As a fan of the horror genre, I went to see The Lazarus Effect with an open mind. I attempted to ignore the 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes knowing that sometimes reviewers are a little harsh and see if I could enjoy myself.
I like horror movies for some of the same reasons I love spicy food, I can feel them. Watching action movies is fun and exciting, dramas are emotionally impactful but few genres make me squirm in my own skin more than horror. Something about the creepy imagery, paranormal storylines and creepy music gives me a feeling unparalleled by most genres.
That being said, if movies like the The Conjuring, The Ring, The Babadook are a Habanero pepper, The Lazarus Effect is more like a Jalepeno without its spicy seeds. Sure, it has some moments of intensity but, like a Jalepeno with no spice, it ultimately doesn’t have the desired effect and you’re left with a bland movie you’ve seen plenty of times before.
If you’ve seen the movie Lucy, which I disliked, you’ve seen The Lazarus Effect. All you need to do is switch a miracle drug with demon possession and a high budget for a low budget and voila!
I will say, however, the acting, save one character, was not really the problem. For the script they were given, Mark Duplass (The League), Olivia Wilde (House), Donald Glovery (Community) and Evan Peters (American Horror Story) were mostly convincing, sympathetic characters. Even the setup and initial story were pretty compelling for a horror film. In the end, it was the implausible actions of the characters, the half-baked science and anti-climactic ending that ultimately leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
It’s also important to note this movie deals with the concept of hell, suffering and demons. For that reason the “Suitable for Teens” rating comes with a caveat. Don’t let your teens watch this if you’re not ready to debrief with them after the fact. For a full rating breakdown check the links below.