Relativity Media | Release Date: February 27, 2015
4.8
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Mixed or average reviews based on 103 Ratings
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Mixed:
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6
quincytheodoreMay 11, 2015
Olivia Wilde breathes life to a predictable premise. 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 usualOlivia Wilde breathes life to a predictable premise. 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.
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3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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6
horcrux2007Feb 28, 2015
This movie promises the audience very little, and it delivers the good mildly well. What drew me to this film was the very limited scope (the whole plot takes place in one laboratory) and the interesting cast. Olivia Wilde was definitely theThis movie promises the audience very little, and it delivers the good mildly well. What drew me to this film was the very limited scope (the whole plot takes place in one laboratory) and the interesting cast. Olivia Wilde was definitely the strongest aspect of the movie, and she made this so much better than it could have been. Wilde gave a subtle and very unsettling performance to make her character very memorable. Sarah Bolger was another strong part of the cast, and she gave it her all when her character is being stalked by a demonic Olivia Wilde. The rest of the actors were decent yet forgettable. This movie has a lot of great ideas, but there wasn't any room for any of those ideas to fully develop themselves due to the criminally short 83 minute running time. Had the movie been about 15 minutes longer, those themes could have been developed better. There is a twist at the end of the movie that does explain a few of the more questionable plot points. I jumped a few times, I cringed a few times, and I rolled my eyes a few times, but the Lazarus Effect does its job in a decently creepy yet forgettable fashion. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
TheQuietGamerOct 23, 2015
Some good ideas are present, but it never capitalizes on them. It touches on elements of religion vs. science and what exactly qualifies as "crossing the line." These elements are unfortunately ditched in favor of generic horror that reallySome good ideas are present, but it never capitalizes on them. It touches on elements of religion vs. science and what exactly qualifies as "crossing the line." These elements are unfortunately ditched in favor of generic horror that really isn't scary. The typical attempts at fear are here, but it's really just a boring film.

The one strength the film keeps throughout is it's great cast. The performances are fantastic and they feel like believable characters. Their interactions are really incredible, and the moments of humor between them (that obviously take place before it tries to get scary) feel genuine. I mean, don't get me wrong I still really didn't give a crap about them. The characters aren't fleshed out and are therefore nothing more than just bodies to add to the pile. Even with that though, it's a joy to watch the actors do so well. They elevate the movie into something watchable as opposed to the straight up awfulness it would have been without them.

Still, even with the fantastic performances it doesn't change the fact that this is a boring and completely non-scary horror movie. I appreciate that the movie didn't go full possession flick like it could have. They make it very clear that it is the character returning, only this time changed due to resurrection. It doesn't really help the movie at all in the scare department, but it makes elements of the plot a little more interesting.

To be honest the story is pretty cool. Yeah, it ditches the philosophical questions early on in favor of poor attempts at scaring you, but I was interested in what was happening at the time. Even if it was boring as crap thanks to a lack of tension or a creepy atmosphere. Turns out simply giving Olivia Wilde completely black eyes while having her stand in the dark and occasionally pop out at us isn't scary. Who would've thought.

Simply put, "The Lazarus Effect" has some interesting stuff going that is brought down by some really boring horror. It could have been something smart and interesting, but instead went with trying to be scary and failed miserably at it. The deeper elements are present and can be seen for the briefest amounts of time. It's just a shame the overall movie didn't use them more. What we have here is a boring horror flick without anything scary going on. That makes it a mediocre film perfectly worth skipping.
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0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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6
LeZeeNov 4, 2017
The stimulated brain terrorising!

Actually, this film was made before 'Lucy', but released after that. So I first saw that and now this. Basically, these two films are similar thematic, except the genres are different. I liked Scarlett's
The stimulated brain terrorising!

Actually, this film was made before 'Lucy', but released after that. So I first saw that and now this. Basically, these two films are similar thematic, except the genres are different. I liked Scarlett's film, a very much enjoyable. This film too looked nice, and watching it after that makes to understand it better. I meant scientifically, rather than a supernatural way. So what's extra in this was the usual horror film style jumpy scenes, with loud and sudden sounds.

Limited cast, and one day event based film. Not a bad writing or the direction and performances. The settings were perfect, and the film did not require strong graphics. The story followed a small medical researcher team who is working on a serum that brings the dead back to life. When their entire work was ceased by the company they were working for, they decide to recreate everything to prove its theirs. Then something goes wrong, following a series of destruction before it all ends.

Like I said, it was more a science-fictional thriller than your regular horror film. But it borrowed the same style to present on the screen. The events are simple to understand, except that scientific thing. Because there won't be any difference for those who are weak in basic science. It'll be another normal boring horror flick. For me, it's an average film, watchable for once being short and well paced narration.

6/10
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0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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4
BrianMcCriticJun 20, 2015
A film with just as many unanswered questions as there are thrills. Except for a few moments of solid imagery, The Lazarus Effect is a bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo that leads to a ridiculous ending. C-
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6
lelefoxx00Jun 13, 2015
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. After watching the trailer for this movie, I was extremely excited to see it. I loved the idea it had going and the potential. However, it ended with me feeling slightly disappointed and relieved I didn't pay to see it in theaters. The pros are the fantastic cast, the plot idea of bringing back the dead (ending in a Pet Cemetery style regret), and the overall look/feel of the movie. The cons are failure to reach expectations (it had so much potential), confusion and lack of explanation (what really happened in that burning apartment? Why was she seeing firemen in the end?), and the sudden fast-forward in how quick everything progressed. Once one of them died, the rest just started dropping like flies. Before reaching the middle of the movie, everything just started happening at once. It felt so rushed.

