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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Lazarus Effect

Where Are the Women? The Lazarus Effect

All the female characters here could have been played by men without impacting the story at all. There aren’t many movies we can say that about.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of girls/women]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +15

+5
Is there a female character (either a protagonist or a supporting character with significant screen time) in a position of authority (politics, law, medicine, etc.)? [why this matters]


+1
Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]


+10
Is there a female villain or antagonist? [why this matters]


+2
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]
+2
More than one? [why this matters]


-5
Is there a woman who dies (either onscreen or off) whose death motivates a male protagonist? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: 0

[no issues]

WILDCARD SCORE: 0

Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)

No.

TOTAL SCORE: +15

IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: There’s a bit of a final-girl thing going on here, that horror trope often interpreted as one that gives a moderately feminist twist to a genre traditionally perceived of (rightly or wrongly) as male. Still, all the female characters here could have been played by men without really impacting the story at all. There aren’t many movies we can say that about.


Click here for the ongoing ranking of 2015’s films for female representation.

NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Lazarus Effect! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of The Lazarus Effect.

See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)


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