‘The Lazarus Effect’ Bemoans with Cheap Jump-Scare Tactics

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A jump-scare is a cheap tactic when filmmakers can't think of anything scary. “The Lazarus Effect” is an example of that. The horror/thriller heavily relied on the cheap tactic to rouse audience members, and as a result the PG-13 film would up boring the audience. Despite a great premise, the David Gelb directed movie was poorly written and lacked imagination.

“The Lazarus Effect” follows medical students Zoe (Olivia Wilde), Frank (Mark Duplass), Niko (Donald Glover), Clay (Evan Peters), and Eva (Sarah Bolger). Together, the students experiment with the laws of life and death by trying to resurrect beings for the study of health. When Zoe is electrocuted in the lab, her fellow medical students decide to use their experimental drug on a human for the first time in an attempt to bring her back to life. While Zoe does appear to come back to life, she doesn’t return entirely human.

The theme of Science vs. Religion should be intriguing enough, but the people behind this movie try so hard to make it scary, their objective fades into the background. However, Gelb's attempt to approach the film in a Stanley Kubrickian technical aspect to try to and create a scary atmosphere is admirable. Such as with the looming cinematography and the chilling music. Yet, he should have put that effort more into the scares themselves.

As for the actors, Wilde’s performance did give me creeps towards the end and Peters delivered comedic relief throughout the film. Aside from a couple high notes, the characters, in my opinion didn’t appear to be written or developed well enough. While the film does pick up a bit by the last act, it’s ruined by horrible twists at the end that didn’t make much sense to the audience. “The Lazarus Effect” may succeed in bringing a human being back to life, but it fails to make an effective low-budget horror film, go buy a ticket for “Kingsman: The Secret Service” instead. 2.5/5