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The Lazarus Effect

The Lazarus Effect

3.0 314 Ratings

Directed by : David Gelb

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  • MJ Rating 1.8/5
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A group of researchers led by Frank and his fiancée 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 experiment...more


“The Lazarus Effect is a strange film with an underutilized star cast and wasted premise. ”

The Lazarus Effect Credit & Casting

Evan Peters


Cast (in credits order)

The Lazarus Effect Audience Review

The Lazarus Effect: Movie Review

Rated 1.5 / 5

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A film like David Gelb’s ‘The Lazarus Effect’ is a strange mix. It’s as stupid and generic and un-scary as they come, but it also asks big questions about faith and morality – something more suited for meditative films by the likes of Carl Theodor Dreyer or Ingmar Bergman. The result is haphazard mishmash of a clueless cheap horror flick which uses its big themes in service of hackneyed jump-scare effects.
The premise concerns Dr. Frank (enstein?) and his fiancée Zoe, both obsessive scientists working on a serum called Lazarus, capable of bringing the dead back to life. There’s a great theme in there – what does one see just seconds before their death? What does it feel like to be dead… and be back again? The movie blithely ignores the potential for a profound existential enquiry here, instead reducing the premise to B-movie cliches. After resurrecting a dead dog using the drug, Zoe gets electrocuted by accident during another experiment. Naturally, she’s brought back to life thanks to serum, but something doesn’t seem right.
In the initial portions, one character jokes that maybe the dog doesn’t want to return to life and the scientists are pulling it out of “dog heaven”. After her death, Zoe apparently goes to hell, but is brought back to life – this time with superpowers. Access to human beings’ brain capacity is discussed, and like the protagonist from Luc Besson’s far superior ‘Lucy’, Zoe gets telekinetic powers, can read people’s minds and make the lights go off. ‘Lucy’ was a film which recognized the silliness of its premise, but it was enlivened by a touch of whimsy and a mordant sense of humour. ‘The Lazarus Effect’, on the other hand, takes itself far too seriously, posing as a “realistic” film sucking all the potential fun out of its narrative. Instead some incident from Zoe’s childhood, responsible for her assignment to hell, is evoked but never explained or fleshed out. Nothing is made out of the love triangle subplot either.
The result is a confused movie with random subplots cooked up just for the heck of it, and there’s little in the movie that makes much sense. Failing to come up with genuine scares, the filmmakers resort to cheap, mindless jump-scares which exist for the sole purpose of increasing the scare-quotient of the movie. A muddled mess, the only genuine scare offered by ‘The Lazarus Effect’ is the ending, which hints at the possibility of a sequel.

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