HOLLYWOOD—The prospect of the dead coming back to life has been something Hollywood has been tackling from the dawn of cinema. From zombies to ghosts, plenty of movies have asked the question: What if? Well a new film is answering that same question with a different theory. “The Lazarus Effect” tackles the issue of reviving the dead and the backlash of what occurs.
The movie circles around a group of medical researchers including Frank Walton (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée, Zoe (Olivia Wilde) who have created a serum known as ‘Lazarus’ that can bring those who have died back to life. To prove that their serum works, Frank, Zoe, and the rest of his staff utilize the serum on a dead dog. It’s a success, as the canine is brought back to life, but isn’t his usual self.
The interesting notion about “The Lazarus Effect” is it tackles a similar theory as depicted in the 2014 action-thriller “Lucy” starring Scarlett Johansson. That film examined the notion of what transpires when a person’s brain activity is accelerated to proportions not seen before. There was much bickering about the idea that humans only utilize 10 percent of brain activity at a given time. Many scientists dismissed that claim, indicating that humans do indeed use more than 10 percent of their brain activity.
Like “Lucy,” “The Lazarus Effect” puts that question regarding the powers of the brain, when Zoe is fatally electrocuted. Mark and the others decide to test the serum on her and miraculously bring her back to life. But is she herself? Not quite, Mark and the others soon discover the Zoe they knew no longer exists and she is a threat much bigger than they expected. Two powers that she displays most are telekinesis and telepathy.
I will agree the movie was a bit of a stretch with the notion that a person can perform such abilities. I mean has it really been proven that people can move things with their mind, or read the thoughts of other people? Not quite, but we’ve seen it depicted in countless movies and television shows.
What I did find interesting about “The Lazarus Effect” is its courage of tackling if a serum did exist that could bring those who have died back to life is it something we should allow. The concept that everything in life happens for a reason, comes into perspective. For every life there is a death and vice versa. So if that balance was disrupted what kind of ramifications could occur in the society?
This movie plays with those notions. There are a few moments that might ‘scare’ the audience, but I would not describe this as a full-blown horror flick. The narrative moves a bit slow in my opinion and from the trailers and TV spots the audience pretty much knows what will transpire in the movie. “The Lazarus Effect” isn’t a movie expected to surprise you, it’s expected to cause you to think.