Lowlifes (2024) Movie Review - A Decent Tubi Horror.... Seriously!

Horror, Comedy | 90 Min
Cover from horror movie Lowlifes (2024)
  • Director: Tesh Guttikonda, Mitch Oliver
  • Actors: Amanda Fix, Matthew MacCaull, Brenna Llewellyn, Elyse Levesque, Cassandra Sawtell, Josh Zaharia
  • Writers: Al Kaplan
  • Producers: Charles Cooper
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Parental: Violence, Drug Use, Sexual Content, Injury Detail, Language
  • Horror, Comedy | 90 Min

The survival instincts of a road-tripping family are put to the test when they have no other choice but to stay the night at a remote homestead.

Welcome to Knockout Horror. I will open this review of Tubi Original horror movie Lowlifes by expressing my sincere concern. I am not sure whether I am truly ready to live in a world where I watch two decent Tubi Original horror movies in one month. The other being slasher movie Guess Who.

Talk about anomalous happenings, right? I have covered a bunch of these movies and they trend, somewhere, between bad and some of the worst shit I have watched in my entire life. The fact that Tubi are suddenly putting out decent horror has me genuinely shook.

Genuinely Enjoyable

Lowlifes kicks off with a family from Los Angeles heading out in their RV for a week of relaxation. After the family is approached by a pair of locals who seem less than friendly. They are forced into spending the weekend in a remote house with a family that couldn’t be more different from their own. 

A screenshot from horror movie Lowlifes (2024)

It’s a pretty simple premise and going any deeper into the plot than that risks spoiling it. Lowlifes is, after all, one of those rare horror movies that might actually surprise you. There is a blackly comic, somewhat unexpected, twist to the story that makes the movie all the more fun. 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like the twist will blow your socks off and it is fairly easy to see it coming. But it transforms Lowlifes from a run of the mill slasher to something a little more interesting. In a world polluted by “paint by numbers” formulaic horror. Anything that deviates from the norm is a welcome treat.

Black Comedy Violence

Lowlifes approaches every scene with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek. Sure, there is a decent supply of violence and some scenes that are actually rather wince inducing. But the primary focus of this film is to act as an almost twisted version of National Lampoon’s Vacation. 

A screenshot from horror movie Lowlifes (2024)

Fingers are snapped, thumbs are chopped off and eyes are pulled out. But it’s all done with a wink and a nod that manages to keep the movie light. Even when it is at its most mean and poor spirited. It genuinely is a lot of fun and a real surprise. Especially against a backdrop of really bad Tubi slasher movies.

Director Tesh Guttikonda is no stranger to fun horror. Having co-wrote the brilliant Influencer. But whereas Lowlifes lacks in some of Influencer’s subtlety. It gains in its overt and direct approach to horror comedy and dark wit. This is, simply, a fun movie. Don’t go into it expecting something super serious and you may just have a great time.

Not Perfect

Of course, everything isn’t perfect. There are issues here and there. The main one being how divisive the plot is sure to be. Lowlifes invites you in to experience one thing before pulling the rug out from underneath you and becoming something else. If you enjoy black comedy, you will be absolutely fine with this change but people expecting a horror movie may be disappointed.

Some of the action scenes are pretty awful. Filmed with a wildly flailing camera, they look terrible and are difficult to follow. Likewise, characters disappear from scenes briefly only to reappear in crucial moments defying logic. The movie can be super cliched and very predictable in parts. Leading to a lack of surprises later on. These are minor complaints in the grand scheme of things, though.

Well Acted

Acting is fantastic. Matthew MacCaull, who featured in the very watchable Deadly Midwife, plays Keith, the patriarch of the family. He is an absolute laugh riot, owning every scene he is in. Amanda Fix looks like an emerging star and does a great job though her accent seems to wander at times. 

A screenshot from horror movie Lowlifes (2024)

Ready or Not’s Elyse Levesque capably plays the family’s matriarch Kathleen, with Josh Zaharia rounding out the family as son Jeffery. Cassandra Sawtell is tons of fun as Southern girl Juli Ann and Brenna Llewellyn (extra props for the Welsh surname) is great as her sister Savannah. There isn’t a weak performance here with the cast being the best thing about the movie.

Direction is good though I do question some of the shot setups and there are a few logic issues here and there. Pacing is decent. The movie doesn’t sit around waiting to get going. Scripting is a strong point, as well, with plenty of humour and witty lines. All in all, it’s a solid production.

Should You Watch Lowlifes?

You should absolutely watch Lowlifes. It’s completely free, for one, and it is one of only a handful of genuinely decent Tubi Originals. It’s witty, fun, well acted, gory and has a wicked sense of humour. Sure, it lures you in with the promise of an old fashioned slasher horror before changing things up. But the results are solid. There are a few issues here and there but nothing that gets in the way of the movie too much. Check it out, you may just enjoy it.

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