The Lazarus Effect

Compared with other low-budget horror films from Blumhouse Productions, this is neither as sharp as The Purge or Oculus nor as dumb as the Paranormal Activity series. It’s thematically thin but competently made and good for a few scares. A team of young scientists develop a serum that brings the dead back to life; when they test it out, they discover their reanimated subjects are possessed by demons. Blumhouse releases often favor one location (in this case, the scientists’ underground lab), which all but forces the filmmakers to mine horror from a sense of confinement. Director David Gelb and screenwriters Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater respond to the challenge well enough, though the movie is hampered by an insufferably smug lead performance by Mark Duplass. With Olivia Wilde and Donald Glover.