Evil Will Rise

Movie time last night here in the shadows involved a horror thriller film from director David Gelb, “The Lazarus Effect”.

posterTwo medical researchers at a California university have spent three years trying to develop a serum, under the code name “Lazarus”, originally intended to help with the treatment of long-term coma patients.

Mark Duplass & Oliva Wilde
Mark Duplass & Oliva Wilde

The pair, Frank (Mark Duplass – “Safety Not Guaranteed”) and his fiancée Zoe (Olivia Wilde – “Third Person”) have led their team through numerous experiments and have now managed to develop a revolutionary serum.

Sarah Bolger
Sarah Bolger

Shortly after a videographer named Eva (Sarah Bolger – “Crush”) is brought in to record the work going on in the lab, the team are successful in using the serum to bring a dead dog back to life.

They soon realise, however, that the serum stays in the bloodstream longer than expected and that the dog is behaving unusually aggressively and demonstrating strange new abilities.

Ray Wise & Olivia Wilde
Ray Wise & Olivia Wilde

Frank is summoned to a meeting with the dean of the university, where he is informed that his team’s research is being shut down and has been taken over by a large pharmaceutical company, represented by Mr. Wallace (Ray Wise – “Twin Peaks”). The company lock down the lab and remove all their research materials.

Keen to ensure that the credit for their work isn’t also taken by the company, Frank gets the team together and sneaks back into the lab to reproduce the experiment with another dead dog so that they have proof that they created the serum first.

Olivia Wilde & Mark Duplass
Olivia Wilde & Mark Duplass

Unfortunately Zoe is killed by a massive electric shock during the experiment, leading Frank to defy the other members of the team and use the serum on her. When Zoe returns from the dead she too is altered in unexpected ways…

This was a decent enough way to spend 83 minutes. The plot, whilst not entirely original, was entertaining – though perhaps a little disjointed and confusing in places.

Some things don’t make a whole lot of sense. There are dream sequences that are never made fully clear. A perhaps stereotypical scientist gone slightly mad, in the actions of Frank once Zoe has her accident. A completely unexplained killing spree, and what does the ending mean?

leThat said, if you don’t think about it too deeply but just sit back and enjoy the ride it’s a fairly effective chiller…

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