Director – David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi)
Cast – Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Sarah Bolger, Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover, Evan Peters
Plot – After discovering a way to bring the dead back to life, couple and fellow scientists Frank (Duplas) and Zoe (Wilde) along with their student crew realise that being bought back from the dead may not be that great of an idea.
“If we are going to be asking the questions, we have to be ready for the answers”
Review by Eddie on 27/08/2015
There are a bountiful array of different and concerning trends effecting modern day horror films these days, one of the most glaring is the fact that there are a huge amount of horror films that aren’t actually that horrific. Sure they’re violent and unafraid to spill blood, but actually bone chilling scary, not on your life. The Conjuring sure was creepy and shame on me for even mentioning it but so was the first Paranormal Activity, but other than that really, our horror offerings have been slight to say the least over the last 5 or so years.
The other huge and frustrating aspect bringing down many a film of the genre is the fact that there are an increasingly large number of films with potential that find it squandered in the midst of so-so acting, characters we can’t be bothered caring for, uninspiring direction and cliché ridden story arcs – it’s a problem then that the Lazarus Effect is a harbinger for both these genre drowning aspects.
With a ripe story idea and with an admittedly strong opening, Lazarus quickly descends into a CGI ridden and murkily developed story that asks us to care but provides us with little reason to and whenever the scariest scene in a horror film is the sight of Childish Gambino wearing a pig mask, you get the feeling that the Lazarus Effect has failed in its modus operandi.
You’ve got to wonder what’s the main reasoning behind Lazarus’s inability to go on with its strong idea, and while the premise of scientific boffins discovering a way to raise people up from their mortal coils isn’t exactly a new idea, Lazarus seemed to have a fresh take on the concept within its grasp but as soon as the always pretty to look at Olivia Wilde returns to our adventure as a dark eyed resurrected baddie, Lazarus shuns aside all good will in a plethora of dumb scenes, lame character demises and bad scripting, so bad does Lazarus become in its later stages that all be wishing that the film focussed on the brought back from the dead Rocky the dog instead.
Saving face with a concept that’s initially intriguing and actually entertaining, The Lazarus Effect is yet another addition to the ever growing library of recent horror films that lose sight of goals within their reach to become merely above horrible entries into a genre that is finding itself with less and less wins as the years go on.
2 murderous storage cabinets out of 5