Science and religion are the perfect example of two things that are the antithesis of each other. The two ideas have clashed forever, not only in movies, but in real life debates all over the world. This is one of the reasons why it is the perfect basis for David Gelb’s latest film, The Lazarus Effect.
A group of scientists are working on a serum that allows medical professionals to keep patients’ brains alive long enough to resuscitate them successfully without causing any lasting brain damage. After their project is shutdown and their lab is stripped of all notes and equipment, the crew’s trials come to an abrupt halt. That is, until they decide to re-create their work, so they don’t lose everything they’ve dedicated so much time to. Things go horribly wrong when crew member Zoe (Olivia Wilde) gets electrocuted. Her distraught fiance`, Frank (Mark Duplass), turns to drastic measures to bring her back to life, using the Lazarus serum as a last-ditch effort. Zoe is brought back to life successfully, but she is much different than before…
Like a cross between Flatliners, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Carrie, The Lazarus Effect has a lot going on. I haven’t heard many reviews of the film, so I really had no idea what to expect. I am pleased to say that I was pleasantly surprised, however. The plot, although somewhat familiar, is very entertaining, the effects are impressive, and the acting is great from all parties.
The entire cast, which consists of Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Donald Glover, Evan Peters, and Sarah Bolger, among others, does a wonderful job throughout Lazarus‘s entire 83 minute runtime. The main cast is tiny and intimate, making it rather easy to relate to each character and actually care what is going on between them. The audience gets to know each character’s personality and quirks, which isn’t seen in too many films these days. I greatly appreciate director, David Gelb, and his team of writers, Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater, for taking the time to create such characterization.
We’ve all seen our fair share of supernatural and possession films, but there is still a time and place for them, when done correctly. Although there isn’t much commotion about The Lazarus Effect, I do believe it is worthy of your time. If you are a fan of possession flicks, definitely give this one a shot. It does seem familiar, but it is still original enough to keep your attention. You can pick up a copy on DVD or Blu-ray today from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
I give this one 3.5 syringes out of 5.