“The Lazarus Effect” | Movie Review

M182 (Left to right.) Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde star in Relativity Media's "The Lazarus Effect". © 2013 BACK TO LIFE PRODUCTIONS, LLC Photo Credit: Suzanne Hanover

Overall Grade: (F)

Genre-less this film fails to scare or thrill, with a pointless plot that seemed uninspired throughout.


After years of research and trials a group of medical students believe they have discovered a way to bring dead patients back to life. So focused on whether they can or not, they all forget to think of the unknown side-effects that could result.

My Thoughts

I had little expectations for this film after seeing the trailer and the fact it was completed over two-years ago and left in limbo without a distribution deal didn’t sound too inspiring. No one could have expected this film to rake in the box-office dollars given the weak script. Even with Olivia Wilde leading the bill, this one failed to excite, thrill, scare, and most of all entertain, with film that turned out to be very recycled and lacking creative ambition in the writing department.

The story-line was incredibly predictable and showed no direction or to be honest, purpose. There was no character build up and no real structure of a story around the main plot. Despite the short run-time it still seemed to drag on too long. Sure there were a few cool scenes and moments during the film but they were simply isolated moments that could not build any tension without strong scenes around them.

Even the scenes that were intended to instill a fright showed little creation in sound editing or cinematography giving you the same old thing you have seen many times before in average or below movies of a similar genre. The biggest thing this one failed to do was pull me out of my seat during the scenes where it clearly seemed that such was implied.

The cast was good, Olivia Wilde delivered a strong performance in the lead and Mark Duplass landed the bulk of his scenes making the most out of the generic dialogue. If anything you could say the cast on their own made this film a theater release and not a direct to streaming and On-Demand, B-movie. Even the supporting cast was pretty solid in their performances and none portrayed the level of the cheesiness the material they were working with boasted.

If the strong elements of this film were placed into an even remotely intriguing story with some doses of unpredictability, the enjoyment level could have been much higher. Overall this film was just (there) with no real direction or purpose in its message and after it was over most of it was forgotten already. This film may play better for a younger crowd but if you have been around awhile and watched a lot of films good and bad, you will see where this one is going in not too much time at all.