The Lazarus Effect (2015) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
172 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Never quite makes up its mind what story to tell
avdropm-944-92185221 March 2015
Any five to ten minute excerpt from this movie could easily lead a viewer to conclude that this is a well made horror or suspense thriller. The production values are high, the performances good, and so on.

The problem is that the parts of the film don't fit together. The sequence of action has the usual slow build and accelerating pace of any good thriller, but while the set-up is promising, and the events proceed logically enough as interesting and sympathetic characters are frightened, threatened or killed off, the reasons underlying the events remain obscure.

Hints and suggestive exposition are introduced, and then forgotten. There are explicit references to religious-themed horror fantasy, speculative science, and even a few elements of a possible conspiracy. An elaborate backstory is gradually revealed, and then abruptly dismissed. The conclusion doesn't really conclude anything: there's a decisive ending, but no resolution, no revelation, not even a clear idea of the probable consequences.

It's possible a re-edit could address these issues and make it a decent film. As it stands, though, it just doesn't work.
61 out of 73 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Disappointing and unoriginal
lnvicta15 May 2015
I really wanted The Lazarus Effect to be good. It has a great cast and an interesting premise, and I love horror movies so why should this be any different? Well first of all calling it a horror movie is a bit of a stretch. Yeah, there are "scares" but they're all the cliché flickering lights, someone coming up behind someone else's back, fake out, cheap ass easy jump scares that we've seen a million times and you can see them coming from a mile away.

The best thing this movie has going for it is its atmosphere. It all takes place in an empty laboratory and there are some moments where you feel the claustrophobia of being trapped in a place where dead bodies are kept and weird surgical instruments all over the place. But none of that psychological horror is expounded on. It's just like one second I'm like, "hm, this could actually go somewhere" and then two seconds later a freaky face pops on screen and it's like ugh, why bother.

The acting in this movie is fine for what it is. Aside from the two leads, Evan Peters was the only character I cared about because he was the comic relief but he just isn't given enough to work with. Everything about the movie feels rushed. The characters aren't developed enough. The movie is barely 80 minutes long and it still has dull moments. It also borrows a lot of elements from other horror movies. A good chunk of the movie is straight up "Event Horizon" in a laboratory with some "The Shining" and "Lucy" sprinkled here and there. Sure there is some creepy imagery but it's stuff we've seen a million times. If they had actually built up tension instead of relying on stupid jump scares then maybe the imagery would have some effect. As it stands, it's just like... what a waste.

I can't give this movie a lower score because it did have potential and I liked the cast. There are some moments that are admittedly cool, however brief they are. Oh, and none of the movie makes sense. It starts off plausibly with these doctors performing weird experiments but as soon as sh*t starts to go down, any sense of realism goes out the window. The Lazarus Effect isn't terrible - there's just no reason to see it. Go see "Event Horizon" or "The Shining" if you're in the mood for some real psychological scares.
125 out of 156 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It has good ideas, but fails to realise them.
Sleepin_Dragon6 April 2019
Sadly this is an ultimately unrewarding film, to read the plot, you'd be forgiven for expecting something dark, original and interesting, when in reality it's generic, flat, and badly realised.

The production values are a little poor, and the storytelling is disjointed, lacks any sort of core plot, at times it seemed to make no sense.

A few times they could have gone for real scares and horror, sadly no such moments ever happened. The dog could have been good.

Quite poor. 4/10
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This is not a 5! It's better
Finfrosk8631 May 2015
Like I said in my Wild Card review, sometimes I don't get why movies get such low ratings on here. I have seen plenty of movies that deserves a 5 or lower, this is not one of them.

This movie is short and sweet. It is entertaining, never boring, cool stuff happens, actors are good. I got certain Hollow Man vibes.. A team is working on some amazing stuff, and the environments (labs and such) are just nice and cozy.

I don't think The Lazarus Effect was meant to be a big, thought provoking masterpiece, it was meant as a short and entertaining horror flick. And it is exactly that. It's got a couple of actors we've seen before, (including the very cute Olivia Wilde) which always helps in this kind of horror quick fix.

