Lexi (2022) Movie Review – Horror on Tubi

Horror, Found Footage | 81 Min
Lexi (2022) Horror Movie Review
  • Director: Victoria Vertuga
  • Actors: Victoria Vertuga, Thomas Hobson, Susan Louise O'Connor, Maya Zapata, Felisha Michelle Cacho
  • Writers: Victoria Vertuga, Eric Williford
  • Producers: Victoria Vertuga, Eric Williford
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Parental: Peril, Language, Full Frontal Nudity
  • Horror, Found Footage | 81 Min

Lexi focuses on the disappearance of motivational influencer Laughing Lexi. Despite her immense popularity it would seem the 29 year old Lexi has made some enemies. Some people are not fans of her constantly upbeat approach to life. Others seem to be jealous of her success. When bizarre videos of her start appearing online. Lexi thinks someone is playing a prank on her. The reality however appears to be much more sinister.

Everyone hates Mondays, right? Trying to motivate yourself after a weekend of fun or relaxation can be tough. You know what else can be tough? Sitting there on a Monday night attempting to motivate yourself to watch yet another piece of low budget crap on Tubi. Ah who am I kidding, I love this shit. Today we are reviewing social media influencer themed found footage horror movie Lexi from 2022. 

Now, given the recent parade of shit that I have watched. This may come as a bit of a shock. Lexi is, actually, a completely watchable movie. Feeling like something of a one woman show. Written, directed, produced by and starring Victoria Vertuga. This is a really good example of how to avoid some of the pitfalls of low budget horror. Especially when one person is responsible for much of the movie’s content. I’m looking at you Something Yawns in the Woods

Low Budget Horror on Tubi

For those of you who don’t know, which is likely all of you. For the month of June we will only be reviewing low budget movies from free streaming service Tubi. I’m picking the movies with the worst names, the lowest quality covers and the most micro of budgets. I won’t be reading reviews beforehand. That would be cheating. I am simply reading the synopsis, watching the film and reviewing it. Why am I doing this, you might ask. Because I am an idiot, that’s why!

Lexi (2022) Horror Movie Review

So far it has been what you might expect. A wasteland of awful movies with the occasional puddle of fresh water and a tantalising mirage or two. We really enjoyed ReSet, despite its flaws, and Death of a Vlogger was pretty decent. On the other hand, Something Walks in the Woods and the ironically titled Sleepless Unrest sent us to napland. That is without mentioning the mess that was Chest. If you want more of this, check out our Horror on Tubi feature

Yet Another Found Footage

Something that is becoming more and more clear while watching these low budget movies on Tubi. Is that Found Footage has firmly taken over the as the presentation format for low budget horror. I suppose that goes without saying. It’s a cheap way to produce movies. Requires minimal equipment and can be done with a skeleton crew and no script. Still, I can’t be the only one who misses some of the ultra low budget, traditionally filmed, crap? If you grew up in the 90s you probably spent a lot of your time watching these types of movies. It is sad to see them disappear.

Lexi (2022) Horror Movie Review

Still, Found Footage is a much better medium for low budget horror that actually manages to be effective. Whereas most of the low budget stuff from the 80s and 90s was fairly ineffective. Provoking laughs far more often than scares. Found Footage can actually unsettle. It can also make a great platform for telling stories. As is the case with today’s movie Lexi.

Social Media Influencer Horror

This is a remarkably common theme in horror lately. With movies like Sissy, Deadstream and Baby Ruby all hitting the market in recent years. As well as a whole bunch that we haven’t covered yet. It seems that the horror industry has finally managed to channel the topic of social media and influencers. It can make for fun horror and feels pretty fresh at the moment. I’ve put together a list on 12 Horror Movies with Social Media Themes that you might want to check out. 

Lexi (2022) Horror Movie Review

Lexi focuses on the disappearance of motivational influencer Laughing Lexi. Despite her immense popularity, it would seem the 29 year old Lexi has made some enemies. Some people are not fans of her constantly upbeat approach to life. Others seem to be jealous of her success. When bizarre videos of her start appearing online. Lexi thinks someone is playing a prank on her. The reality, however, appears to be much more sinister.

