There’s a distinct difference in a thriller and a horror movie, one that moviegoers don’t seem to be picking up on as of late. Thrillers – at least in my eyes – are films with an exciting plot, one that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole experience. And on the other hand, horror films are exactly as described: horrifying. They get under your skin and aren’t easily forgotten (the best example would be “The Shining”). And “The Lazarus Effect”, despite the way it’s being marketed, is not a horror film. It may provide cheap ‘scares’ that cause the audience to jump in that very moment, but it isn’t genuinely terrifying. Real horror movies cause sleepless nights and can frighten you to the core. This film most certainly does not. That, above all, is the main reason why this movie got on my nerves.
The plot alone could make for a potentially interesting film: a group of medical students essentially trying to bring the dead back to life with a new serum they’ve created. However, it takes a ridiculous turn when one of the researchers is killed in an accident and the team is forced to test the serum on a human for the first time. Of course, things get out of control quickly and the rest of the movie is set up. I’m sure most of you can guess what happens.
I’ll admit, I tried to look past some of the problems I had with the film during the first half and enjoy the chaos, but it swiftly became worse and worse. Olivia Wilde – an actress I usually enjoy – descended into an utterly laughable performance as the film progressed and the rest of the cast isn’t much different. At times, I felt as if I was watching some lost 70s movie that shouldn’t have ever been found. Just keep in mind – if you do decide to see this sad excuse for entertainment – that it is not and should not be considered horror. “The Lazarus Effect” is now playing in theaters everywhere.