The Lazarus Effect


Adding depth to a horror film is a difficult thing to pull off, especially when you are making a B-grade flick. The risk is the explanations becoming, well, just silly and distracting when you’re audience is there just to be creeped-out and shocked. In this case it isn’t so much silly as, well…OK, it is silly…like a bad version of Lucy.

We’ve seen this plot before and we accept that folks do stupid things. But when you set them up to be smarter, you kinda hope they won’t. And then there’s the pointless MacGuffin of the evil corporate eye upon the gang, a la Resident Evil (who knew I’d get to reference that series again so soon?). The script just feels incomplete, even if there are some good elements in there.

Only Wilde (Her) and Bolger (Once Upon a Time) were remotely believable in the cast; go girl power! But they couldn’t save it from from the plot choices and weaker men. Duplass (Mars) was neither credible as a scientist, nor as a lover to Wilde. Glover (Community) and Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past) aren’t much better, being cut from clichèd cloth. They do what they can with it, but just about anyone could have played the characters, there was no need for their particular talents to pull it off. Similarly, in smaller roles Aquino (Bosch) and Wise were just throwaways.

Though he tried, Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi) was not a likely choice for directing this kind of film. What heart exists is probably due to his guidance. He kept the silly factor down and tried to ground the actors, but it didn’t help enough. Put simply: I died for you on this one, just let it rot.

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