It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that the majority of YouTube-related movies have been comedies. The first film under this niche subgenre was 2008’s “Ryan and Sean’s Not So Excellent Adventure,” starring YouTubers Ryan Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi. Lucas Cruikshank and his Fred Figglehorn character then released three consecutive movies from 2010 to 2012, as did the controversial Channel Awesome network of creators. Moving away from low-hanging-fruit comedies, 2012 also cursed us with the Internet horror “Smiley,” which starred Shane Dawson and Toby Turner. Other prominent examples are Logan Paul’s attempt at sci-fi called “The Thinning” and Red Letter Media’s crowdfunded passion project, “Space Cop.”
Surprisingly, however, there are few YouTuber movies actually directed by YouTubers themselves. The first instances of this were the aforementioned Channel Awesome trilogy of trash, all directed by Doug Walker. Former Channel Awesome associate Lewis Lovhaug, also known as Linkara, directed his “Atop The Fourth Wall: The Movie” in 2014. That same year also saw the arrival of Dawson’s infamous “Not Cool,” and 2017 brought us “F The Prom” by Benny and Rafi Fine from React Media.
Whether the YouTubers themselves were behind the camera or not, they all seemed to share a similar critical reception. Almost all of these movies were poorly received, more or less amounting to vanity projects that focus on how cool the YouTubers think they are.