So, to sum up, don't expect very big things, expect a couple of jump scares, a nicely paced plot, decent effects.. It's just easily seen. (translated directly from Norwegian: 'lettsett')
61 out of 81 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Predictable but entertaining
Ramascreen27 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The thing is if you have watched a thousand horror movies since you were a kid, like I did, then it would take a lot for a new horror movie to scare the crap out of us, because we already know their tricks and what to expect, and that is the case with THE LAZARUS EFFECT, be that as it may, I think this is an interestingly-made film by a director who never made a full length horror, but probably has seen enough horror films like you and I did. Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Donald Glover, Evan Peters, and Sarah Bolger are researchers trying to bring the dead back to life, they do their tests on animals and succeed, but when the university finds out about their playing God, their experiment gets shut down, a situation which forces them to go rogue and do their experiment secretly. But things go wrong and Zoe (Olivia Wilde) is accidentally killed in the process. Duplex' character, Zoe's fiancé, Frank, couldn't handle the grief and the loss, so he takes it upon himself to resurrect Zoe, an action that comes with horrible consequences. It's alive!! It's alive!!! THE LAZARUS EFFECT plays homage to Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and that is one of the attractions, the other draw is our human nature's curiosity about what happens after we die, and the third reason is, let's face it, we miss our lost loved ones and not a day goes by that sometimes we wish we could resurrect them and say goodbye to them one last time because the last words we shared may not have been a pleasant one. There are many reason stop go watch THE LAZARUS EFFECT, despite it being predictable. It's entertaining, great VFX and cinematography, I think Olivia Wilde's performance as the creepy zombie Zoe is simply brilliant, in fact, all of the cast members pull their weight and showcase their fright to the max. The film has enough to get you to want to watch it all the way through to the end.
46 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Another Hollywood Produced Horror Film Ruining the Genre
MattBirk7 March 2015
The Lazarus Effect is another example of a major Hollywood produced horror movie that is giving the horror genre a bad name. Everything that happens here is pretty much straightforward and therefore, boring. There were no surprises in the film or twists that take the story in an unexpected direction and gave the film some life.

Lazarus is just like I said above, it's a mix of Event Horizon + Lucy + Carrie, interpret that as you wish. The problem just like with Lucy is that the villain gets too powerful and there is basically no chance of survival, a lopsided battle. Where as with Carrie, we are given a reason for her breakdown and vengeance, in Lazarus we are given absolutely nothing, no motive, no nothing.

And of course, to no surprise the movie features plenty of flashing lights where characters appear and disappear into the darkness. It's cheap gimmicks like this that are used to create scares that ruins movies, versus actually building up tension and a thick atmosphere. The Lazarus Effect features nothing to boast about, not even it's cast since they are completely under utilized, everything here is dull.

But again, this was a Hollywood produced horror film so it's not surprise the movie is being torn apart by critics. Instead, skip this and watch the superior 'Flatliners', at least they provide some added depth and an eerie atmosphere!
53 out of 86 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Just a mediocre horror about science people playing God again.
peterp-450-29871614 July 2017
"There's something seriously wrong with that animal. It's like it was possessed or something."

Once again a movie about the fact that playing for God could cause some life-threatening situations. Do you remember the film "Pet Sematary"? And also "The other side of the door" showed that it's not a good idea to resurrect a deceased person in a non-everyday way. The same happens to Frank (Mark Duplass) and Zoë (Olivia Wilde) in this inferior Scifi / Horror. Zoë has developed a serum called "The Lazarus serum", to give health care professionals more time to do their work. By means of this serum, it should be possible to bring deceased patients back to life. During an experiment on a dead dog it turns out that not only the animal is walking around and wagging his tail again, but also the cataract he had is cured. They realize that they have manufactured something revolutionary.

Of course, you can predict what's going to happen. They'll be using the serum to bring someone back to life. In this case it'll be Zoë, who's being electrocuted by an unfortunate incident. But don't be sad. Frank doesn't hesitate to inject this revolutionary stuff into Zoë's brain. And before they know it, they end up with a non-human female person, whose brain is developing at a fast pace, giving her all kind of demonic and non-human powers. In addition, a youth trauma plays a prominent role as well. And so Zoë starts to develop this irresistible urge to send everyone to the place where she just came from. The afterlife.

I have no problem with rehashed concepts. If only the package feels original and new ideas are introduced. And if that's not the case, at least I expect it to be a bit of a scary and terrifying horror. Unfortunately, it fails on all levels. It certainly isn't original and there are no new ideas introduced. And you can't say this movie is horrifying. Not even close. Even Zoë's carbon black eyes won't help. I have to admit that the used neurosurgery language was credible. To be honest this was the only complicated part in this fairly trivial story.