Mockumentary Found Footage That Works

Lexi opens up with footage of the disappearance of our main character. As well as a declaration that everything you see is part of a police investigation. The movie then plays out as something of a Mockumentary ala Lake Mungo or Butterfly Kisses. It features interviews with friends, fellow influencers and fans. While exploring the events that lead up to the disappearance of our influencer protagonist. Action takes place through security cameras, Ring Doorbells, and through vlogs uploaded by Lexi. Obviously this is a very familiar format but it works rather well. 

Lexi (2022) Horror Movie Review

The drip feeding of information helps keep you engaged in the plot. And the theories offered up by the talking heads opens the mystery up a bit. Was this something supernatural? Was it something altogether more human? This is left pretty open but it appears to be very clear that something sinister is afoot. Lexi’s past is revealed in videos uploaded, against her will, to her channel. She is filmed in her most intimate moments and the footage is shared. And her home is violated by an unseen intruder. It’s all pretty creepy stuff and will hit close to home for many. Especially women who live alone or have experienced events like this before.

A Familiar Theme

Most people are going to be familiar with the world of social media influencers. It’s hard to get away from them nowadays. Lexi does a nice job channeling the trend of people worship that is so prevalent on the internet as of late. Highlighting the contrasting opinions of the viewing public. The jealously from people within the trade. And, also, the more sinister side of the business with obsessed fans and people that wish to do you harm. It all feels pretty authentic. 

This also creates a whole host of potential suspects when it comes to Lexi’s disappearance. Could it be an obsessed fan who has crossed the line from annoying to dangerous? Could it be a jealous rival or someone who dislikes Lexi? There are a number of possibilities and Lexi balances them all pretty well. Never really hinting at who might be to blame. Keeping the viewer guessing throughout.

Lexi (2022) Horror Movie Review

The uploading of vlogs acts as a nice timeline device. Hinting at Lexi’s mental decline as the situation escalates. Things go from bad to worse pretty rapidly. It is one of those movies where you genuinely want to know more about the case. Something that Vertuga’s writing and direction deserves credit for. Pacing is a strong point here.

Actually Effective Voyeurism

Many movies completely miss the mark when it comes to voyeurism and privacy invasion. Much like in the movie Ratter, the footage shown will be mundane and inconsequential. Feeling less like an invasion of privacy and more like an exploration of just how boring the average person’s life is. Who wants to watch someone playing a video game? The vast majority of voyeurs are going to be there for the seriously intimate moments. Lexi manages to avoid this. Making a point of exposing Lexi at her most vulnerable.

Lexi (2022) Horror Movie Review

Whether it is her breaking down while doing the dishes. Screaming hysterically into thin air or drying off after a shower. Vertuga spares no expense when it comes to portraying the vulnerability of Lexi. Something that feels all the more effective for how graphic and raw it can be. 

Lexi (2022) Horror Movie Review

I’ve said many times with movies like this. Nudity is an important plot device for displaying vulnerability. As well as reminding the viewer just how invasive and horrific of a crime this is. The same goes for moments of emotional collapse. I am sure everyone could appreciate how traumatising it would be to have videos like this of yourself shared online. Lexi does a much better job of illustrating this than other, similar, movies.

Not Perfect

Of course, it goes without saying that this movie has some issues. The biggest of which we will get to in a second. This is, clearly, a movie made on a shoe string budget. Potentially filmed by one person and, perhaps, taking place during lockdown. Something that may put a few people off. Some people simply don’t like found footage and mockumentaries.

Much of the content feels fairly familiar. With the social media influencer stuff being a cut and paste of other similar movies. Shook, for example. I feel like the movie never really goes into just why Lexi would be so popular. Outside of being positive and making extremely short, repetitive, videos.

