“The Lazarus Effect” released in theaters a few weeks ago and has not been getting very good reviews. This will be no different. I was expecting psychic zombies and instead got a movie that wanted to be yet another remake of “Carrie,” but failed to live up to its attempt.
Directed by David Gelb who is mainly known for his documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,”(which was good), “The Lazarus Effect” had a lot of potential. With an all-star cast including Mark Duplass of “The League” and “Your Sister’s Sister,” Olivia Wilde of “In Time” and “TRON: Legacy,” Evan Peters of “American Horror Story” and the “Kick-Ass” franchise, Sarah Bolger of “The Tudors” and Donald Glover of “Community,” the acting was the only thing that kept this movie afloat. Writers Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater failed to hold the full attention of the audience, and I sat fidgeting in my chair, though not from anticipation of the next scare. For a movie that is classified as a horror/thriller there was nothing thrilling about it. The story droned on in the most predictable way possible as character after character died, each in the exact same way.
What horror fans look for and crave is wondering how and who is going to do it. When the monstrous creature is revealed to us within the first 20 minutes of a 90-minute film, that takes away one of the things that keeps us guessing, automatically falling into the habit of leaning more on the “how” aspect. When every character, save one, dies in the exact same fashion, it starts to get a little (more than a little) repetitive.
Other than the acting, the only thing I can give credit to this film for is in the fact that it, assumingly, tried to give a twist to the concept of the “final girl.” Anyone who enjoys horror film knows the formula for all-American horror. There is always one girl, usually a young woman, who fights off the monster and outlives everyone in order to tell the cops her tale of woe. Without giving anything away, the writers of this film did try to break away from the traditional concept, while still desperately clinging to it. That is the problem as a whole with American horror: everyone is terrified, no pun intended, to try something new, where other countries such as France and South Korea are going above and beyond terrifying their viewers.
All in all, even with a stellar cast this movie is not worth paying for. If you feel like something that has any resemblance to “Carrie,” wait for it to be in your local video store or machine. Poor Mark Duplass and Evan Peters, who are usually so great, are now brought down a peg while trying to make a major motion picture rather than the independents or television that are absolutely wonderful. Stick to what you’re good at, and don’t bring yourself down to their level!
Article by Krista Skweres