So despite the scientific drivel and even the attempt to give it a religious touch, this film is just a watered down version of other movies about someone being raised from the dead. The only thing I was very excited about was the way in which Clay (Evan Peeters) and Niko (Donald Glover) were send to the eternal hunting grounds. But that's not enough to make it a fascinating film. Clay had better read "Pet Semetary" instead of "Cujo". He certainly would have protested against Zoe's resurrection. Or at least get the hell out of there. But on the other hand this movie wouldn't be the same anymore. Yet one positive feature. The film only takes 90 minutes.

More reviews here :
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Schlocky Horror films are the best kind of Horror films.
Drive-in_Zeppelin26 February 2015
First of all, you'll probably get more entertainment out of these user reviews than you will by seeing the actual movie. To clarify...aren't all possession movies inherently pro-Christian since the inclusion of demons and hell implies that there is are angels and heaven (since Lucifer was cast out of heaven and became the devil)?

As someone that has seen lot of REALLY bad horror films, I can safely say that The Lazarus Effect isn't all that bad. It's got a pretty decent cast in Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde, but it's a cheap horror film. You get the predictable jump-scares, you get the dialed in dialogue, what else did you expect?

You don't go to see horror films because they're particularly well written or original. This movie is literally just a hodgepodge of movies like: Carrie, Lucy (the whole 10% of your brain thing), The Phoenix Project, Pet Semetary, Flatliners, etc.

I actually somewhat enjoyed this, but you realistically need to set your expectations 6 feet under. Maybe this film will find a way to resurrect some of your faith in the horror genre that way. It sure as hell isn't going to resurrect the $10 bucks you spent on the ticket at the theater.

Additionally, what ever happened to the novelty of watching a film before reviewing it?

Read the full review and others like it on the Drive-in Zeppelin website
70 out of 117 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Decent but I saw a lot more opportunity for the film
sarah-haverty6 April 2015
Quality of production was good, acting was good, what was included in the storyline was good, I enjoyed it overall, but I thought that more could have been added to make this film stellar. There was too much that was unexplained. Plus this being a fairly short film, they could have added more scenes, especially leading up the the spooky stuff. I felt that the progression of events was rushed overall. Also the character development was a bit rushed. I could have understood the rushed character development more, if there were more detail provided about the ideas. I was really looking forward to this film, and I wish that it lived up to the hype. I did see the similarities in plot description as "flatliners" but this movie was presented in a totally different way. I really like the ideas used in this movie, I hope they make a second and more complete version.
22 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Trapped in Hell
claudio_carvalho14 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Dr. Frank Walton (Mark Duplass) and Dr. Zoe McConnell (Olivia Wilde) have been researching a serum named "Lazarus" to help patients in coma to stay alive during interventions for three years in the university sponsored by the Werner-Goss Biotechnical. They bring the documentarian Eva (Sarah Bolger) to make a film about their discoveries with their team formed by Niko (Donald Glover) and Clay (Evan Peters) and their experiment with a dead dog. However they discover that Lazarus is capable to resurrect the animal that awakes with a different behavior. They decide to keep their discovery in secret, but their project is shut down by the President Dalley (Amy Aquino) claiming that he had an experiment in direct violation of the Review Board. Further, their research is completely stolen by the Crylonis Pharmaceutical that had become shareholder in Werner-Goss.

Frank convinces his team to return to the laboratory to duplicate their experiment to prove that they own the patent of the serum, but there is an accident and Zoe is electrocuted and dies. Frank decides to use the Lazarus to resurrect her against the will of his friends but soon the team learns that something is wrong with Zoe, who is Catholic and tells that she is trapped in hell.

"The Lazarus Effect" is a horror movie with a good story that uses some concepts from "Flatliners". The screenplay is too tight and the story develops in a fast pace, with sufficient development of characters and situation; maybe this is the main reason for the bad reviews. The location is claustrophobic, but there are many unnecessary fire and explosions. The cast has at least three great names - Olivia Wilde, Sarah Bolger and Mark Duplass and never disappoints. In the end, "The Lazarus Effect" could have been a little longer with better development to be a great horror film. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Renascida do Inferno" ("Reborn from Hell")
13 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Lazarus Effect
abouhelier-r15 March 2015
A group of medical students discover a way to bring dead patients back to life.