Lexi (2022) Horror Movie Review

Some of the people being interviewed are a little on the hammy side of life. Bringing a sense of silliness to the movie. Some of the fan’s videos feel completely redundant and out of place, too. On top of that. The fact that Vertuga’s three dogs couldn’t give two shits about people sneaking into her house. Really takes you out of the moment on a number of occasions.

Whoever was moving the doors and walking around with a camera was clearly a friend. The puppers barely even look up. I can understand Vertuga wanting to portray these, supposedly vicious, dogs as big softies. But it doesn’t do the movie any favours. Don’t get me wrong, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are absolute babies. But I still feel like any Staffie faced with an intruder would at least give them a sniff. 

The Biggest Problem

Lexi’s biggest problem of all, however, is the ending. As in, it doesn’t have one. I just can’t, for the life of me, understand why horror writers don’t want to construct endings anymore. It seems like the basic tenets of story telling have been completely abandoned in recent years. Found footage horror is particularly guilty of this. I am not saying you have to follow convention to the letter. But so many of these movies are dumping us somewhere in the middle. Briefly rewinding to the start before going back to the middle and wrapping things up. 

Lexi (2022) Horror Movie Review

There is never any conclusion or actual ending. This is something that consistently pisses viewers off, yet writers continue to do it over and over again. This is your story. You are telling it and only you can end it. Stop with the ambiguity. Naturally, some stories call for an open ending. Most, however, absolutely don’t. Viewers don’t want to spend time engaging in your story. Learning about the characters and becoming invested only to be left with blue balls at the end. Who really enjoys that?

Lexi ends with no conclusion. All we know is she is missing and that is it. Making this feel like less of a story and more of a collection of loosely connected sequences. I am sure wrapping up stories is the most difficult part of the writing process. But I really feel horror writers should work from back to front. Get the ending established and build the story around it. Lest you waste the viewer’s time and end up with a bunch of angry IMDB reviews.

A One Woman Show

Victoria Vertuga’s performance here deserves tremendous praise. She’s brilliant and her direction and acting are really on point. She does a fantastic job of portraying a believable social media influencer. Having all the right tics and inflections that you would expect for someone in this role. She commits thoroughly and it pays off. Let’s be real, some people are not going to enjoy her character. She nails the social media personality type so well that it will give some people the ick. But Vertuga takes up a tremendous amount of screen time and its a testament to her performance that this isn’t a problem. Scenes as she begins to mentally break are particularly effective. Displaying an actor that is both versatile and in tune with her character.

Maybe a controversial opinion here. But it would be remiss of me not to mention the fact that Lexi is supposed to be 29. Victoria Vertuga is, clearly, not 29 years old. I really don’t mean that to sound bad because she is a seriously hot mama. Let’s be real, women in their 30s, 40s and 50s are where it is at. We are in the dawn of the milfs. I just don’t feel like she needed to drop her age for this movie to work.

There are tons of influencers in their late 30s and 40s. My partner and I found that a little bit jarring. I’m never a fan of people playing characters much younger than themselves. It isn’t a big problem, just a little bit odd considering the fact that the story doesn’t really call for it. All in all, though, Vertuga does a brilliant job with almost everything.

Final Thoughts and Score

I enjoyed Lexi way more than I thought I would. I had my scoop and a baggy ready expecting another steaming pile of Tubi turd. It turns out I actually didn’t need it. I can’t ignore the utterly disappointing ending and some of the other minor issues. But, overall, this is an enjoyable mockumentary that demonstrates a versatile and talented actor, director, writer and producer in Victoria Vertuga.

I would love to see more horror from her in the future. Maybe with an ever stronger focus on comedy. Lexi feels current, apt and very much towards the upper half of the recent resurgence of low budget found footage horror. Its not going to be for everyone but there is plenty to like here. Including an interesting story and some effective moments of tension. Its just a shame the ending wasn’t well formulated. Give it a go, you may really enjoy spending time with Laughing Lexi.

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