Combining chilling psychological Halloween season horror with other scary notions like medical experimentation, death row, criminal redemption as an extinct idea, and religious tyranny, The Lazarus Project is a nightmarish, menacing mind bender that pulls you in. And its straight to DVD destiny is a bit of a disappointment, because the surreal visuals would have had way more kick to them on the big screen.
Screenwriter turned first time director John Glenn (Eagle Eye) grabs solid attention with The Lazarus Project, keeping audiences nearly as mentally disoriented as his embattled protagonist. Paul Walker is Ben, a Texas family man and ex-con with a loving wife (Piper Perabo) and steady blue collar job. But when his company does a security search and uncovers his checkered past, Ben is dumped and with no alternative prospects. That is, until his brother Ricky (Shawn Hatosy), just released from prison himself, shows up with a get rich quick heist scheme.
When the burglary goes bad leaving dead victims in its wake, Ben is convicted and sent to Texas death row, even though he wasn’t the shooter. But in a bizarre twist of fate, he wakes from his lethal injection to find himself in rural Oregon, where Ben is informed that he’s the groundskeeper of a macabre, faith based mental hospital. And where a ghostly stalker warns Ben that if he attempts to leave to return to his family in Texas, he will die along the way because he’s, well, already dead.
The Lazarus Project generates nonstop gripping mental terror and nerve shredding false leads that never let up. And though the finale doesn’t measure up to the masterful storytelling that preceded it, the heart palpitating journey there is more than worth the dread-laden ride.
Sony Home Entertainment
DVD Features: Deleted Scenes.