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The Lazarus Effect
IMDB Rating : 5.4
IMDB Votes : 2,490
User Reviews : 36
Movie Rated : PG-13
Date Released : 27 February 2015
Run Time : 83 min
Movie Genre : Horror, Thriller
Movie Director : David Gelb
Movie Writer : Luke Dawson, Jeremy Slater
Movie Stars : Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Evan Peters, Sarah Bolger
The Lazarus Effect 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 …
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"The Lazarus Effect" is a small movie that packs a big punch.
Legend has it that a first century Jewish prophet by the name of Jesus performed one of his greatest miracles by raising a man named Lazarus from the dead. The story is told in the Bible in the 11th chapter of the gospel of John and has now become the inspiration for a movie title. "The Lazarus Effect" (PG-13, 1:23) doesn't talk much about the Bible (although it does discuss life after death) and it never references the man named Lazarus, but it does deal with the idea of resurrection quite literally and dramatically.
Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancé Zoe (Olivia Wilde) lead a small team of university researchers, including young geniuses Niko (Donald Glover) and Clay (Evan Peters) and a newly hired videographer named Eva (Sarah Bolger) in conducting some potentially game-changing medical research. A project to study coma patients has evolved into a series of experiments aimed at bringing dead animals back to life. The idea is to create a process that will buy time for doctors working on seriously ill or injured patients, critical minutes that could mean the difference between life and death. The team's work soon leads to something much more ominous and they're all aware of the huge ethical questions and almost unfathomable implications of what they're doing. "If we're going to be asking the big questions," Zoe tells Frank, "then we have to be ready for the answers." Truth is, none of them are ready for what is to come.
It won't be a spoiler to anyone who has caught the trailers for this movie, looked at the movie poster, or ever seen a horror movie that this group begins to succeed in their experiments with frightening results. They bring a dead dog back to life and everything seems fine, but a brain scan reveals an extreme amount of neural activity that raises some serious concerns. When they try to repeat the experiment, Zoe is accidentally electrocuted. A despondent Frank convinces the others to help him try to bring Zoe back to life. They succeed, but soon Zoe, like the dog, shows signs that make the others worry that something has gone wrong. The rest of the film is a combination of scary moments, clever reveals and unexpected developments.
"The Lazarus Effect" is a small movie but in a good way. It's reminiscent of the 1990 Kiefer Sutherland Julia Roberts Kevin Bacon movie "Flatliners", but this film confines itself to a tighter story. The small cast helps to focus the action and the limited area in which most of the action takes place brings into play a slight feeling of claustrophobia which amps up the tension. Yeah, the film's relatively tiny budget ($5 million) probably necessitated the limited cast and sets, but, hey, it works. And the movie's short run time (just under an hour and a half) forces the story to keep moving. What we get is a small, but effective horror thriller with some scary images, a good bit of tension and a few things to think about. The casting is a bit distracting with Glover following up his stint on NBC's "Community" with a dramatic role (although he wasn't half-bad) and seeing Wilde conducting well, wild medical experiments made me wonder what her former TV boss Dr. House would think. Minor inconsistencies in the story and the editing and a questionable final scene took a little away from the quality of the movie, but it's still a fun and entertaining distraction. "B".