The Lazarus Effectis a 2015 American science fiction horror film directed by David Gelb and written by Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater. The film stars Mark Duplass , Olivia Wilde , Donald Glover , Evan Peters , and Sarah Bolger . The film was theatrically released on February 27, 2015 by Relativity Media .
Medical researchers Frank ( Mark Duplass ) and his fiancée, Zoe ( Olivia Wilde ), have developed a serum, code-named " Lazarus ". It was intended to assist coma patients but is shown to actually be able to bring the dead back to life.
With the assistance of their friends, Niko, Clay and videographer Eva, they run a successful trial on a recently deceased dog. However, they notice that the dog is behaving differently than it did when it was alive - its cataracts disappear, it loses its appetite, and it demonstrates other strange abilities. Tests reveal that the serum, instead of dissipating, is constructing strange new synapses within the dog’s brain.
When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is shut down. They are also informed that a major pharmaceutical corporation has bought out the company that funded their research. The company and their attorneys confiscate everything associated with the project.
Frank and his team sneak back into their lab to duplicate the experiment so that they can prove that they created the serum. During this attempt things go horribly wrong and Zoe is electrocuted and dies. Unwilling to let her go, Frank uses the serum to resurrect her. Initially, the procedure appears to be a success, but the team soon realizes that something is wrong with Zoe. She claims that when she died, she went to her version of hell, which was a nightmare originating from her childhood; as a child Zoe's apartment building had caught on fire and she watched her neighbors burn to death after they were trapped inside, causing recurring nightmares. She also begins to demonstrate unusual psychic abilities. The Lazarus serum causes brains to "evolve" incredibly rapidly, giving Zoe inhuman powers such as telekinesis and telepathy.
The serum also causes increased aggression with horrifying consequences. Niko walks into a room and is startled by Zoe. After he refuses to kiss her she uses telekinesis to throw him into a closet and crushes it with him inside killing him. When Clay demands to know where Niko is, she kills him as well by choking him with an electric cigarette. Later, Zoe kills Frank after he attempts to kill her with a different serum. After this, Zoe injects herself with an entire bag of the Lazarus serum, making her abilities stronger than before.
Using her newly enhanced abilities, she cuts the power to the entire lab. Eva, who is still alive and trying to locate Zoe to inject her and finally kill her, is left in the dark. Zoe eventually finds Eva and sends her into the hell that she went to when she died. Inside the nightmare, it is revealed that Zoe was the one that caused the fire in the building, causing her to go to hell upon death. Eva is able to escape and inject Zoe with the syringe, but Zoe survives and kills Eva anyway. She then injects Frank, in an attempt to bring him back from the dead, presumably turning him into a monster as well. Niko, Clay, and Eva also lay dead next to Frank, which indicates Zoe intends to bring them back as well.