Some scientists are doing research into a drug that can bring a creature back from the dead. However when they do discover said drug they realise it’s not quite worked as well as they would have hoped. Things go especially awry when Olivia Wilde dies unexpectedly and Mark Duplass decides to revive her.
Now reviews for The Lazarus Effect have been resoundingly awful so I went in expecting something around the quality of Ouija. However I was pleasantly surprised to find that it isn’t awful. But in fact very mediocre. And actually the first half hour is actually quite good. Of the film loses steam in the second third and then just goes mental for the last half hour. But in the first third there are some genuinely decent ideas and some genuinely decent scares, and not just jump scares but actually scary things.
Actually throughout the film there are decent ideas, the problem is none of them are developed at all. So while the question of religion theme could have been interesting, or the playing god thing could have been interesting, or the zombie thing could have been interesting, or the knock off Lucy thing could have been interesting, or the flashback to childhood trauma thing could have been interesting, or the hell theme could have been interesting, none of them really are because they are all just mentioned in passing. The film hints at intelligence but doesn’t deliver any.
The performances are all fine. The script isn’t great but they all do fairly well with the material. Olivia Wilde shows she can do creepy, and Donald Glover does more than just comedy. I found I cared about the characters for maybe half the film, but after that the script would have them make such strange and stupid decisions I kind of went off them.
Overall, it is nowhere near as bad as people are saying and it will see you quite happily through its 80 odd minute runtime but don’t feel like you need to seek it out.