The Lazarus Effect (2015)

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Critic Consensus: The Lazarus Effect has a talented cast and the glimmer of an interesting idea, but wastes it all on insipid characters and dull, recycled plot points.

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From masters of horror Blumhouse Productions- producer of THE PURGE, INSIDIOUS and SINISTER franchises- THE LAZARUS EFFECT follows a group of researchers led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe (Olivia Wilde,) 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. (C) Relativity

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Critic Reviews for The Lazarus Effect

All Critics (97) | Top Critics (27)

Given the low-budget film's bottle-episode feel, horror fans could've gotten extra mileage out of a disorienting and original psychological treatment.

Jan 21, 2016 | Full Review…

It's thematically thin but competently made and good for a few scares.

Mar 6, 2015 | Full Review…

I would have loved to see more from the filmmakers, daring to fail while staking out some new terror incognita instead of just going through the motions of an experiment for which we already have the results.

Feb 27, 2015 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

A grimy, dopey, confused thriller that wastes a very likable cast.

Feb 27, 2015 | Full Review…

Death may not be the end in The Lazarus Effect, but it should be.

Feb 27, 2015 | Full Review…

"The Lazarus Effect" boasts nothing special. It's not going to provide much relief for horror-starved audiences.

Feb 27, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Lazarus Effect

½

Just entertaining enough not to be boring. It was not scary at all and the story was a little far fetched. It provided a few laughs and that's it.

Jarrin Rozenblad
Jarrin Rozenblad

Super Reviewer

½

Olivia Wilde stars in the supernatural horror film The Lazarus Effect. A university study goes horribly wrong when one of the researchers dies in a freak accident and is revived using an experimental procedure. Wilde gives a solid performance, and so does her co-star Sarah Bolger. Also, the film does a nice job of building suspense and tension. But, the writing's a little weak and isn't sure what direction to take the plot: as it's unclear whether the resurrected character is demon possessed, lost their humanity, or something else. Yet despite its weaknesses, The Lazarus Effect manages to deliver some good scares.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

very slow and not scary, this is one of those experimenting on your own member things. Producer Jason Blum has a great success rate but most of these films are just terrible. They make money but the critical reception are bad and yet again here we are. I didn't care if I had seen this all before, just do something other then nothing.

Brendan Nicholls
Brendan Nicholls

Super Reviewer

This isn't really a horror film, at least for slightly over half of it. There are definitely some hints at some interesting themes that the film doesn't really touch on as thoroughly as it probably should have. There's the whole 'playing god' issue about bringing people back from the dead that you maybe should not have brought back. I think the film plays, a bit, with the religion vs science aspect but, again, much like any interesting theme in the film, does so in a fairly straightforward and simple manner. It's every science vs religion argument you have ever seen. The film has some pretty cool visuals, like the entire nightmare sequence that Zoe has throughout the film. I did like how they incorporated it into the story and how it's something that plays out throughout the 'narrative.' The problem is exactly that, that there's pretty much next to no narrative once Zoe dies and they have to bring her back with the serum. Once this happens, it's off to the races with the 'slasher' part of the film. It's not really a traditional slasher in the sense that it's really that violent, it's actually very tame all things considered, I just mean it in the sense that everybody's gonna die and they have a very short period of time to do so. It might have worked if you cared about the characters heading into Zoe's change, if you will, but there's next to no character development past Zoe and Frank being married, Zoe's recurring nightmare/childhood memory, Niko having a crush on Zoe, Clay being kind of a dick and Eva being the camerawoman. That's pretty much the extent of all the character development in the film. So, to no one's surprise, you didn't really care about anyone when the shit went down. It's not that the cast isn't good, because as far as horror goes, this is a pretty damn solid cast. I thought Olivia Wilde was actually pretty damn good as a horror villain, if it can be called that. I don't know, just the way her body language and how she acted actually really worked and added something to the film that improved it much more than just your basic horror film. It's not that I found this film to be bad, in the least, it actually has more on its mind that your regular horror flick, it's just that it didn't properly make use of its interesting themes. I found the film to be watchable, at best. Might not have been very good film, but it's at least watchable. It's not really something that I would recommend it, but I don't think that it's nearly as bad as both the critics score on Rotten Tomatoes or the audience score on here. I'm not saying it's good, but it's better than the scores would imply. However, with that said, I jsut think that there's a lot of wasted potential here with what seemed to be, on paper, to be an incredibly interesting concept that was used on what ended up being a substandard horror flick. It is what it is, unfortunately. Good idea, shoddy execution.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

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