The Lazarus Effect stars Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Evan Peters, Sarah Polger and is directed by David Gelb. This is another horror movie and we've seen those couple of jump scares before; but it does have some very creepy imagery and when this start happening it's not that bad. The film deals with a theory debating whether when you die some chemical elements in your brain make you see the white light at the end of the tunnel or you actually go to heaven and this stage is just some kind of process to enter it. In fact, it has you wondering is she possessed or is she just unlocking her brain and that's what triggers this weird version of herself? However, it's not giving you enough information to let you decide what's actually going on. Ultimately The Lazarus Effect feels like a horror version of Lucy but messier this time with some horror things happening in order to to keep the audience entertained for what it is. Sometimes it tries to be smart but gives you conflicting information and then you're lost, it doesn't quiet know where to go. Finally, actors are functional, especially Evan Peters who has some pretty good lines and clearly is the comic relief in the movie.

Overall The Lazarus Effect is more or less what you expect it to be, an horror movie with some jump scares as usual but with some pretty cool and relevant imagery. It's an effective but very messy movie.
19 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Few Interesting Ideas Ruined by Poor Execution
Michael_Elliott24 October 2015
The Lazarus Effect (2015)

** (out of 4)

A group of scientist discover a formula that could help bring the dead back to life. The main scientist Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancé (Olivia Wilde) mess up when signing their contract and end up getting kicked out of the laboratory. Needing to get enough of their records to carry on, the group sneak back into the lab but after an accident Frank's fiancé is killed. They decide to use the formula to bring her back to life but things don't go as planned.

THE LAZARUS EFFECT has a few interesting ideas and some great performances, which keep it from being a complete trainwreck but there's no question that the film doesn't take its subject serious enough to have the film work. There's no question that there are elements of FLATLINERS here but people will also be thinking of LUCY, which was released the previous year as this film.

It should be noted that without the end credits this movie runs just 76 minutes, which is extremely short in today's time. I personally love shorter movies but this one here is just so uneven that the film pretty much ends just as you feel it should be taking off. I say that because there are some interesting ideas about Heaven and Hell here but sadly very few of them are fully explored because once the fiancé is brought back to life the film turns into a rather generic horror movie. I'm not sure why the screenplay would introduce such good idea but then not do anything with them and especially since the film is so short and could have been expanded on.

The performances in the film is what save it and help carry the material. Both Duplass and Wilde are very good and especially believable in their roles. Supporting players Sarah Bolger, Evan Peters and Donald Glover are also very good. Technically speaking the film features a nice score, good cinematography and the director certainly makes a professional looking film. With that said, THE LAZARUS EFFECT completely falls apart during the final fifteen minutes, which is a real shame.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Very Solid, Very Original
jparker989927 February 2015
Most Blumhosue produced films are utter trash(Jessabelle, The Purge, etc.) and I'm a big horror fan so this movie caught my eye. And I wasn't disappointed at all. Going in with an open mind, what I really liked about the film was that it didn't move into demonic territory to provide cheap scares. Sure, some pop up scares were cliché, but they didn't have to use demons to make the film creepy. Olivia Wilde is fantastic in her role, as is Evan Peters. The film also has a solid story, and borrows elements from Pet Semetary, The Shining, and Lucy(yes it makes sense). Without losing the plot in itself like recents like Project Almanac, it sticks to a meaningful script, and provides fun, campy scares. It wasn't golden, nor is it a new classic, but it's a brisk fun way to lose yourself in the macabre. It's also one of the better recent horror films. Defiantly recommend this, and I hope my review has helped!
56 out of 102 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Would not recommend
vkochladze16 April 2015
I've long stopped going to horror movies expecting to get scared, or see anything remotely decent. Instead I view them as comedy movies, trying to entertain myself by how bad the films are, so it's pretty safe to say my expectations when seeing a horror movie are about as low as it gets and yet "The Lazarus Effect" still left me astonished by just how bad, uninteresting and not even remotely scary it was. There was nothing new or unique about the movie, and literally the only aspect of the movie that could be considered scary (if you're not already desensitized to those, like most people) were the jump scares, and even those were predictable.

