Low life

Low life
Original title:Low life
Director:Tyler Michael James
Running time:105 minutes
Release date:25 august 2022
Benny, a small-time YouTube star who catches online predators, has a hell of a night when he lets one of them into his own home.

Mulder's Review

A first film is always interesting to discover because it can be a harbinger of a new director who has not only assimilated how to get his story to the end but also how to propose an innovative angle on a story that may have been already approached. Certainly the first film of the director Tyler Michael James would have had its place in the selection of films in competition at the American film festival of Deauville which will begin on Friday, September 2. 

Despite a low budget, Low life manages to capture all our attention and especially to show the excesses of the search for popularity at all costs and the lack of control of sites like Youtube and other social networks. Low life holds our attention for lack of imposing itself as an exemplary thriller as perfect in its form as in its themes.

We discover Benny, a youtuber (Wes Dunlap) who has created a channel on this video broadcasting platform to catch predators and denounce their actions. However, what could have been a good idea in the right hands will soon lead him into a dangerous spiral when he lets a sexual predator into his own home with macabre actions. The numerous twists and turns of the film, starting with a rather catchy first scene, keep our attention even if this film would have benefited from better photography and faster editing.

Far from being only a simple thriller in the digital age, Low life deals with friendship, the dangers of our current society in which wanting to make a certain fairness reign can turn against itself. The script by Hunter Milan and Noah Rotter was written on a tight budget and the direction by Tyler Michael James made the most of his cast and short shooting schedule. The result is a film that is certainly imperfect, as first films often are, but that makes the most of the cat-and-mouse dynamic by reversing the roles.

Once again XYZ films seems to have a certain flair for finding independent films that give a voice to young directors and allow them to give their best. Low life is certainly a small film that can't stand up to the current Hollywood studios' films, but it offers an interesting look at a society that is too addicted to new technologies and capable, in some cases, of crossing the line of legality in search of thrills and a huge audience.

Low life
Directed by Tyler Michael James 
Produced by Jake Dvorsky, Annie Milligan, Noah Rotter
Written by Hunter Milano, Noah Rotter
Starring Lucas Neff, Wes Dunlap, Lucy Urbano, Jake Dvorsky, Hunter Milano, Anthony Sorrells, Luna Montana, Devin Sidell, Annie Milligan, Marguerite Moreau, Nancy Nazari, John Dellaporta 
Music by Zach Michel
Cinematography : Ian Hussey
Edited by Zoe Bower
Distributed by XYZ Films
Release date : August 25, 2022 (United States)
Running time : 105 minutes)

Seen on August 20, 2022 (press screener)

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