Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Lazarus Effect - Review

A group of college medical scientists, headed up by Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde, are trying to figure out how to completely revive a dead being, using a liquid substance that they conceived that will jumpstart all functions. But their tampering in God's domain leads to some deadly side effects, including a deranged, zombified Wilde. THE LAZARUS EFFECT could have worked as a cheap knockoff of FLATLINERS but it's undermined by a story that is tedious for nearly a full hour, then goes way, way off the deep end. Wilde's revival unexplainably gives her psychic superpowers, including telepathy, telekinesis, and the ability to make the lights flicker at a rapid yet spooky rate. She's also able to create multi-layered dream worlds to further kill her former colleagues, usually in the form of one of her childhood nightmares. Now mind you, the first successful test subject, a dog named Rocky, doesn't get to have these things as well, only to instead be commanded to lay down in every scene or give the cutesy "grr" face imaginable. If the movie tried to move away from its poaching from LUCY and INCEPTION, developed itself to produce real frights instead of bargain-leveled jump scares it really has, and maybe even gives us a psychic dog versus a psychic woman, it would have been a marginally poor-to-okay quickie. Unfortunately, THE LAZARUS EFFECT would rather be mucked up by its poor ideas and dreadful execution. Shockingly, this was constructed by David Gelb, who's last film was the acclaimed documentary JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI! I love you Blumhouse Productions but next time you have a dumb horror movie, try not to give it to some random director you see at your favorite restaurant.


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