First Look at Olivia Wilde in Flatliners-Style Thriller 'The Lazarus Effect'
Despite the fact that it comes out next month, The Lazarus Effect has been completely mysterious thus far, with no posters, no trailers, and only a two-sentence synopsis. Honestly, that might be a bit of a relief considering the ridiculous marketing inundation we get from bigger-budget movies (looking at you, Marvel), but we're glad to finally have some information about this movie, because it looks quite intriguing.
Olivia Wilde, American Horror Story's Evan Peters, Community's Donald Glover/Childish Gambino, and Safety Not Guaranteed's Mark Duplass star in this Flatliners-esque thriller about a group of medical students who are studying methods to bring animals back to life. When one of them dies, the others use the method on a human for the very first time. It's successful, but predictably comes with a cost, as the thing they resuscitated may not be the person they tried to bring back.
Here's the first image of the film, featuring Olivia Wilde as Zoe, the student who is brought back to life (sort of):
The film is produced by Jason Blum, the well-known horror filmmaker behind the Paranormal Activity and Insidious franchises. I personally thought Paranormal Activity was overrated, but he's also responsible for a whole host of amazing movies, from the well-received horror fare Oculus to the recent (and wonderful) jazz drumming character study Whiplash. It seems that Blum was determined to make unconventional choices throughout production of this low-budget sci-fi horror film; he chose David Gelb to direct, who is best known for his Oscar-nominated documentary Hiro Dreams of Sushi. According to Blum, Gelb "had a great take on the material... a really unique take on bringing someone back from the dead."
He also purposely chose actors who are not known for their work in either sci-fi or horror: "The most important thing to make a movie scary is that the you forget you're watching actors, and you think you're watching real people," said Blum. "So I think if the audience sees someone they don't necessarily associate with that genre, it make it feel more real."
And yes, the plot sounds derivative, particularly of Flatliners, but almost every plot is derivative of something. As long as they're aware of the fact that they're retreading ground, it could still be a fresh take on the premise. Blum stated that the movie is more of an homage to Flatliners than a rip-off: "All of us really liked that movie. I feel like we're tipping our hat to Flatliners for sure in this movie."
The Lazarus Effect is scheduled to be released in theaters on February 27.