Best Sci-fi Movies on Netflix Right Now (2020)

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45. The Lazarus Effect

Released on: February 27, 2015

Directed by: David Gelb

Written by: Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater

Starring: Olivia Wilde, Donald Glover, Evan Peters

This is the first – but not the only – time that the concept of “reanimating the dead” will appear on this list. In The Lazarus Effect, a group of scientists creates a serum that, in theory, helps coma patients come out of their stupor. The reality is, however, that it serves as a serum to bring the dead back to life. (The serum’s code name, appropriately, is Lazarus.)

While, on its face, the idea of bringing the dead back to life is a good one – and certainly would help with the healing of a lot of wounds caused by death – in the case of the Lazarus serum, it also has some less-than-desirable side effects: namely, excessive aggression. Even though at the time of its release, it was excoriated by the critics, it still did reasonably well at the box office, especially since it was going up against such films as 50 Shades of Grey and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.

And while there are times that the acting is a bit hokey (and way overdone, especially when Olivia Wilde’s character tries to bring Frank back to life), the story itself is, overall, a well-done story and the actors do a fine job of not chewing up the scenery in each frame.