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Olivia Wilde is brought back from the dead in David Gelb’s horror film. (Daniel McFadden)
Olivia Wilde is brought back from the dead in David Gelb’s horror film. (Daniel McFadden)

The Lazarus Effect: Better off being put down Add to ...

  • Directed by David Gelb
  • Written by Luke Dawson, Jeremy Slater
  • Starring Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass
  • Classification 14A
  • Country USA
  • Language English

Early on in the unnecessary horror film The Lazarus Effect, a dog that is brought back to life is moody and off his kibbles and bits. What if he wanted to stay in doggie heaven, one of the medical researchers who raised the pooch from the dead asks. A good question, but one that David Gelb’s unadventurous shock-happy feature doesn’t answer.

The premise involves clandestine laboratory experiments and a brain-stimulating serum initially aimed at resurrecting flat-lined animals. But when Olivia Wilde’s researcher character dies by accident, her fiancé and fellow doctor (Mark Duplass) ups the game and manages to resurrect her.

She was dead for an hour – long enough for a trip to hell and back. Her powers are supernatural and ungodly, and while the monster Wilde is scary enough, the directing and writing is lazy, relying on “boo!” tactics and insinuating a religious subtext by cutting to close-ups of crucifix jewellery. The ending is slapdash. No resurrection for this dog please.

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