D: David Gelb / 83m
Cast: Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Evan Peters, Sarah Bolger, Donald Glover, Amy Aquino, Ray Wise
10 Reasons Why The Lazarus Effect Will Disappoint You:
1) It’s a Frankenstein variation that swaps injected chemicals for lightning bolts (not nearly as visually exciting).
2) Mark Duplass’ character, Frank, is supposed to be driven but instead comes across as petulant – Duplass is good at petulant but not at being a scientist.
3) Ray Wise pops in for a cameo as a corporate douchebag and takes all their research notes and computer drives – but it doesn’t stop them replicating their experiment.
4) They first revive a dog who turns out to have an aggression problem, but they don’t do anything about it, and still keep him around the lab.
5) Olivia Wilde is a fine actress with a great filmography, but she does herself no favours here with a performance that wishes it could be merely inadequate.
6) Aside from Frankenstein, it also borrows heavily from Carrie (1976) and Lucy (2014) but not in a good way, and not with any fresh ideas grafted on.
7) The reason for Zoe coming back with one hell of a mean streak is never explained, and no one even attempts to explain it.
8) What few “scares” there are in the movie are repetitively set up around the lights going out and then coming on again (boo!).
9) The script – by Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater – wants the viewer to believe that Frank et al can work undetected in a lab overnight until it becomes convenient for the script to say that, actually, they have been watched the whole time… and Ray Wise’s corporate douchebag doesn’t show up.
10) You don’t care when Zoe starts killing off her colleagues; in fact, you feel a little bit envious that they’re out of the movie, but you’re still watching it.
And lastly, a message to studio executives everywhere: if a screenwriter can’t plug the many holes in his or her plot or storyline, then send them away until they can. And if they’re touting a horror script, don’t believe that any kind of weird shit will be scary when it’s translated to the big screen. It isn’t. And one last thing: don’t ever green light a sequel to this movie – ever.
Rating: 3/10 – once again an example of how worryingly bad some studio backed horror movies can be; The Lazarus Effect is silly, stupid, a waste of a good cast, and directed by Gelb in a way that screams “coincidence” given that his first (short) movie was called Lethargy (2002).