Parents' Guide to

The Lazarus Effect

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Talent wasted in scary but cliché resurrection tale.

Movie PG-13 2015 83 minutes
The Lazarus Effect Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

Live Forever

No Blockbuster epic like Big Hero 6, but some classic test lab horror made in nearly an hour when Found Footage streaming was the king in mid 2010s. The typical bring back some to life gone wrong movie with clumsy dialogue, and impressive effects. Consumerism includes Video Games and in violence a demon going awry.
age 15+

No oscar winner but still fun to watch

This is standard horror movie fare- jump scenes, crescendos, possession- the works. A lot of it could be categorized as "formulaic", although it is quite a refresher for hollywood to bring back the sci-fi elements in horror. The content in the film is light- no violence at all. But the terror is intense at moments- especially when the camera girl is searching for Olivia Wilde's possessed character in the dark. The film has the same intensity as a film I saw as a kid by the name of "Darkness Falls" back in '04. If they can handle that- they can handle this.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (9 ):

The movie is a terrible recycling of old ideas, ranging from classics like Frankenstein and The Monkey's Paw to 2014's Lucy, not to mention the routine effects and jump-scares. The filmmakers might have used these things in fresh ways, but they don't bother. Rather, the movie anxiously, recklessly rushes through its plot toward the climax, as if it's afraid of anyone noticing its emptiness. Zoe doesn't even get a chance to adapt to her new condition or to ruminate on what she's been through. She goes from 0 to 60, from sweetheart to an evil monster with total control of her powers. What a waste of talent.

THE LAZARUS EFFECT barely avoids being yet another found-footage horror movie, even though it has a documentary filmmaker character (Sarah Bolger) filming everything, and security cameras are everywhere. That was a wise move, as was casting decent, reliable actors like Bolger, Duplass, Wilde, Donald Glover, and Evan Peters. But the next question becomes: What were they doing here?

Movie Details

  • In theaters: February 27, 2015
  • On DVD or streaming: June 16, 2015
  • Cast: Olivia Wilde , Mark Duplass , Sarah Bolger
  • Director: David Gelb
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Relativity Media
  • Genre: Horror
  • Run time: 83 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: intense sequences of horror violence, terror and some sexual references
  • Last updated: June 19, 2023

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