By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Sarah Bolger arrives for an interview looking like a princess in a vintage off-white sleeveless dress with a full tea-length skirt decorated with golden filigree.
Just days away from her 24th birthday, the Irish actress confides that she is looking forward to returning home for the big day to spend with family and friends, having been busy lately promoting her new movie, a horror flick called “The Lazarus Effect.”
The film is produced by horrormeister Jason Blum, known for making high-quality, micro-budget films including “Paranormal Activity,” “The Purge,” “Insidious,” and “Sinister” franchises, which have grossed more than $1.2 billion worldwide. Like Gelb’s previous scary movies, “The Lazarus Effect” was made on a shoestring budget, and it is just as likely to lure horror fans into theaters.
To direct it, Blum chose David Gelb, whose previous film was the critically acclaimed documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” (One of the characters in “Lazarus Effect” dines on sushi at one point in a nod to that previous film.)
Bolger plays Ava, a college student who convinces a team of scientific researchers experimenting with ways of bringing the dead back to life to allow her to document their investigation on film. Led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and Zoe (Olivia Wilde), the small research team (Evan Peters, Donald Glover) is secretly conducting trials of their experimental procedure on cadaver dogs in the basement lab of a university. When one of the experiments goes horribly wrong, Frank convinces the group to continue, even though what they are doing may be morally and scientifically unethical. Their experiment on a human test subject seems to work, initially, but then things go awry. Ava mysteriously ends up in Zoe’s nightmare memory, and must find a way out before she is killed.
Gelb says of Bolger and the rest of the small cast, “I was incredibly lucky to get an awesome group together. They were so good. All of my favorite horror movies have awesome performances in it and these guys make it real. I’m really happy that everybody was my first choice and they were awesome.”
Bolger started out her film career at age 11 in Jim Sheridan’s Oscar-nominated “In America,” and has enjoyed a successful career in both film and TV. She currently plays Princess Aurora/Sleeping Beauty on ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.”