Rating: 5 out of 10 Bites
The Lazarus Effect is a strange mix between Pet Sematary (1989) and The Re-Animator (1985), only not as good as either of them. Much like the two aforementioned films, The Lazarus Effect kicks off by resurrecting a household pet– this time around, it’s an adorable dog named Rocky.
The Lazarus Effect centers around a soon-to-be husband and wife research duo and their team of student helpers (none of whom have ever heard of H.P. Lovecraft, apparently), who are trying to perfect the “Lazarus Serum,” which is supposed to– you guessed it– reanimate the dead. Tensions are high in the laboratory, because this project has been dragging on for much longer than anticipated and has been seriously getting in the way of wedding planning.
Things take a not-even-slightly-unexpected turn when resident burnout (Evan Peters) miraculously comes up with the missing link in the formula. The team pulls a dead dog from their stash and injects him with their new formula, and spoiler alert– he comes back to life. After noting that the dog’s a little.. off, the duo decides it’s in everyone’s best interest to bring him home and let him roam freely without cage or leash.
The dog doesn’t do much except mope and stare at Olivia Wilde while she sleeps, until a series of tests proves that he is, indeed, not a normal pooch. Apparently, side effects of the miracle serum include extreme brain activity, aggression, and a slew of other things that no one really understands.
Before the team has a chance to think about any of this, their project loses funding and their laboratory gets raided by a blood-sucking pharmaceutical company. In a last-ditch effort to save their project, the team sneaks back into the lab and attempts to recreate the experiment on camera, but things don’t go exactly as expected.
The Lazarus Effect is predictable, unoriginal, and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at times. The weird happenings of the movie are addressed with quality, scientific explanations such as: “It’s like unlocking the part of the brain that lets you do crazy psychic shit.”
If you must see this movie, I recommend going into it with a drink in hand. Maybe that’d make it a little better.