend told me right before I walked into my theater that he heard some people saying they were disappointed so I thought, "awesome, another 2 hour long let down" Well, I don't know what the hell those people were talking about! I really liked this bad boy!
Like the first film, it features four med students performing a dangerous experiment as they try to learn what happens after someone dies. They each take turns having their heart stopped and their brain activity monitored for a couple of minutes before being brought back to life again. They all make it out just fine and find that they've woken up "abilities" or "talents" their subconscious had buried or forgotten from the past. Things seem to go well....until they don't....
I'm not going to spoil anything but basically each med student has a secret from their past. Something they regret or something they've hidden from each other and this experiment has made them revisit those moments. In fact, those memories begin to haunt them and they end up realizing they need to reconcile their past or things will only get worse for them.
Now, I felt like the issues each student had to relive were relatively mild compared to the original film. In fact I was really disappointed with one of the characters backstories because it was so tame, almost childish and not something I'd consider a traumatic memory. However, in this version they do alter what happens to one of the characters which I found to be a total surprise so good on them for changing things up! There's even a cameo from one of the original actors which was also really nice to see (and it's one you might not have expected to want in on this movie) so I really hope you get the chance to see this film.
Again, while it was intense, I left feeling like the original version was grittier and much darker making it more of a thriller than a drama which is what I'd consider this one. It falls under the "suspense" category in it's description so I guess I'm not far off. At the end of the day, this one was still pretty unique. You can compare it to the first all day long but I think they writers did a decent job of making this film stand out on it's own. Is it the best film in theaters right now? No. But again, if you've got some free time one night and you want to check it out, do so it's not too shabby.