The Lazarus Effect (2015) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: David Gelb
Starring: Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Evan Peters
Rated: PG-13/Region A/2:40/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from 20th Century Fox
THE LAZARUS EFFECT follows a group of researchers led by Frank and his fiancé Zoe who’ve achieved the unimaginable – bringing the dead back to life. After a successful, yet unsanctioned, trial on a newly deceased animal, the team is ready to unveil their breakthrough to the world. When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is unexpectedly shut down and their materials confiscated. Frank, Zoe and their team take matters into their own hands, launching a rogue attempt to recreate their experiment, during which things go terribly wrong and one of their own, Zoe, is horrifically killed. Fueled by terror and grief, Frank pushes them to do the unthinkable: attempt to resurrect their first human test subject. Initially, the procedure appears a success, but the team soon realizes something is wrong with Zoe. As her strange new persona reveals itself, the team quickly becomes stuck in a gruesome reality. They are no longer faced with the question of whether they can bring someone back to life- but rather, the wrath of her return.
The Lazarus Effect isn’t unwatchable as some might have you believe. The movie is well acted and does pack a good idea overall. The issue with the movie is that it just seems to roll along without any real spirit and feeling. For a movie that is spent telling of an idea going wrong, with trying to bring people back from the dead. The movie doesn’t seem to have much life in it and it is a very strange thing. Like the young lady who dies and gets brought back to life in the film, the movie seems to be alive, but something is just wrong with it. Maybe it is because the cast are good actors, but the characters aren’t written that well? We have smart people doing smart things from start to finish, but there just seems to be there for the sake of being there. Outside of Olivia Wilde’s character, Zoe, there isn’t anyone really doing anything outside of spitting smart things on-camera and freaking out when things go wrong. That doesn’t give you enough to latch on to and while the story is interesting, we’ve seen it done much better in other films before.
The movie isn’t a very long film, it doesn’t wear out its welcome in that regards. It also just seems to give us a few spooky visuals, but little else in the way to really drive home any horror themes. This once again throws woods on the fire to the theory that the movie just doesn’t do enough with what was a cool idea. There some plot twists, if you want to call them that, but they really don’t add much to the story and makes things awkward given how the twist is related to the character it comes associated with. More could have been done, more with the plot, more with the characters, and more could have been done to really drive home what needed to be driven home in this movie. Is it awful? No, I wouldn’t go that far as to say that. I will, however, say that it gets a bit dull at times and it digs a hole that the rest of the movie just can’t seem to crawl out of when it needs to. There is room for a sequel here, but I just hope if things do go down that route they make the proper adjustments to make sure a repeat of everything that goes wrong here doesn’t happen again.
– Creating Fear: The Making of The Lazarus Effect
– Playing God: The Moral Dilemma
– Deleted/Extended Scenes
Quality of Transfer: 95%
Screenshots from Blu-ray.com