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Another community evening saw the movie The Lazarus Effect entertain our readers in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, this time with no rolling blackouts and no problems with movie codes and keys. So, after the popcorn was munched and the drinks slurped what was the general consensus of the movie? Was it a hot, or a not? Well let me put my two cents in first…

I have a mixed relationship with horror movies to be honest. I really enjoy the good ones and I really dislike the ones that are, well, terrible. Now that may come across as pretty obvious, people will hate bad movies and like good ones, but with fans of genres that isn’t always the case. Very often people are able to overlook the shortcomings of movies plainly because they love the genre and I think that is fine. What I don’t like is when writers and directors use every conceivable trick in the book of a genre to make a movie that will try and get people who like said genre into seats, and this sadly is where I think The Lazarus Effect falls.

Drawing on elements from SleepersEvent HorizonThe Shining and even Lucy, director David Gelb reuses ideas in a movie that starts out pretty good but ultimately implodes in on itself due to bad direction. I mean the whole ‘we only use 10% of our brain’ rubbish was bad enough in Lucy but this time it serves merely as a means to explain supernatural powers of which the origin remain a total and utter mystery, as does most of the movie.

And this is The Lazarus Effect‘s major issue; it picks up on ‘cool’ ideas but then doesn’t carry through on them, which is sad as I think it had a great deal of potential. It also sits at a very short 1hr and 23 mins which you can feel as the movie rushes through its second half at break-neck speed. I think the cast did a good job though – with the material at hand – and quite frankly Olivia Wilde with black eyes is still a very hot Olivia Wilde. It’s production value is also pretty high, with some nice visuals to boot. Still, if you like movies that spend most of their time going from contrived ‘the power is down’ to ‘the power is up, oh sh*t, behind you!’ then you may just enjoy this. 2/5 –Nick Reay

Wow, really Nick? You get out of bed on the wrong side? Don’t listen to him folks, I mean, he’s writing about himself now in the third person, what does he know? So, what did you think?

Besides a few story holes (redacted due to major spoiler), I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I am a huge horror movie fan and have been waiting for something creepy and different like The Lazarus Effect! Fantastic actors and an interesting ending leaves you hoping for a sequel. 4/5 – Dayne Olsen

The movie had a lot of potential, but as soon as they mentioned the 10% brain thing it started to lose the plot. They should have used the “opened a door” theme and stuck to that. There were also a lot of unnecessary fluff added that they could have done without.  3/5 – Werner Botha

Sorry to say but I found it to be quite disappointing! The ending was a bit of anticlimax, could have been a better ending. The story line behind it was quite interesting about the serum that that was used to bring the animal or human back to life. I would say I would give it 2/5 – Dina Dos Santos 

Disappointing. I expected more – the movie seemed short with some “events” (chapters) being very stretched out. The lead actress was too strong an actor for the other roles. The plot seemed plausible until her eyes went black and she said “I will make you see” … I expected more from a movie with “13” starring in it…  2.5/5 – Melissa de Villiers

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Was this movie scary?  Not really, no…  It relies completely on jump scare tactics and they simply don’t pull it off.  And it’s definitely a movie that suffers from an identity crisis – it’s not really sure what it wants to be.  Thriller, horror, sci-fi horror…  During the course of the movie you’ll see scenes that remind you of The Hollow Man, Event Horizon and even Paranormal Activity.  But it’s all simply done rather poorly.  The fact that the freakiest part of the movie (no spoilers ahead) was the scene where the dog stares at Olivia Wilde’s sleeping character says a lot.  In fact, if it weren’t for Olivia Wilde, I’d probably give this movie a 0.5 out of 5 (and that’s being generous).  But, because of Olivia’s performance (and her alone), it gets a 2.5 out of 5 from me.  I’ve seen worse…  But not by much. 2.5/5 – Jonathan Schutte

The Lazarus Effect overall isn’t the scariest of movies but the idea behind the life and death and bringing the dead back to life is a scary if not insane concept because of the unknown aspects of after life and the forces behind it.
It is not the best movie, though the moral questions it raises are about enough to make anyone think twice about the after life and our choices when living.
It is a must watch though in my opinion. – Andre Ferhelst

I’m not really sure what the movie was trying to be, it wasn’t a gory horror (at least by the current standards set by Saw and Hostel) and it wasn’t a thriller due to the random scares that popped up. I was on edge the whole time waiting for something really scary to happen and it didn’t materialise. Also Olivia Wild has a strange looking forehead when she is trying to be scared/concerned. 3/5 – Simon Newton

Better than I expected, one of the more unique horror films of the last few years, definitely room for a sequel which I would happily see – Hylton Goodwin

Thank you so much everyone for your contributions! Keep on reading our site and we hope to offer you more movies in the coming future.

Thanks to Times Media Films once again for this opportunity and for staff at both Nu Metro and Ster Kinekor for being so awesome setting this up!

Last Updated: January 4, 2017

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Nick Reay

I have been an avid fan of movies ever since I discovered Santa Clause wasn't real, a day marked in my memory by my first viewing of It's a Wonderful Life, which wasn't so wonderful that day. Since then I've watched thousands of movies and even fooled my parents into putting me through uni to get a degree in the subject. I first started writing as a journalist for The South African Newspaper before moving onto communications for an NGO trying to save the planet. Unfortunately my recommendations to the CEO that we should all don rings imbued with the powers of earth, fire, wind, water and HEART went unheard. Now I pretend the end isn't nigh by hiding in movies.

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