Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Movie Review #225: "The Lazarus Effect" (2015)

Movie"The Lazarus Effect"
Ticket Price: $9.75
Director: David Gelb
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes
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A group of scientists, headed by doctors Frank (Mark Duplass) and Zoe (Olivia Wilde), are developing an unsanctioned chemical called the Lazarus Serum, which essentially bring the dead back to life. They have successfully tested the serum on a dog and are attempting to refine it when their program is shut down. While attempting to re-document their experiment, Zoe is electrocuted and dies. Frank decides to use the Lazarus serum on her to bring her back to life, but once back from the dead, Zoe is not the same and starts to develop strange powers and a murderous aggression.  

Even with a cast of more noticeable, notable actors and actresses (IE: not the two-bit nobodies from "Ouija"), new PG-13 horror movies still suck!

The first 10-15 minutes of "The Lazarus Effect" aren't terrible. In fact, they aren't bad at all, and they gave us the false hope better things would come from the rest of the movie. These beginning moments are captivating, leaving us thinking there might be something else unexplored to the PG-13 horror genre we haven't already seen. It's the moment that the film decides to go the route of "Lucy" with the crap notion that we only use 10% of our brains that things start to fall apart and proceed in a aimless fashion towards the inevitable bottom of the dollar horror movie bin at your local thrift store. Despite the intriguing beginning, the makers of this movie then proceed to use every single recycled and tired horror movie cliche they can think of and shove it into its already small run time, including but not limited to: broken mirrors with someone's reflection doing something entirely different, flooding someone's eyes to make them be all black, killing off the black character first, name-dropping other, better horror movies that came before it, levitation, the list is seemingly endless! All of the tricks this movie attempts have been done before and all of its plot points have been poorly executed in the past. This, unfortunately, makes "The Lazarus Effect" boring, stupid and sloppy, too. It doesn't really know which direction it wants to go, and in a frantic effort not to miss anything, it goes nowhere and wastes some really talented actors like Evan Peters, Donald Glover, Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde. And while we're on the subject of Olivia Wilde, at one point, I thought maybe this movie was only made so that the director could have an excuse to film extreme close-up shots of her for his creepy collection.

In the end, there are too many loose ends and unnecessary cliches to warrant spending money on this film. These silly plot points derail the film and even with the minor changes, the potential for something a lot better was just within arms reach, but the filmmakers failed to grab something that could have been golden. It's a cross between the worst parts of "Pet Sematary" and "Lucy," combined with a touch of "Splice" and that creepy looking kid from "The Ring," but with extra science terminology, a feeble attempt at the "playing God" debate between religion and science, and a couple extra jump scares because, you know, they have to get the screams in somehow. The actors in this movie must have owed someone a huge favor because they are all supremely overqualified for this piece of poop movie.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 15%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
One year ago, we were watching: "Labor Day"

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