From the director of “Maniac” and the forthcoming “Amityville: The Awakening” Franck Khalfoun and the producer of “It Follows”, comes a fresh and thrilling new horror i-Lived which makes its UK DVD debut thanks to Second Sight, alongside a digital release.
20-something Josh’s life is a mess, recently single and struggling to pay his rent, he’s trying to forge a career as an online app reviewer. His latest assignment is a new self-help app called ‘I-Lived’. Simply tell it what you want to achieve and it will give you the steps you must complete to reach your goals.
As Josh follows the app’s instructions he begins to see his life turn around. But as his wishes escalate, the tasks he is set take a sinister and ultimately horrific turn.
For the life you’ve always dreamed of sign up to i-Lived, but be careful what you wish for. i-Lived will be available as download to own from 27 June, on-demand 4 July and on DVD 11 July”.
After his excellent remake of “Maniac”, in which Elijah Wood finally consigned his hobbit aura to history for many viewers, director Franck Khalfoun presents a surprisingly effective take on modern technology as the app proves your biggest enemy in a well made horror.
Social media and related phone tech have been tricky subjects to tackle in recent years, few gaining traction or success. “i-Lived” takes the Faust story and updates it with strong results.
Comedian Jeremiah Watkins is excellently cast as the vlogger and app reviewer Josh, who thinks that all of his Christmases have come at once as his positive reviews of the “i-Lived” app bring him subscribers to his internet site, beautiful women, and big money job offers. Watkins is a refreshing change from the model-look casting that dominates Hollywood films and actually makes you want the cast to be slaughtered for their narcissism. Visually, he is the geek you initially want to succeed.
Director Khalfoun creates a growing atmosphere of menace and a number of pleasant surprises to elevate the film beyond the usual horror tropes. In an age of pure greed and absolute narcissism, Josh’s balancing of decisions based on self-fulfilment and helping his parents creates a fascinating scale on which he will fail or succeed.
It is Watkins who makes the film, ranging from the overly excitable and frankly irritating failing YouTuber to the dark and distressed young man on the cusp of a success that comes with a tragic price. He is highly sympathetic and very watchable as he simply loses his mind.
“i-Lived” is an engaging Faustian tale that manages to tap into the zeitgeist of personal tech and social media in a way that most other films have failed to do.
This review originally appeared on SFFWorld at: