The Lazarus Effect (2015)★★★★☆


I remember being really excited for this when the first trailers came out. I mean, a horror movie with Donald Glover? Yes, please! But then it came and went in theaters (as movies often do for me), and I didn’t watch it until it appeared on Netflix a little while back.

Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed. The first time I watched it or this time. It’s a good, scary movie from start to finish.

(Some spoilers ahead) Okay, so I should have expected that Donald Glover would be the first to go, but I was still a little disappointed. The character development in this one is a little weird, so I didn’t feel like Donald Glover had much time to show us Niko. Sadly Evan Peters (as Clay) suffered a similar fate. In fact, the character development in this centers around Zoe, Frank, and Eva, which I was actually okay with.

Mark Duplass and Sarah Bolger as Frank and Eva were great, which is no surprise. I’ve seen them both before in scary movies I liked (in fact, I just watched Sarah Bolger a few days ago). I was most familiar with Olivia Wilde on House, M.D., though I’ve seen her in a few other things since. This was the first scary movie I’ve seen her in, and I was definitely impressed. If she weren’t scary as back-from-the-dead Zoe, this movie wouldn’t work at all.

But it works. The music is nice and understated throughout, which lets the cast really shine. The story gets to be a bit much right at the end, but it serves as a good payoff. The tension builds up so well before that point that anything less than completely over-the-top probably wouldn’t be as satisfying. Not to mention that it’s nicely open to a sequel (one I’d probably watch).