The Lazarus Effect Parent Guide
Despite any mention of going into the light to a happy afterlife, "The Lazarus Effect" has a lot more to do with hell than heaven.
Parent Movie Review
You can argue all you want about the superiority of science over religion, but I have yet to see a movie that turns out well when scientists start playing god. With those statistics, it would seem obvious enough that film scientists shouldn’t go there. Apparently not.
Zoe (Olivia Wilde) and Frank (Mark Duplass) are the head researchers in a university lab developing a serum to bring comatose patients back to consciousness. At least that is what they started out doing. Now they are trying to find a way to resurrect the confirmed dead. So far they have limited their experimentation to dead dogs they keep in a deep freezer. Yet after Zoe is electrocuted when a trial goes wrong, Frank, who also happens to be Zoe’s fiancé, decides to use the serum on his dearly departed.
The treatment appears to work and Zoe is back. Still, she is not quite herself.
Working alongside Franks are two lab assistants (Donald Glover and Evan Peters) and a student videographer (Sarah Bolger) who is making a digital recording of all the experiments. (Thankfully the moviemakers behind this film, which also produced scary titles like The Purge, Paranormal Activity and The Boy Next Door, opted to use steady cams instead of the handheld variety that can leave audiences feeling a little queasy. That was a good choice since there are enough creaky doors, flickering lights and jump scenes to keep fans of this genre at least mildly entertained without becoming nauseated.)
The action takes place in a sterile underground lab where it not only gets dark when the lights go out, but it is also easy to keep anyone from escaping. And in this script, it isn’t the rebooted Zoe who is interested in getting out—at least not until she has taken care of her fellow lab partners. The guessing game in this movie, like all good horror stories, is to figure out who will go first.
The plot does contain a religious bent. Though both dedicated scientists, Zoe and Frank come at their research from different angles. While Zoe brings her faith to the table, Frank is all about quantifiable facts. And he isn’t above making a mockery of her beliefs. However the religious discussions are completely overshadowed once the mutilations begin.
The biggest content concerns in this movie are the violent and often graphic depictions of resuscitation and gruesome murders by a zombie-like character. Frequent mild and moderate profanities are used, as well as some sexual references. There is also a lab assistant who insists on smoking his e-cigarette inside the research area.
Don’t expect to be spiritually enlightened with this story of resurrection either. Despite any mention of going into the light to a happy afterlife, The Lazarus Effect has a lot more to do with hell than heaven.Directed by David Gelb. Starring Olivia Wilde, Evan Peters, Mark Duplass. Running time: 84 minutes. Theatrical release February 27, 2015. Updated July 17, 2017
The Lazarus Effect
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Lazarus Effect rated PG-13? The Lazarus Effect is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of horror violence, terror and some sexual references
Violence: The movie contains frequent jump scenes. The depiction of screaming victims caught in burning building is repeatedly shown. A character dies after being electrocuted. Characters are crushed, stabbed, and choked to death. Another character has his neck broken. Some blood and detail are shown. A dog yelps when he is killed off screen. A morgue full of dead bodies is seen. Other tense scenes of terror are shown. Nightmarish and gruesome details are shown. Sexual Content: Characters make sexual references to oral sex. Characters embrace and kiss. A woman is seen in her bra. Language: The script has frequent uses of mild and moderate profanities, and scatological slang terms. Slurs and sexual references are also included. Alcohol / Drug Use: A character makes a big deal of smoking an e-cigarette in a lab setting. He later provokes an animal by blowing smoke in its face. Characters drink a toast to celebrate a scientific achievement. Characters are injected with a medical serum meant to restore life. Characters also drink at home.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for The Lazarus Effect after the break...
The Lazarus Effect Parents' Guide
Note: This movie was perviously named Lazarus.
Talk about the movie with your family… Why is Zoe more interested in addressing the ramifications of bringing someone back from the dead than Frank is? How does she explain the bright light at the end of the tunnel? How does Frank? How is their original research designed to give doctors more time to save patients?
What elements are included in the movie to depict Zoe’s religious beliefs? What happens to them after she comes back from the dead?
Zoe describes hell as living the worst day of your life over and over again. What day would that be for you?
The most recent home video release of The Lazarus Effect movie is June 16, 2015. Here are some details…Home Video Notes: The Lazarus Effect
Release Date: 16 June 2015
The Lazarus Effect>/i? releases to home video ( DVD or Blu-ray) with the following extras:
- Creating Fear: The Making of The Lazarus Effect
- Playing God: The Moral Dilemma
- Deleted/Extended Scenes