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MicroReview: The Lazarus Effect (2015)

The Lazarus Effect Movie Horror Film Review

A group of medical researchers discover a way to bring dead patients back to life.


The Lazarus Effect is on an odd end of the spectrum for horror films. It carries a cast verging on A-list, and has a budget that matches. But like a number of other of films similar to this, it fails to truly "go there". What writers Luke Dawson (Shutter) and Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four) have put on the screen is good, don't get me wrong, but I get a real sense that it has had some of the bigger ideas hacked out of it.

The film begins with a team of medical researchers experimenting with a way to stave off death, to aid medical workers in resuscitation, but stumble upon a technique to bring the dead back to life, cue horror film. The film touches on the ideals of science versus religion early on, but drops the concept like a hot brick and runs only for 83 minutes - which is frighteningly short given the budget and cast.

With what feels like the emotion of the story ripped out, the left behind husk is a solid sci fi horror, that passes the time amiably, but felt like it could have been much more. The cast consists almost entirely of Mark Duplass (Creep), Olivia Wilde (In Time), Donald Glover (Solo: A Star Wars Story), Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past), and Sarah Bolger (The Spiderwick Chronicles), and they're all damn good. Director David Gelb (feature debut) does a good job. The FX are good.

I just felt that there was something below the surface I wasn't quite allowed to see. All in, it reminded me a lot of 2017's Life. Worth watching with popcorn horror value only.

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