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Like your home, a hospital should be a place where you feel safe and protected. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work like that in horror movies. In fact, in many cases it’s the very last place you would want to be! Sometimes it’s because a maniac has tracked your injured ass to this place of refuge and you’re trapped. Other times, it’s because a health worker is a sociopath and can’t wait to put you on a mortuary slab a little earlier than you should be. Whatever the reason; hospitals, doctors, and nurses have cropped up with worrying regularity in genre films.

To mark the release of the new “Flatliners” remake/sequel, we thought it would be fun to list 10 horrors that shows the medical profession in a none-too-flattering light. We’ve made a few exceptions. “Halloween II” (1981) has Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis in a fetching medical gown) being stalked by Michael Myers in hospital, but you certainly wouldn’t call it a medical horror. The same goes for “Re-Animator” which also takes place mostly in and around hospital grounds, and has a “Doctor” as the main character. No, we’ve picked 10 that we felt best represented the different kinds of ways that bad medicine can be shown in the genre. And there are plenty of recognisable directors and actors in there as well.

So check yourself in for 10 of the best, and we’ll throw in our favourite “Say Aargh!” moments as well. The Doctor will see you now…

*Warning – Be aware of some spoilers in the “Say Aargh!” sections.*

Released in 1990 – Directed by Joel Schumacher

Seeing as the remake inspired this listing, we had to include this really. A seminal “Brat Pack” film and genre offering from the 90’s, this was the cinematic equivalent of that one music album that everybody either bought or had an opinion on at the time. Not really and out-and-out horror by any means, more of a “science fiction psychological thriller” as someone once described it. The flamboyant Schumacher made the movie three years after filming the cult 80’s vamp movie “The Lost Boys”, and five years before giving the bat-suit nipples. It reunited him with his “Lost Boys” lead Kiefer Sutherland, and also included a veritable check-list of the hot young stars at the time; Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt, etc. Focusing on the phenomena of near-death experiences, it tells the story of five arrogant medical wannabees trying to solve the riddle of the afterlife.

Nelson Wright (Sutherland), a brilliant med student, convinces four other like-minded colleagues to help him explore the concept of the afterlife and the reactions of the mind at the moment of passing. Scientifically induced to “flat-line” (roll credits!), each of them is dependent upon the rest of the gang to successfully revive them from their intentional death states. As they all “die” and are brought back, they seem to have returned with malevolent forces that determine they should be punished for past “sins”…

In all honesty, “Flatliners” is a bit too po-faced and earnest to be considered to be a real horror movie, but it does deal with some interesting ideas. Unlike most exploitation flicks that have since explored similar ground, the “sins” here are pretty minor and the film is a little coy in dealing with them. It’s mostly childish bullying and guilt trips that are highlighted, although there is one exception important to the plot. It’s still holds a fond memory for older genre fans, but to be blunt it’s probably for the neat concept and the cast rather than the actual execution. Not forgetting the strapline “It’s a good day to die” as well of course. The upcoming film is strictly speaking a sequel rather than a remake, seeing as it features Sutherland reprising his role. But as it also seems to be reprising the plot as well, we’re still thinking of it as a remake until we’re convinced otherwise. *Blows childish raspberry*

Say “Aargh!” – For being simultaneously creepy and hilarious. It has to be the multiple times Nelson is owned by his childhood victim Billy Mahoney. He haunts him in various hallucinations wearing a red hoody (which bears an uncanny resemblance to the “ghost” in “Don’t Look Now”). But he also beats the ever-loving crap out of Nelson, despite still being a child to his grown-up victim. It culminates in one humiliating scene where he hocks a loogie straight into Nelson’s mouth. Ew.