After previewing an advanced screening of ‘The Lazarus Effect’ I felt an unexpected feeling of satisfaction that does not usually occur when watching a horror film. The film holds true to the traditional suspense thriller film form, and even pays homage to some classics such as ‘The Shining’: with the stretching hallway shots of the child standing ominously in a suspect manner, while the camera tracking back creating that unsettling feeling that something is not right.
However, aside from the enjoyment any passive viewer could expect, the film connotes intertextual depth that draws parallels in contemporary contentions between science and religion. At the forefront of the plot, we are struck by the reanimation theories, but it may be worthwhile to pay attention to the shift that frames religion and science in a parallel manner. But is it religion, or more broadly faith that encompasses this shift? Dialogue surrounding this position is exemplified when the main protagonist (protagonist for only a short time, mind you) moves beyond the notion of a monotheistic God overseeing our every movement, choice and direction, to tease the idea that religion is a parable and the true faith lays within ones internal consciousness.
This is one film this year that has surpassed my expectations, and has influenced some thought about how film content can help shape our own consciousness inside and outside the movie theatre.
You Can find Ryan's other thoughts at his blog.