I've been disappointed by a lot of movies, but this is thee first time it was bad enough that I actually took the time to write out a review.
50 out of 93 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Pet Semetary Redux
pronuke2 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
If you've seen Pet Semetary you've seen this movie. An animal dies and is then reincarnated but something is different and evil about the resurrected. I'm not really sure why the two resurrected aren't allies. It could have improved the story. I would say more about the superhuman powers and how they did not fit into the plot but I have to admit to missing some of the middle of the show. Even at 87 minutes boredom set in and I found myself dozing on occasion. I don't think I missed anything crucial which doesn't say much for the plot. It may not be terrible but it is far from good. I've seen worse this year (Taken 3 and Into the Woods to name two of the worst). The acting is OK, the effects OK, they actually manage to build a bit of suspense in on occasion but overall the movie is utterly predictable and fails as a horror movie. It would have been much better to make this movie the first twenty minutes of another movie and go for a Pet Semetary meets Invasion of the body snatchers. Add a bit of Signs and make the newly resurrected vulnerable to grape NEHI and now you've got a comedic/horror that might play :). Even though the end wasn't bad it was pretty obvious it was a set up for a sequel and that would be a huge mistake
9 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Nothing new here...... SKIP this one
stephendaxter15 May 2015
The Lazarus Effect is a horror film that deals with a serum that can bring animals and people to life, but something is a little off when they do return and weird stuff starts to happen, well, weird stuff starts to happen around 45 minutes into this 1 hour and 20 minute movie. I thought that after seeing the runtime this movie was going to get into the horror elements quickly and sustain that right until the end as the trailer looked promising. Although the majority of the film is spent in a lab running tests on animals and boring and lengthy discussions about making the serum work and crap that we really don't care about. One of the biggest problems is that this movie tried to do too much above being a horror movie and as a result had no time for any scary moments. The movie was unoriginal with predictable scares that really failed to creep me out at all. Just when you think that the horror elements are coming into the film in the last act, they never really do, a couple of jump-scare moments that are predictable make up the only horror elements of the film and the last 30 minutes feel just not intense at all. The whole film lacks interest, you don't care for the first 45 minutes and then when something finally happens it is all things you have seen before and you still don't care.

Now i will say the highlight of the film is the cast, with Olivia Wilde, Danny Glover, Even Peters, Sarah Bolger and Mark Duplass they all put in some good (not great) performances that make the film still bearable to watch. Just, the film had an interesting synopsis and good actors but thats it, the crappy writing and crappy directing make this film just overall very dull and boring. They even have some minor subplot that they carry out right through the film for some "big" reveal that made absolutely no difference to anything and didn't change the way you perceive the character because you don't care. And the ending, well, also predictable, dumb, and made the whole movie suck even more. In the end this "horror" movie had potential but was wasted in every way imaginable, this is why the horror genre is hated so much; because of crap like this. - 3.2
10 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
very creepy...and edge of seat thriller
marilyndean-4796226 January 2016
I love scary movies..but it takes a lot to creep me out...this one did just that. The story line was not very original (reminded me of Flatliners from the 90's)...but with a twist and more is a movie I suggest watching at night with the lights out. And then maybe sleep with a night light. Good movie with great acting. I would probably not buy it...but it is worth renting. I don't know why some people gave it such low votes, I really enjoyed it. I like movies that make me jump and look behind myself when I hear a noise. This movie did just that. I watched it alone..but you might want to watch it with a friend...cuz it really is creepy. ENJOY
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the Better Horror Movies in 2014-2015
politehere4 June 2015
This movie's overall atmosphere felt like Hollow Man and it definitely was much scarier than Flatliners, which was more story-driven than the Lazarus Effect. The movie was just a little disappointing in that it had potential to be way scarier than its current version. I would've liked to see more blood and guts, skulls crushed, and people getting chopped off. That said, gore-hounds are going to be very disappointed.

It had a nice build-up, but once the movie gets going you can't help but notice the pacing is just not right. The whole thing felt a bit rushed. There was also this "the whiteness of your eyes goes all black when you go evil" and "the lights flicker in dark corridors" clichés, which I thought were unnecessary and distracting.

I could tell the script-writer was a little confused as to what to do with the story. At one point I thought the movie was about supernatural abilities; i.e. what abilities you would gain if you could use 100% of your brain's capacity rather than 10%. At other times I thought it had something to do with hell. It would've been nice if it had been either one or the other rather than trying to be both and not developing either of the themes enough.

The movie was overall creepy and scary and held my attention throughout. It was atmospheric and the ending suggested there was going to be a sequel, which has got to be interesting. The acting and cinematography were just as good as that in Insidious. The best "actor" in the movie was most definitely the dog. It looked really scary when it was staring into the camera.

