One must ask — One must! — why is it that people in horror movies never seem to have seen a horror movie?
Case in point: “The Lazarus Effect.”
Calling Dr. Frankenstein! Let’s shoot a deceased A) pig, B) dog C) person full of our lab-brewed super juice (let’s call it the Lazarus Serum), mix in megazaps of high-voltage electricity, and see what happens.
Really? Really? Have these dingbats not seen such horror classics as, oh, say, “Frankenstein”? Or “Re-Animator”? Well, one of them does at one point archly intone, “It’s alive!” So they’re not entirely clueless.
Except they are. The twentysomething students who have spent four years working in a university lab to brew up the juice of the title seem to never have thought, “Hey, maybe this isn’t such a good idea.” Or “Let’s leave well enough alone. Things didn’t end well for old Doc Frankenstein.”
For whatever reason — lack of basic horror movie knowledge, lack of common sense — they press on regardless.
And things don’t end well. Surprise, surprise.
Fact is, there are few surprises in “Lazarus.” The young folks’ experiment goes predictably awry. When one of them (Olivia Wilde) gets herself accidentally electrocuted, her boyfriend (Mark Duplass) —the brains, so-called, behind the experiment — plonks her on a table, sticks a big old needle in her temple, shoots her full of the satanic juice and orders her megazapped.
And out of sorts! With weird eyes! And head-squashing strength! (There’s relatively little gore here, though.)
Lights flicker and fail. Panicked people stumble around in the dark, and when the lights suddenly come back on, they turn around to see … Aahhh!
You’ve seen it all before. The only question is: Why haven’t they?