Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lazarus Effect – review

If you were too scared or interested in Pet Sematary or the film The Re-Animator this movie would be right up your alley. The acting is good but isn’t enough to save an otherwise dull movie that is heavy on jump scares and light on story.  The effects are laughable and the death scenes are forgettable.

A group of medical scientists led by Frank, played by Mark Duplass, and Zoe, played by Olivia Wilde, are attempting to bring animals back to life using a serum called Lazarus. Zoe accidentally dies in a lab experiment so Frank and his team inject her with the serum bringing her back to life. Soon she is showing all sorts of signs of new psychic powers.

Let’s start with the fact that much like Lucy this movie spreads the myth that humans only use 10% of their brains at a time.  When injected with the serum creatures all of a sudden have access to all their brain and are psychic powerhouses. There is very little time developing the characters and even less showing us how Zoe goes from good to evil. She just flips her evil switch and then starts a kill spree.

The best aspect of this movie is that the actors are great at their roles. They are entertaining and charming, for the most part. The problem is that they are not given good material to work with. Even the best carpenter can’t make a great house if he is supplied with only balsa wood. The death scenes seem lazy and not scary in the slightest. There are four deaths in total and two of them are necks breaking.

The movie is too boring to be scary. This is the sort of movie that makes me never want to go see a PG-13 horror movie.  It might be passable as an HBO movie that you catch during a channel surfing session.  It is disappointing that such a trite movie got green lit in the first place. As Jud Crandall said in Pet Sematary “Sometimes dead is better.”

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