Monday, December 28, 2015

The Lazarus Effect (2015)

Number Rolled: 58
Movie Name/Year: The Lazarus Effect (2015)
Tagline: Evil will rise.
Genre: Horror
Length: 83 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Blumhouse Productions, Chapter One Films, Lionsgate, Mosaic
Executive Producer: Jeannette Brill, Luke Dawson
Director: David Gelb
Writer: Luke Dawson, Jeremy Slater
Actors: Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Sarah Bolger, Evan Peters, Donald Glover, Ray Wise, Scott Sheldon, Emily Kelavos, James Earl, Amy Aquino, Sean T. Krishnan, Cato

Blurb from Netflix: A team of researchers develops a serum that can resurrect the dead, but they soon discover that the drug causes terrifying side effects.

Selina’s Point of View:
Well… this movie was just terrible.

When The Lazarus Effect came out, I was so excited. It has an awesome cast and the trailer really seemed great. Turns out the trailer was incredibly misleading and had every single interesting part in it to begin with. The in-between moments during the film were poorly written, involved depth-less characters and did not live up to its horror genre.

I’m a huge American Horror Story (2011-) fan, so I love Evan Peters (Adult World, The Good Doctor, Invasion). Equally, I was a huge House M.D. (2004-2012) fan and I have enjoyed the work Olivia Wilde (Better Living Through Chemistry, Drinking Buddies, Third Person) since. It almost annoys me that this film is going to be such a bold black mark on their credits. Neither of their characters were any more believable than any of the others.

No, wait, that’s not completely true.

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was this ridiculously good and short-lived TV show. I’m not talking about Firefly (2002-2003), so fangirls/boys calm yourselves.

This TV show was called Reaper (2007-2009).

I fell into fangasm with Reaper immediately. It was quirky and hilarious with a thread of B-movie style horror, but with a bigger budget and more of a comedic edge.

I won’t bore you with the specifics of the show, which is unfortunately no longer on Netflix, but I will say that it left a lasting impression on me. One that changed my headcanon for every single movie or TV show that starred Ray Wise (Big Ass Spider, Jeepers Creepers II, RoboCop).

In Reaper, Wise played the devil and now, in my mind, his character is always the devil playing a part. It really doesn’t help the situation that almost every project he takes on places him as a character that’s causing some kind of chaos or committing some kind of crime.

How does that apply to The Lazarus Effect?

Well, Wise played one of those very under developed characters I mentioned and, although he had roughly 30 seconds of on-screen time, my mind still filled in the blanks with the idea that he was the devil playing a part. What’s really interesting is that my headcanon made the entire movie slightly more interesting for me.

In the end, I definitely do not recommend The Lazarus Effect. I do, however, recommend you all go find a way to see Reaper.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve been interested in watching this movie since the trailers for it aired on television. The premise looked really interesting. It’s not the most original plot in the world – the whole animal and human resurrection thing has been done before, after all.  I figured it would be an interesting story at the very least.

I have mixed emotions about this one.

On one hand I really liked it. On the other, I felt like I was watching some sort of modernized version of Flatliners (1990) with a different twist.

I do believe that this was a pretty decent horror directorial first-showing for David Gelb (A Vision of Blindness, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, A Faster Horse) – considering his prior work is primarily in documentaries.

I wasn’t entirely sold on Mark Duplass (Hannah Takes the Stairs, Zero Dark Thirty, Tammy) as Frank. He just didn’t seem quite desperate enough when he should have been.  On the other hand, Olivia Wilde (Turistas, Rush, Love The Coopers) delivered an eerie performance.

I spent a little bit of this film, off and on, wondering where in the world I’d seen Sarah Bolger (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Crush, My All American) before. Quite a few might recognize her from playing Princess Aurora on Once Upon A Time (2011-), or even the phenomenal new AMC show Into the Badlands (2015-) as Jade.

Her emotional delivery was on par with Olivia Wilde’s and Evan Peters’ (Never Back Down, Kick-Ass, Safelight); while the others seem to fall a bit flatter.

Speaking of Evan Peters… there’s an interesting bit of trivia regarding one of his wardrobe pieces.  In one scene, he's wearing a t-shirt featuring DC's The Flash. This is amusing, considering he played Marvel's speedster, Quicksilver, in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). While that movie was released before this one, The Lazarus Effect was actually filmed prior to X-Men - it was just significantly delayed in release.

I’m not sure I would shell out any money to purchase this movie in any format, but that’s the wonderful thing about Netflix. As long as it’s free, I’d be fine with watching again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 13%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 23%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Movie Trailer:

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