Review : i-Lived (2015)

i-Lived was directed by Franck Khalfoun, who brought us the remake of Maniac. It is being released in the UK by Second Sight on July 11th, 2016 and on-demand July 4th, 2016. An app is available for both iOS and Android to enhance the viewing experience as the app listens to the movie soundtrack and sends messages, videos and clues throughout the film.

Josh’s life is a mess. Recently single and struggling to pay his bills, he is trying to build 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 assigned take a sinister turn.

i-Lived has a very interesting concept, especially with the tie-in application. I was unfornutalety unable to test the app, as it is unavailable in my country. However, I really like the idea of going one step further to integrate technology into a viewing experience. But where Unfriended was successful at immersing the viewer into the story (I recommend watching it on a computer rather than a TV screen), i-Lived fails despite the director’s visible efforts.

The movie takes a long while until becoming remotely interesting and the viewer has to suffer through unfunny and cringe-worthy app reviews to reach that point. As a youtuber, I found the footage very cliché and unrealistic. The cinematography and camera work feel very amateurish. Don’t be fooled by the cool poster as it is the only horror element of i-Lived.

The film’s biggest problem is the bad acting. It is really weird to watch a horror film in which the main actor seems unable to portray fear… Josh, the main character, is unlikeable which makes it even harder to care about what is happening to him. Jeremiah Watkins has no charisma whatsoever and delivers a poor performance.

The message is pretty clear and very relevant in today’s society : technology and social media are so proeminent that we tend to live our lives through our screens. But despite a very interesting premise and an original concept, i-Lived is a disappointing film.


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