Advances in medical science is the thing at the top of every medical student’s “to-do” list and nothing is more important than discovering a way to prolong death as the students in The Lazarus Effect (2015) soon discovers. Frank and Zoe (Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde, respectfully) are leading a group of some of the most intelligent medical students in their pursuit of prolonging or cheating death. When they believe they are close they bring in Eva (Sarah Bolger) to help document everything. After they bring a dog back from the dead they realize they have made a real breakthrough but the ramifications of what they have done eludes them. When an accident in the lab causes Zoe to die they use everything they know to bring her back to life. The only problem is that Zoe isn’t the same person that she was from before she died. Having crossed to the Other Side has given Zoe supernatural abilities and an uncontrollable rage that threatens each person of the team. Now Frank must decide what to do with his wife before all of their lives are in jeopardy.
For fans of medical thrillers this starts off as a very well done suspenseful film with a great cast to support the story. The film is written by Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater and does an excellent job setting up the film and all the characters and their relationships with one another before everything gets out of hand. What unfortunately happens is that the last third of the film turns into a slasher thriller destroying everything that came before. The film also relies too much on the CGI visual FX in the second half of the film as Zoe seems to exhibit superhuman abilities akin to those of Scarlet Johansson’s character in Lucy (2014). Once this happens anything can and does happen and the film falters from there never recovering.
This being said it is still entertaining and the cast does the most with the film as it goes downhill but if they had just taken a little more care this could’ve been a great film instead a mediocre one.