Netflix Review: The Lazarus Effect (2015)

The-Lazarus-Effect-2015Hello everyone! I cant sleep so here is an idea. I will watch things that are maybe a little old or maybe brand new on Netflix and then tell you about them, alright? Good, segment established. Earlier tonight I sat down to watch The Lazarus Effect. The Lazarus Effect was a movie that looked pretty good to me when the trailers came out, but not good enough to spend the money and time to go see in theaters. Despite getting pretty mediocre reviews, I thought it was okay but, “okay” is kind of the definition of mediocre.

It had a pretty decent cast considering there were really only 5 main characters. Olivia Wilde played a character named Zoe, Evan Peters was Clay, and Donald Glover played Niko. The other 2 were important characters named Eva and Frank but, I have never heard of the actors except Mark Duplass(Frank) was in a movie called Creep that I watched

The whole squad except Zoe.
The whole squad except Zoe.

recently. The girl who played Eva was Sarah Bolger who, now that I look her up, she does play Princess Aurora in Once Upon a Time; I never would have made the connection!

Anyway, the whole idea is that this team of Doctors and medical students devise a serum that is able to bring things back to life, hence “Lazarus.” It isn’t really working until Clay says something science-y that turns out to work on a dog that was not only dead but had cataracts in both eyes; he comes back with perfectly healthy eyes.

Long story short, the dog starts to get really weird and aggressive and they find out that the serum not only stays in the system much longer than they had anticipated, it also makes the brain much more active then it ever should be. Just as they are starting to discover more about the dog, this company swooshes in and steals all of their research because I mean, gold mine. They were able to do so by buying out the company that was funding their research. The team had some leftover serum stashed away and access to the lab still so, they go in at night to replicate the experiment and take back their intellectual property, basically.

They pick another dog and, everything is going alright until Zoe flips the switch and the lights go out for a very specific reason; she has been electrocuted to death. Something to do with the switch requires you to take off everything metal. You see her take off her jewelry earlier when they are doing the first experiment but, Frank discovers her engagement ring on with the skin scorched badly around it.  Frank, who is Zoe’s long time fiance decides that he can bring Zoe back with the Lazarus serum. Well, it works but, just like the dog, Zoe comes back kind of weird and with way too much brain activity, talking about how she was in what she was calling hell for years, despite being dead for less than an hour. Her injuries are also healed almost all of the way right away; the burn on her finger is almost gone by the time we see it again.

M182 (Left to right.) Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde star in Relativity Media's

You might guess that just like the dog, she begins to become aggressive. Her first kill is actually the dog, which is always sad, even though he was getting mean and was honestly dangerous. She starts developing psychic powers due to her increased brain activity and starts killing her friends with them after she trapped them in the basement lab. Eventually its whittled down to just Eva, who has some chemical in a needle that will basically stop Zoe who has, at this point injected the rest of the entire bag of serum into her skull, and made herself ridiculously powerful.

thelazaruseffect2colorAfter an intense scene in Zoe’s hell, Eva convinces what I can only surmise is supposed to be Zoe’s soul, to move on, and Eva is able to get the physical Zoe right in the chest with the syringe. Some firefighters bust in, to save the day because footage from the lab gets uploaded every 10 minutes so, they knew that the team had been trapped down there. Surprise twist though, Zoe wasn’t dead and the firefighters were a hallucination. She kills Eva and then, a massive hole is left open as the camera pans over all of her dead friends, and you see Zoe bringing Frank back. Is she building an army of people like her? Why? I don’t know that they could or should make a second one because, its better to leave that one as just a sort of “Oh no” kind of moment.

I think the reason why this movie wasn’t super great was that not only did it borrow an awful lot of spooky psychic power movie tropes (i.e. Humans only use 10% of their brain at a time, shes using more than that) but, it didn’t have room to breathe. It’s only an hour and twenty minutes long, and by the time Zoe is brought back and starts fucking shit up, it feels rushed to get to the end. I almost feel like they spent all of this time building up something that could have been really awesome and then quickly blurted out their original idea for the movie too fast because they were excited.

Oh well, I would agree with the Netlfix/IMDb rating of 3 out of 5 or 5 out of 10 respectively. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible either. Mediocre.

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