The Cost of Living

Drama, 13min

Lily is state of limbo, until Death entices her to live


The fear of death should not stop us from living

A fear of death, of the unknown, is something that all humans experience at least once in their lives. However, when it becomes so dehabilitating that we forget to live it becomes a problem. Lily (played by Lily Loveless) is a receptionist with little enthusiasm for life, who comes face to face with death, a beautiful woman who entices her to live. Directed by Alice Trueman, ‘The Cost of Living’ shows us that death isn’t something we should fear but rather be the reason we live. The film gives us a look on what can happen if we decide to live too cautiously.

Immediately we are thrust into this bright, if bland, futuristic setting. Whites, greys and beiges dominate the visual aestheic at this point. Here we see clues of Lily’s attempts to live a healthy life; we see her vitamins pastel coloured and alphabetically labelled on her bedside, we see her using an oculus to simulate learning the piano, she uses a biking simulator to exercise with but most notably she does not interact with any other human beings. There is almost a bitter sweetness and familiarity to her routine we have been shown. She is trapped within this superficial world of dieting and cleanliness that it comes across as lifeless and boring. She is captive in her attempts to live life longer that she has forgotten to actually live that life.

Upon meeting Death (played by Genesis Lynea) however, this all changes. In a lustful introduction, Death becomes the whirlwind that Lily needs. Death is sensual, she is provocative, she is bold and ironically, she is full of life in comparison to Lily. Upon inviting Lily to her party, the atmosphere immediately takes a shift. As she figuratively, and literally, lets her hair down, the music, dancers and lighting begin to swell around her like a physical manifestation of her sexual awakening. When we contrast this version of Lily to the original version we began with, we see a more confident woman within her own skin. Upon her last confrontation with Death, she attempts to overpower her in her new found confidence. After failing Death reminds her that she can never really control her, that if she is to let her in “everything will be worse and everything will be better“. Death reminds us all that we should not be living so warily, because after all if life worth living unless it’s really lived? Our own personal fears, whether it be of judgement or of resentment, should not stop us from taking opportunities that will lead us to living our best lives. We should all live freely and enjoy the time we have without regrets.

Like Lily, this short serves to remind us all that living comfortably without allowing ourselves to take risks or get hurt, is no way to live at all.

The Techy bit

To find out more about the cast, crew, genre and where you can get this film, check out the LesFlicks Film Database.

This article was written by:

Lauren Conlon Harper

Lauren Conlon Harper


Lauren's a media production student based in LJMU. Originally from Belfast, she first got into film at Queens Film Theatre's Takeover Festival where she planned and programed the annual event. She is an aspiring filmmaker / producer and aims to give those rarely heard a platform to tell their stories