I give it 7/10 and recommend this title to horror movie fans.
9 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Set your expectations
rmorgan_728 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers

If you go into an action movie, you know the hero is going to live. If you watch a romance, you know the guy and girl will get together. So why, when people watch horror movies, are they surprised and annoyed by any type of cliché? No one ever goes into a movie expecting a genre- changing experience. Give The Lazarus Effect a chance and don't expect that from it.

First off, the cast is pretty damn good. Olivia Wilde does an excellent job—she is creepy once she returns from the dead, even when she is just sitting there. Evan Peters isn't given a large role, but he does well with what he has. Peters is a stereotypical college-ish guy. He smokes, he plays WoW, he is immature. Donald Glover does amazing, in my opinion (I'm a huge fan of him so I might be slightly biased regarding his performance). He has excellent control over the subtle nuances that occur when two people interact. You can quickly tell his character likes Wilde's character, which isn't much of an aspect to the movie, but does add that much more. The other two actors do fairly well, but that felt more forced and not as natural; whether or not that was the actor's fault, I'm not sure.

David Gelb does a good job with the directing. Yes, there are jump-scares. Yes, there are ominous camera pans. Yes, there are many clichés, but what do you expect from a cliché- drenched genre? The clichés aren't the focus of the movie, for the most part. They're little additions. Yes, the plot is also a little cliché, but I'd like to see you think of something entirely original. It takes science from Frankenstein and combines it with the anger-filled reanimation of Pet Cemetery—but not in a bad way. It's not mindless mayhem, there is science behind (probably pseudo-science, so don't expect actual theories). None of the plot seems rushed, no deus ex machinas, nothing unreasonable. This was one of the few horror movies that didn't make me laugh because of some random act of God, or the power of love, or whatever saved them or catalyzed the plot. It's not the best, but it's good.

Finally, I'd like to address mostly the first comment posted on here. It's not anti-Christian, or pro-Christian. It's more than that. If anything, it makes you consider what you think happens after death. Two characters have a brief discussion over life after death: science and religion. Despite this, no side is given the advantage. The movies clearly states that Zoey is changing to some monster, but it never indicates whether it's because she was in hell or if it's the serum used to reanimate. Also, and this is simplying regarding the first review, just because "Lazarus" is in the title, does NOT mean it's going to be about Jesus and God and Lazarus. Nowadays, it's very common for Lazarus to simply mean a return from the dead in some way. Oh wait, it's "The Lazarus Effect". Oh wait, the effect Lazarus had was returning from the dead. Suddenly, referencing the Bible makes perfect sense, especially since the main character is a Christian.
14 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
view_and_review22 December 2015
I've seen so many movies I can no longer watch a movie without scanning through my mental catalog of films to find a similar match for what I'm watching at the time. The Lazarus Effect immediately brought to mind Flatliners. For the most part everything was the same except that Flatliners were trying to experience death whereas the students in The Lazarus Effect were trying to bring the dead back to life.

We all should know by now that whenever someone experiments with the dead and trying to bring them back to life--through whatever means--it never ends up well. The Lazarus Effect was no different.

I thought the movie was solid. It's classified as a horror and rightly so, but it really established itself as a serious and credible film by taking a scientific approach. This wasn't a case of mysticism, alien technology or demon possession. These were serious students trying to achieve a legitimate goal of temporarily bringing a person back from the dead so that medical professionals can save his/her life. The build-up was adequate and cohesive. The story made sense and didn't seem forced. Ultimately the goal was to scare you and there were enough dark flickering lights moments to do that as well.

I liked the movie. It's no theatrical masterpiece but it did have some originality and a good storyline. It looked as though there was some effort put into the movie and that's more than can be said for a lot of scary movies.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good but should have been better!
Zulfmanauthor31 August 2015
There are many things to like about 'The Lazarus Effect' a sort of indie horror, which has borrowed parts of other movies especially 'Flatliners' but with more horror and less maturity. The film follows students of medicine who are trying to devise a technique where they can bring back people who have recently died by injecting them with a chemical that interacts with their brain. Their reasons are much different to the medics in 'Flatliners' and the results are more horrific. Good cast who create enough tension to keep the viewer hooked yet the film is disappointing because its ideas could have been explored further. Olivia Wilde is excellent as the first human subject yet her demise and climax of the movie seems rushed and gives you the impression the director ran out of budget or ideas. This may explain the film's short length however what we have is thrilling and creepy. But being a writer myself, I saw so much potential to this movie and know it could have been much better. On a positive note, the film exceeds the more hyped 'Lucy' as it also explores what happens if a greater part of our brain capacity could be utilised. @zulfmanauthor
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
OK lower budget horror.
TdSmth55 July 2015
A team of researchers discovers a serum that can wake the dead. They try it out on a dead dog and sure enough it comes to life, a bit in a bad mood more but nonetheless. Then the university shuts down the program and a corporation takes over and grabs all their research.

