The Lazarus Effect (2015)


A team of researchers bring back one of their lead scientists after she is accidentally electrocuted.  Sadly, the movie attempts to resurrect dead plots from other films in a similar fashion.  In both cases, the results were initially satisfying, but then they turn into something horrible.

The true strength of this film is the acting.  Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde play an engaged couple that have put off their wedding in order to work on their Lazarus project, which is supposed to help keep people alive longer so that hospitals could save more lives.  Though there was very little chemistry between Duplass and Wilde, it worked in their favor, as their relationship was meant to feel strained and forced.  To possibly add more tension though, we see definite hints that friend Niko (Donald Glover) harbored romantic feelings for Wilde’s character Zoe.   Rounding out the remaining cast of primary characters are Sarah Bolger and Evan Peters who portrayed Eva and Clay respectively.

As a fan of Wilde, I enjoyed her performance in this film.  She showed a range of emotions which helped make the antagonist relatable.  It is a shame, however, that she and the other characters were left underdeveloped.  The potential was certainly wasted on this talented cast.

Instead of providing an intriguing or suspenseful story, we were given a series of predictable jump scares instead.  Granted, some of these moments were good, but overall, these types of scares didn’t linger.  And though the creepy factor did improve as the story progressed, with a high point being the risen bodies in the morgue, the story didn’t deliver any lasting or satisfying scares.

Early in the film, the story introduced a very direct religion vs. science argument.  But, for the rest of the movie, it seemed like the filmmakers purposely avoided talking about it directly.  They only hinted at the theme somewhat later on.  As a result, we are only left with some type of Lucy meets Flatliners spoof with elements of Event Horizon thrown in for flavor.

In the end, I give the film 2.0 bowties out of 5.  If you watch this film, I would recommend a DVD rental or possibly a reduced rate night at your local cinema.



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