THE LAZARUS EFFECT (2015) Reviews and overview

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‘Evil will rise’
The Lazarus Effect is a 2015 American horror film directed by David Gelb from a screenplay by Luke Dawson (Shutter) and Jeremy Slater (The Fantastic Four). The movie was previously titled Lazarus and is the latest from Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions, the company behind horror hits Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Insidious, Sinister, and their sequels.

The movie stars Evan Peters (American Horror Story), Olivia Wilde, Sarah Bolger, Mark Duplass and Donald Glover.


A team of ambitious medical professionals have found a way to bring dead patients back to life using a serum codenamed “Lazarus”. After several successful tests are done on animals, Zoe (Olivia Wilde), one of the lead researchers, dies in a lab accident.


In desperation, the team uses “Lazarus” to bring her back and they are successful. But as she begins to display unusual abilities the team begins to realise that in their attempt to resurrect the dead, they may have opened the door to unfathomable evil…

“After the halfway mark, however, the film quickly unravels, revealing both a lack of vision and the technique necessary to execute all of the big ideas the film introduces. By some small miracle, despite killing its own momentum with a poorly-conceived narrative and logical gaps galore, The Lazarus Effect still manages to be creepy (if not scary) throughout.” Screen Rant

“This isn’t a real horror movie—this is the kind of horror movie that the characters in a real horror movie watch in order to comment on the lameness of the genre before their authentic terrors begin. The screenplay by Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater is a pastiche of elements cribbed from other films ranging from Frankenstein to Flatliners…

“Becoming progressively less interesting as the body count rises and Zoe’s eyes turn hellishly black, the film squanders whatever potential it had, not to mention the talents of such performers as Duplass and Wilde, who clearly deserve better. Director Gelb displays a reasonably sure hand in his debut narrative effort, although he relies far too heavily on predictable jump scares and a recurring motif in which the screen goes black for a few seconds before revealing the next scary visual.” The Hollywood Reporter


” … predictable jump scares, ubiquitous booms on the soundtrack desperate to create a whiff of drama, and the asinine, sequel-setting conclusion is totally by the book. You’ve seen this movie before with peppier actors, and not tethered to a visually uninteresting set that looks like a remainder from a 10-year-old episode of CSI.” The Guardian

” … shamelessly steals from superior genre efforts and lacks any distinguishing traits beyond a wildly overqualified cast. Still, even a modest opening weekend will ensure a profit before toxic word of mouth kills this stinker for good.” Variety


The Lazarus Effect was released on February 27, 2015, by Relativity Media.

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