They decide to break into the lab and recreate the experiment by resurrecting another dog, this time around with a girl who gets to film everything. When Zoe, one of the doctors, flips on the switch she's electrocuted and dies. Her fiancée can't accept it so he decides to experiment on her and see if he can reanimate her. Sure enough, she also comes back but also not particularly thankful.

There's also something else going on with Zoe. When she was a little girl, she witnessed a room-full of people burn to death when the apartment caught fire and she couldn't help them. She's been traumatized by the experience till now. Slowly though, she starts developing powers. She can complete other people's sentences, she develops telekinesis. And eventually she starts killing her team mates. Of course she takes out the power so it's all dark. The survivors will try to battle her.

At some point the camera girl is taken to the event of the burning apartment and there's a neat revelation.

The Lazarus Effect is a short horror movie with a good premise and the lovely Olivia Wilde. One bit of science was pretty intriguing. But from there things go by the numbers--no lights, people confined in one or two rooms, no character to care for, no interesting dialogue. The movie is well-directed although clearly they could and should have done more with the story.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Better tagline: The door doesn't close til something goes through
mohancraig27 February 2015
People who've seen the movie will understand the my tagline suggestion, I was interested in seeing this the first time I saw the trailer on YouTube where "big surprise" 95% of the comments were from wackos claiming the film was "Blasphemous".... well I'm here to tell you it is safe to watch and there is no blaspheming occurring in this film; what's more if you like movies about evil being unleashed as I do you will likely enjoy this film.

The movie is short (83 minutes) which is fine by me because I don't like movies that are slow to get started or full of pointless gimmicks, there isn't a lot of character development except for the main character (Olivia Wilde) and other than Donald Glover I really don't care too much about what happens to rest of the cast but it was suspenseful although it does rely on some typical horror movie clichés.

I gave it 9 stars because there were moments when I was genuinely scared in the sense that I would hate to be in that persons situation at this point... what would I do? Also this is the type of film I'd like to see more of, I think the last movie I saw with evil incarnate that kind of shook me was Devil by M. Night Shyamalan and that was 5 years ago; Cabin in the woods was good too but it had more camp value than genuine evil affectionate draw.

I hope this film does well and as it is left intentionally open ended I can see how it could make it to the sequel stage which leaves me hopeful although lately sequels to some great first release films have been crashing and burning like Hotub time machine and Horrible bosses... I will remain hopeful ^_^
24 out of 51 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Lazars Effect Review
rgkarim1 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Horror movies are a means for directors to visit the dark recesses of their mind and craft a terrifying tale. Amidst the sea of mediocrity that is this genre, we do occasionally get a thriller that does its job. This weekend, Olivia Wilde leads the latest attempt to scare in a film titled the Lazarus Effect. After seeing numerous snippets of trailers, here is what you might…

Expect: Another tale of possession, some usual scare tactics, ethical discussion, and of course questionable acting.

Here is what you get:

