“The Lazarus Effect:” Not Your Average Easter Resurrection
Everyone wants to know: What happens when we die? Heaven? Hell? Nothing? The latest horror film, “The Lazarus Effect,” lent movie-goers their unique take on what happens to a person post-life.
The film tells the story of a young group of scientists performing experiments on dead animals, mostly dogs and pigs, in hopes to bring them back to life. However, things go awry when an unexpected death occurs within the circle of scientists and they solemnly try their first human trials. Of course, to fit the horror film stereotypes, things go terribly wrong. The resurrection of one of their colleagues might have technically worked, but something is noticeably wrong.
“The Lazarus Effect” isn’t winning any major awards, nor will it even go down as one of the great horror films of 2015, but it was a valiant effort. The cast is young, fresh and exciting featuring Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass as a romantically involved duo within the group of scientists. Donald Glover, also known by his rapper name, Childish Gambino, plays a scientist as well. Rounding out the cast is Sarah Bolger and Evan Peters, the latter coming from “American Horror Story” fame. I was mainly excited for Peters, but his performance in the film made him look like a B-list actor compared to his impressive roles in the beloved FX TV show that gave him notoriety, both by fans and critics.
“The Lazarus Effect” also gave me hope because it actually had an intricate and complex storyline. Unlike most scary movies of today, the film did not just rely on cheap scares or characters popping out, trying to frighten the audience. Although it did have a few of those moments, including one where I screamed and accidentally smacked the person sitting next to me in the face because I was taken so off guard. The movie tried to tell a story and dealt with heavy issues such as science versus religion and life after death.
Despite the hip cast and complex storyline, the film still fell flat. The main actors all have the ability to give a great performance, but it felt like every one of them knew this film wasn’t going to be their Oscar-winning performance, so they didn’t really try. “The Lazarus Effect” was just a quick job and easy paycheck to them.
Similarly, even though the plot line was intricate, there were way too many plot holes and unanswered questions. I think that if a film is going to delve into such deep topics, that it needs to take a firm stance on the direction it’s going to take, and the screenwriters did not choose a direction. “The Lazarus Effect” had unlimited potential, but ended up being lackluster. If you want to see a scary movie that will leave you feeling “meh” I suggest “The Lazarus Effect.”