Overall, I would have to say, yes, give this movie a try. It is good. Personally, it isn't something I would re-watch.
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5
MacheteDontTextJun 6, 2015
Perfect for watching in the background while doing something else...

Promising beginning leads nowhere, everything is generally predictable, still passable. Sience is the devil undertone is the most unsettling thing about this movie though.
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4
WheelzFourReelzMar 10, 2015
There is some freaky imagery that's decently effective and the cast does an adequate job, but The Lazarus is devoid of scares and isn't very enjoyable to watch.
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4
SolInvictaMay 24, 2015
The Lazarus Effect tries to be original by borrowing ideas from a plethora of other horror movies. It winds up being an unoriginal and unscary waste of a great cast.
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5
gemmapartlowAug 28, 2016
As scary movies go, this one is pretty thrilling. It reminded me of Flatliners, in that a group of students have discovered a way to bring the dead back to life, but instead of using a defibrillator, it is by way of DMT, a chemical producedAs scary movies go, this one is pretty thrilling. It reminded me of Flatliners, in that a group of students have discovered a way to bring the dead back to life, but instead of using a defibrillator, it is by way of DMT, a chemical produced in the brain which regenerates itself and contributes to rapid evolution of the brain's neurotransmitters. The result is an experience of something negative that happened in the past, over and over again. I love that Frank goes to great lengths to protect his girlfriend, and (spoiler alert) that she eventually does the same for him. Expand
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4
FilipeNetoMay 17, 2022
When I found this film, I thought it would be a cinematic approach to Lazarus Syndrome, which is the apparently spontaneous reactivation of the heartbeat after all attempts to resuscitate a patient in cardiac arrest have failed. This is aWhen I found this film, I thought it would be a cinematic approach to Lazarus Syndrome, which is the apparently spontaneous reactivation of the heartbeat after all attempts to resuscitate a patient in cardiac arrest have failed. This is a very rare situation to happen, and I thought the movie would be about that. I was wrong.

The film's script follows a small group of young scientists who are carrying out a controversial and eventually revolutionary study: the creation of a serum that allows the dead to be reanimated. They are testing it on animals, but a bureaucratic twist ends up denying them the possibility of continuing the study. However, they decide to continue secretly, even though the results of tests on animals have revealed that there are dangerous brain changes, resulting from the application of the serum, in the resuscitated animals. After breaking into the lab at night, the group has an accident and one of the group's scientists dies. They then decide to use the serum to bring her back to life.

The film has an interesting base premise and one that will draw some inspiration from the source of "Frankenstein" and other mad or amoral scientists. These are fascinating and frightening topics, because we naturally fear those men who use their genius and wisdom without any moral concern to guide them. However, the film fails to develop this in the best way: the whole question that leads to the expulsion of the scientists from that laboratory is, to say the least, unconvincing, and any minimally serious scientist would be incapable of performing an experiment on human beings without solid positive results in the previous stages. It is a huge nonsense that tramples everything we consider as a "scientific method".

The cast has its good moments. Olivia Wilde does a really good job, she's convincing, and it's not difficult to sympathize with her character, for her stubbornness and sympathy. Mark Duplass didn't seem so committed or believable to me, but he has some very good moments, particularly in the second half of the film. Sarah Bolger (who I only knew from her role in the "Tudors" series) is beautiful, but in addition to her feminine beauty, she also gives us a mature and interesting interpretation, particularly in the final scenes of the film.

On a technical level, the film doesn't have much to offer us. The cinematography is fairly generic, and the editing appears to have been harsh, with mangled subplots and a total runtime reduced to just over an hour. The sets are good enough, especially the labs used in the filming, and the soundtrack is good enough, though not remarkable.
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5
benskylerhillMay 15, 2018
The Lazarus Effect is a disappointing mess. It's disappointing because it has so much going for it. It attempts to ask deep philosophical questions about life and death but it just doesn't know where it wants to go with them.

The characters
The Lazarus Effect is a disappointing mess. It's disappointing because it has so much going for it. It attempts to ask deep philosophical questions about life and death but it just doesn't know where it wants to go with them.

The characters are all completely disposable with nothing significant about them individually. They are very lazily written into the film and it's hard to find reason to care about them. It's such a waste of a truly talented cast. The performances are as good as they can possibly be despite the script that's riddled with cliché after cliché after cliché. Jump scares abound and not a single one of them is unexpected.

That's not to say that all of the scares are ineffective, though. The Lazarus Effect makes impactful use of very creepy, original imagery that is genuinely unsettling. The lighting creates an atmosphere of tension that's unexpectedly powerful.

But aside from this, there's not much good to be said here. The movie spends a great deal of time trying to make sense of itself, and it does so in all the wrong ways. The dialogue is stuffed with scientific mumbo-jumbo in a attempt to convince us that the premise is actually logical and plausible. But while it sets all of that up, it forgets to set up compelling characters and, more importantly, fails to establish the rules for the supernatural world it creates. Once possession occurs and creepy things start happening, nothing makes sense anymore because nothing is developed. What are the demon's motives? What is this supernatural entity? Any message lying here is lost entirely in the mess that is the second and third acts.

The Lazarus Effect: high ambitions, low delivery. It's not scary and it can't make up for that because there really is nothing else it has to offer.

Story: 4
Acting: 7.5
Script: 2.5
Visuals/Sound: 8.5
Entertainment Value: 3.5

OVERALL SCORE: 5.2/10
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