“Lazareth” feels like a first draft of an intriguing dystopia.


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“Lazareth” Plot Summary

“Lazareth” is a quick yet confounding thriller that hints at an intriguing storyworld, but “Lazareth” still feels like it’s in the first draft of developing that world. Written and directed by Alec Tibaldi, this thriller features a committed cast and makes the most out of its small budget. The flaws of “Lazareth” lie within the story itself. 

“Once upon a time, there was a before and an after,” is how “Lazareth” begins. The vague narration is usually reserved for YA dystopian novels, and in many ways, “Lazareth” borrows from the genre. We’re placed in an unknown future where a virus has spread and killed millions of people. Two sisters, Maeve (Sarah Pidgeon) and Imogen (Katie Douglas), live with their mom (Ashley Judd) away from civilization in a forest they call Lazareth. Lazareth has a cabin, food, water, and anything the small family needs to survive. But Imogen yearns for more company, Maeve yearns for more freedom, and their mother, Lee, insists the only way to survive is to stay hidden away from the rest of the world. 

But then a boy comes. 

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Maeve (Sarah Pideon) spies on someone in “Lazareth” (directed by Alec Tibaldi, 2024)

The two sisters stumble upon a stranger in the woods. This stranger, Owen (Asher Angel), is badly injured, losing a lot of blood, and pleads with the two that he’ll only be there for a night. Imogen immediately takes a liking to him and convinces Maeve that they need to take Owen in to save him. While the two sisters sneak the boy into their cabin, Lee is furious and doesn’t trust the young man. Owen is scared but respectful of the family’s way of life, including how they make choices and their prayers to Lazareth. While Owen may be respectful, his past connections with a dangerous group lead strangers to follow him into Lazareth. This ruthless gang poses the biggest threat that Lee, Maeve, and Imogen have encountered for their land and their lives. 

The plot of “Lazareth” is neatly written on paper. But for a story that can be clearly explained, “Lazareth” doesn’t give you much to invest in. The love between Imogen and Owen, the conflict between sisters and mom, or the danger of the outside world all feel vague. The movie is hard to categorize into any one genre, but that’s possibly because “Lazareth” feels weak in multiple categories.

Content Information

“Lazareth” is not rated but includes violence, blood, fighting, some cursing, and implied sexual situations.

“Lazareth” General Information

Director Alec Tibaldi
Screenplay By Alec Tibaldi
Date Released May 10, 2024
How To Watch Video On Demand
Genre(s) Thriller
Film Length 1 Hour, 26  Minutes
Content Rating Not Rated
Noted Characters and Cast
Maeve Sarah Pidgeon
Imogen Katie Douglas
Owen Asher Angel
Lee Ashley Judd

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Maeve (Sarah Pidgeon)

Maeve is the eldest daughter and is tasked with looking after her younger sister, Imogen. While Maeve is curious to see outside of Lazarus, she’s also cautious about upsetting her mother.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “The Wilds.”

Imogen (Katie Douglas)

Imogen is Maeve’s little sister. More passionate and reckless than Maeve, Imogen doesn’t mind going with her impulses, including developing a romance for the mysterious injured boy. 

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Ginny and Georgia.”

Owen (Asher Angel)

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Owen is a stranger to Lazarus, and while wounded, he’s seen as a danger to Lee and her family’s world. Owen may be harmless, but his past is not. 

  • The actor is also known for his role in “Shazam.”

Lee (Ashley Judd)

Lee is the mother of Maeve and Imogen. As the leader of the household, she believes in protecting Lazarus at all costs, including secluding her daughters from ever seeing the outside world. 

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Heat.”

Collected Quote(s)

“Can you speak, or do you just take up space?” 

“Lazareth” Review

Our Rating:Mixed (Divisive)

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Ashley Judd, Katie Douglas, and Sarah Pidegon star in “Lazareth” (directed by Alec Tibaldi, 2024)

Let us know your thoughts in the comments:

  1.  What did you think of “Lazareth?” What did you enjoy, and what could have been done better? 

Low Points

Stale Characters Make Stale Story

What connects Imogen and Owen? Why does Maeve want to see the outside world? What’s the relationship between the sisters like? While “Lazarus” initially shows some insight into the sisterhood between Maeve and Imogen, we don’t get a firm grasp of what bonds this family outside of survival. What “Lazarus” might be missing is levity, a chance to see what these characters gain and love about each other. “Lazarus” goes right into danger without showing us what’s personally at stake. 

On The Fence

Lack of Thrills in This Thriller

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There are moments that we know should be tense in “Lazareth:” the arrival of Owen, the fight between sisters, their house being burglarized. But the pacing of these scenes doesn’t linger long enough for the suspense to build. One of the more disappointing scenes is the third-act standoff between the home invaders and the family. Fights occur and gunshots are heard, but the action is murky and dark without a clear sense of what’s happening.

Unclear Storyworld Building

“Lazareth” is draped in grays and earthly tones, evoking the rainy forest where the family lives. We know this is a dark world, but what caused this viral dystopia is left a mystery. In our COVID world, we have an understanding of what’s happening, and sometimes a lack of details fuels the imagination. But in “Lazareth,” we don’t get a glimpse of what harm this virus has caused or why this family behaves and speaks so differently from everyone else. 

Good If You Like

  • Dystopian stories, small-budget thrillers. 

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Nowhere
  2. The Last of Us
  3. The Last Exit

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations. 

lazareth
Lazareth (2024) Review – A Vague Dystopia
Overall
The plot of “Lazareth” is neatly written on paper. But for a story that can be clearly explained, “Lazareth” doesn’t give you much to invest in.
Community Rating0 Votes
0
Highlights
Disputable
Stale Characters Make Stale Story
Lack of Thrills in This Thriller
Unclear Storyworld Building
70

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