1. Despite what the trailer hinted at, The Lazarus Effect's story did not tread down the expected path. Yes, Olivia Wilde's character dies, in a somewhat only to be saved from death thanks to the Lazarus system. Rather than possession though, this miracle drug instead seems to have a side effect that can best be described as a rehash of the plot from Lucy (aka unlocking the brain's full potential). However, Olivia's character doesn't handle it quite as well, instead becoming a psychotic mess with unlimited power. Why does she go nuts? The answer is not the best explained, but involve a scarring memory and a fear of hell. If you're bored with this odd story, which I was, you might enjoy the challenge of picking out various movie references this movie holds, many in homage to Stephen King. There are times when this ambiguous tale is very rushed, most likely for more scare time, leaving out some necessary details and development this movie needs. Even the suspense is dulled by the rushed pace, especially in terms of the deaths occurring in the span of 15 minutes. Oh well at least the deaths were not too over the top or monotone as we see trending in horror movies these days. 2. Speaking of scares, this movie has a few tricks up its sleeves that might just give you a shock. Jump moments occur from the start, using various means to make one leap out of their skin or scream in bloody terror, as many fellow movie goers did. For me, the dead giveaways from the cinematography and absence of sound were more than enough to predict the next spook. Instead the scarier aspect is the use of darkness to make you squirm in uncomfortable dismay. While a college campus lab may not seem scary, the lights suddenly going out can make even the nicest place a living "hell". As things go bump in the dark, you might just get the sense of isolation, which for me was the factor that really got me on the edge of my seat. If that's not enough, perhaps an anthropomorphic dog may raise the hair on your skin. 3. Integrated in at least part of the story is the ethical dilemma about bringing someone back from the clutches of death. The goal of the Lazarus Project, like all ideas in the horror genre, was noble at first; to allow doctors to have more time to save people from death by bringing them back from the dead. While this goal seems rather counterintuitive, the best intentions once again go wrong. Nevertheless, one will get an ear full of familiar philosophical quotes like "It's morally wrong!" or "That was an animal and this is a human". Fortunately it is not too preachy, but most of us by now should understand not to play God or bad crap will happen. Most horror movies, and their fans, will not really care about the ethics, but instead care about the scares and kills. 4. Finally comes the acting, well no surprise that there is no Oscar winning performances here, but that doesn't mean they suck. Wilde was my favorite, primarily because her character spanned across the personality spectrum. At first she is an enthusiastic, upbeat scientist with some religion thrown in. After the incident, she does a complete 180 and becomes a terrifying psychopath, whose bipolar complex becomes her greatest weapon. She becomes almost soulless, her previous joy lost behind intense stares and laughable dialog. The other supporting actors play their parts well, though each of the guys is a simplistic, monoemotional tool that are merely canon fodder for Wilde's wrath. They provide some comic relief here and there, but otherwise nothing stood out for me. Sarah Bolger did impress this reviewer's attention, mainly because I liked her character. While not the most unique character, the pretty redhead had the best balance of the bunch. Her reactions were kept in check, and despite being the only nonscientist, she surprisingly was the only one to figure out the mystery. She was the character I was rooting for, and also very pretty to compliment Ms. Wilde's own beauty.

The Lazarus effect has some decent scare factor to it, and should give most a nice fill of terror for now. While not the most unique story, nor the most complete, there are enough qualities here to make it a good Netflix or Redbox rent. However, I can't say this is one of the best I have seen, nor can I recommend a trip to theater. With everything put in perspective, my scores for this movie are:

Thriller: 6.5 Movie Overall: 6.0
8 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Olivia Wilde breathes life to a predictable premise
quincytheodore11 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
With a title like The Lazarus Effect, audience would know what to expect and the movie doesn't disappoint in this regard. It dabbles in resurrection theme, moral ambiguity and the usual possession angle. It's not even presented in large scale or big budget, but what separates the movie with the rest are the performance of the actors, especially Olivia Wilde, and its modest yet effective presentation.

A group of scientists stumble upon the serum which can prolong life. However, the result is not exactly what they expect and to make matter worse the university plucks their funding after some moral issue. Desperate to reclaim their experiment, they try to salvage it only to end up in much sinister situation. Fans of the genre might recognize the typical plot point here. The movie happens almost exclusively in the small confine of the laboratory and it makes the best of it.

Mark Duplass as Frank is the lead male, he's pretty invested in this endeavor even to the point of illegality. Duplass gives convincing portrayal of ambitious doctor while also delivers a few intrusive perverse thoughts. The cast is relatively small and they perform capably. The supporting characters offer consistent personalities, but the material could've explored them more.

Olivia Wilde carries the movie beyond what expected from it, simply by giving wide range of emotions to the character. She begins as a stressed doctor and wife, then delves further into deep-rooted negativity. At one point she looks like a frightened victim and the next she turns remorselessly savage with a hint of seductive glare. This constant change could implore sympathy yet also eerily creepy.

The scares are mostly all right, though some predictable jump scares are still shoehorned in. Cinematography keeps a steady contrast between light and dark, occasionally painting the scenes with vivid color for more psychological trip. Some of the horror is on point, but few admittedly miss the suspense it has already set with pedestrian gore.

While The Lazarus Effect doesn't create novel view, Wilde's capable lead ushers it into the realm of above average horror.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed