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The Lazarus Effect

By on March 5, 2015

watch-lazarus-effect-2015-movie-trailer-video-olivia-wilde-comes-back-from-the-dead-in-new-horror-filmDo you remember Flatliners? Well The Lazarus Effect is nothing like that. Instead, this is a horror film that takes place over almost entirely one night and becomes more like a bad episode of The Twilight Zone than any worthy horror film.

Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass play Zoe and Frank, a couple who are trying to extend the time rescue services have to keep someone alive. Except, after working on some animals, it seems as if they’ve found the answer to bringing people back from the dead. But … they are not quite the same.

It’s not a bad set-up, but apart from Wilde the whole thing is poorly acted and once they try it out on a human, it becomes a strange tale of Original Sin (perhaps) and a possession-like horror (as if we need another one of those). The idea of coming back from the afterlife and still being somewhat sound of mind to begin with, is an interesting idea yet never really explored. Instead, after a slow build-up it descends into a by-the-numbers monster show.

It didn’t horrify me, yet was quite adequate at making a few worthwhile jump scares. It also looked fairly cheap and there’s no real clear sign of who the hero/heroine is supposed to be. The ‘Final Girl’ trope is completely misjudged and with such two dimensional characters, it fails to illicit any tension or empathy towards who we see on screen.

It’s one idea, poorly executed and jumping on the horror bandwagon. New director David Gelb fails to impress and I’m a little worried that one of the writers is Jeremy Slater, who has been working on the new Fantastic Four and makes me dubious that Marvel’s next set of heroes might be a failure.

It’s not completely terrible, but it is bad and proves that Olivia Wilde really does need to start making some good film role choices, otherwise her career will be something she can’t bring back from the dead.

Rating: 4/10

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