DVD review: The Lazarus Effect - on Blu-ray Now

The Lazarus EffectsThe Lazarus Effect follows medical researchers Frank Walton (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe McConnell (Olivia Wilde) who developed a serum, codenamed "Lazarus," originally intended to extend the time that people can safely be brought back from dying without brain damage. Instead, what they realize they have is a serum to return life to the dead.

Not only that, but after a trial with a dog, they discover it does much more than even they had thought, giving the animal increased brain activity and aggression.

After the company that funded their research is bought out and they seize everything for their unauthorized animal testing, the team decides they must recreate the experiment as proof of their creation, and break back into the lab.

However, before they can complete another resurrection, Zoe is fatally electrocuted during the experiment.

The Lazarus EffectNot willing to let go and against the wishes of the others, Frank decides to bring Zoe back, and the others reluctantly help him. Zoe comes back, but not the same. Not only does she believe that she spent time in Hell, but with her increased brain power she unlocks terrifying psychic powers that threaten the lives of the team members.

The film isn't exactly a new story, though it's a slightly different take, and I was glad that it wasn't just something evil coming through from Hell when the character was resurrected, which is what I originally expected. There were some twists in the show; however, they were fairly predictable.

That being said, I still enjoyed the film. There were some jumps and some good death scenes, without it being overly gory or super scary. It also, of course, raises some interesting ethical questions.

The script was decent; though I feel that the actors were better than the material they were given.

The film was enjoyable, but I feel that it could have been better. Perhaps if they had spent more time on the part of the film after Zoe is resurrected it might have felt planned out better, as that doesn't happen until almost forty minutes into the film, which is only eighty three minutes in total. I still recommend the film; however, it is worth a watch.

Special Features:

Deleted and Extended Scenes:

Zoe Brain Scan – The characters explain a bit more about Zoe using more of her brain than normal.

Clay NVG Search – This scene is Clay searching for the resurrected dog with night vision goggles.

Frank Head Crush – This shows a more violent death; I preferred this version, actually.

Creating Fear: The Making of The Lazarus Effect
This is a nice making of feature that is under fifteen minutes. The directors, writers, producers, and actors take part. They talk about various things such as what happens when people die and how certain ideas came from nightmares.

They also talk about the science in the film and having real medical experts on set, as well as about the fact that similar experiments and research are really being done, and how that adds to the terror of the film. Not showing everything and letting your mind take over can also make the film scarier, as well as a claustrophobic set.

They also touch on digital effects and practical effects used in the film.

Throughout the feature the actors also talk about their characters, and others chime in on working with them and what they bring to their respective roles.

Playing God: The Moral Dilemma
This feature is under eight minutes and is exactly what it sounds like: the cast and crew discussing the moral implications of bringing someone back from the dead. Others, such as a professor of neurology, a Catholic priest, and an author of books dealing with near death experiences, join the discussion. The topics include discussion of the soul and it leaving the body, near death experiences, and other ethical issues, such as whether or not you should use science to do such things just because you can.

Theatrical Trailer

Sneak Peeks

These include Poltergeist; The Transporter Refueled; The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death; The Pyramid; Oculus; American Horror Story: Freak Show; The Strain Season One; Relativity Explosion. The first four of these play automatically when you insert the disc.


The Blu-ray disc came in the normal blue clamshell case with cardboard slip cover. Included was a code for the digital copy. There is not a combo version available, therefore there is not a DVD version included.

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