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Low Life takes a familiar premise and thrusts it into the modern age. Benny (Wes Dunlap) is a YouTuber who runs a To Catch a Predator type channel. It is popular, but also very dangerous. When he invites his latest target into his house, it turns into a tense game of cat-and-mouse.
Tyler Michael James knows the importance of pacing in this type of film. The plot keeps the audiences on the edge the entire time. It is a precarious back and forth that seems like it can boil over at any moment. That the writing somehow manages to build on increasing tense situations is impressive.
Low Life visits some interesting themes in ways that are not normally done. Plenty of films have explored the idea of people taking the law into their own hands. James asks what is so great about being a vigilante in the first place? This is a moral grey area that is left ignored more often than not.
Another important theme is friendship. The movie has bigger concerns, but its message about how far friends are willing to go for each other is one of the most interesting aspects of Low Life. The commentary on social media is a little less lofty. It is the standard critique of being internet famous and the lengths some will go to for that fame.
Everything is able to come together so well thanks to the strong performances. Dunlap shows off a range that goes from obnoxious YouTuber to angry would be hero. Lucas Neff (Fear, Inc.) is frightening as the possible predator. There is an uncomfortable manner around everything he says and does.
Low Life can be an incredibly difficult movie to watch. The cast are fantastic and there is nothing wrong with it technically. It is an unrelenting film that deals with heavy subject matter. It is definitely worth the time, but be prepared going in.
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