Cinematic Releases: The Lazarus Effect

Olivia Wilde goes full black eyed evil in The Lazarus Effect

olivia wilde
"Hey you!!! Human!!!
Let me out!! I gotta pee!"
If not for the fearless Olivia Wilde, The Lazarus Effect would be just another in a long line of soulless domestic horror films that borrow too heavily from numerous, far greater genre films. Dipping into the endless well of almost every horror trope to hit the screen, The Lazarus Effect is just a mildly effective mid-winter weekend release that quickly becomes tainted by poor character development, poor choices, hackneyed plot points, and a cast that truly struggles to contain their amateurish attempts at making anyone believe that something bad is happening. 

Without the merits of Wilde, this would be a straight to video release that would go barely noticed in a endless sea of low budget, good looking horror flicks that just don't know when enough is enough. She adds a charisma and weightiness to her character that would be lacking under the control of other actresses that don't have any experience with this type of role. Wilde is wholeheartedly the best part of The Lazarus Effect and is honestly the only one that seems to care about her presentation or performance. Unexpectedly, she offers up a stunning portrayal of evil that will serve as a standout whenever this movie is discussed. 

olivia wilde
"Dude. No means no.
I told you already. I'm not pulling
your finger."
Blending and borrowing themes from Flatliners, Nightmare On Elm Street, and every possession movie under a hellish sun, The Lazarus Effect stumbles and falters in its premise. Too many ideas are thrown together while Wilde does her absolute best to make something of the convoluted script. The makeup effects look great, the lighting is excellent, and the scientific setting is one we've all grown too accustomed too. The musical cues are familiar, the story is juxtaposed from ten other genre flicks, and the kills are mildly amusing, if not somewhat original. Sadly though, all the reminiscent tones and non-original story ideas add up to another blunderous movie that will have horror fans scratching their heads in bemusement. 

For amusement and a weekend time killer, The Lazarus Effect has just enough positive qualities to make it watchable. If released at Halloween, this thing would have made a killing. Sadly for the mediocre product, this was given a dead season release which spells certain doom for a middling effort such as this. It's not horrendous and it's not awesome either. This is straight up popcorn horror that doesn't make audiences think too much while it takes many liberties with an onslaught of stolen ideas. 

Solely based on Olivia Wilde's control of character, I'm giving this one a six out of ten.