14th Aug2015

‘i-Lived’ Review

by Joel Harley

Stars: Jeremiah Watkins, Brian Breiter, Jan Broberg, Shannon Collis, Josh Cowdery, Nic D’Avirro, Luis Fernandez-Gil, Christopher Mena, Koral Michaels, Maja Miletich, Elaine Partnow, Thomas Payton, Sarah Power | Written and Directed by Franck Khalfoun

i-LIVED-Key-Art

A YouTube reviewer investigates a self-help app called I-Lived which purports to make the users’ dreams come true by issuing a few simple goals. Online idiot Josh (Jeremiah Watkins) falls prey to its allure, the app getting him a dream girlfriend and job within but a short amount of time. Logging off, he loses everything. But when he signs back in, the terms and conditions have changed, and Josh finds himself set to lose more than a few Bitcoins.

In this age of Tinder, Grindr and whathaveyou, i-Lived is a timely technological horror story, questioning to what extent we let technology into our lives – particularly where self help and dating apps are concerned. It’s well made too, managing to avoid what must have been a strong temptation to go found footage, instead integrating that element into the story only occasionally. Which is good, because those segments are horrendously annoying. Watkins gives a good portrayal of a YouTube personality in that his video reviews are unbearable (almost causing me to switch off the first couple of times they pop up). It does eventually go darker, but there’s a lot of annoyance to put up with first. Seeing prat personality Josh’s every dream come true is extremely hard to watch.

Thankfully, the story is good enough that we’re able to overlook its flaws in character (many of which are necessary for its story to work) and acting (think Billy Elliot meets a bland Andy Samberg). It could have been shorter (a V/H/S segment would have been perfect).

Bear with its more intolerable moments; i-Lived is one of the more original and interesting horror films of recent years. It’s Faust for the imbecile YouTuber generation.

*** 3/5

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