INFLUENCER on Shudder is a new horror movie with a mystery plot. It’s surprising, relentless, and quite diabolical. With a runtime of 92 minutes, it hits a perfect genre sweet spot. Read our full Influencer movie review here!
INFLUENCER is a new Shudder horror, thriller, and mystery hybrid. Basically, one gorgeous little genre treat that is first and foremost a horror movie. In fact, it’s also a serial killer story. With a twist that could be used to argue otherwise in court, but still.
The runtime is just 92 minutes and the cast is small, but the story is simple and strong, so it works beautifully. Also, having it set in sunny and gorgeous Thailand doesn’t hurt.
Continue reading our Influencer movie review below. Find it on Shudder from May 26, 2023.
The polished world of influencers
In Influencer, we meet the seemingly always cheerful and positive social media influencer Madison. Officially, Madison (Emily Tennant) is doing the whole solo backpacking in Thailand. However, she was supposed to have been on this sunny trip with her boyfriend who bailed at the last minute.
Also, as the stereotypical influencer “sexy baby”-voice is stating that she’s getting to know the locals and making friends, we see her being completely on her own. Taking selfies on empty beaches and being surrounded by extreme luxury.
Basically, the very opposite of backpacking and “getting immersed in the local culture”.
However, this actually changes when Madison meets a girl her own age, CW. This girl also has plenty of money, but travels with ease and stays away from social media. In other words a more uninhibited way of living and traveling.
From sunny smiles to survival
As Madison’s Thailand adventure traveling changes from an influencer trip to actually enjoying herself, things suddenly change. In the middle of finding her own “dance like no one is watching”-attitude that finally makes Madison feel free from the pressure of always having to perform for her followers, things take a darker turn.
The carefree (and even careless) and enigmatic CW (Cassandra Naud) is fearless, which is intoxicating for Madison to experience. And then CW shows her true colors and it becomes obvious that she may be fearless, but that’s because everyone else should fear her.
Okay, that’s a very blunt way of putting it, and may not even be all that accurate. But CW is definitely dangerous. And Cassandra Naud (See, Snowpiercer series) does a great job of portraying this two-faced, yet strangely honest and direct, young woman.
In other words, going on a surprise trip with CW, that turns out to be to a deserted island might not be the best idea for the influencer. Also, it’s completely off the grid, so calling for help isn’t an option.
I should note that all the actors in Influencer deliver strong and believable portrayals. Apart from Cassandra Naud, who I absolutely adored in this role, we also see Emily Tennant (Two Sentence Horror Stories) and Sara Canning (Superhost). These three alone make the movie worth watching!
Watch Influencer on Shudder!
The director of Influencer is Kurtis David Harder, who previously directed the movie Spiral which I also really enjoy. We reviewed the movie Spiral right here and absolutely recommend checking it out. Not to be confused with the terrible Saw movie Spiral which was largely an absolute mess.
The screenplay for Influencer come from Tesh Guttikonda and director Kurtis David Harder. Apart from working on the 2020 dramedy Summerland, this is the only feature film script from Tesh Guttikonda. However, here’s hoping that Tesh Guttikonda will continue working with genre stories.
What I really enjoyed with Influencer (apart from it just being a very entertaining horror mystery) was how it changed a few times. Suddenly, we see the story experienced from a new perspective, or a key character is gone from the story.
Those little surprises and twists were what made the mystery part of this movie work so well. And yes, I can say this as someone who guessed the final twist. To be fair though, it’s only because a little teaser was aptly planted for viewers to latch onto.
I cannot wait to see what director Kurtis David Harder does next. But I am definitely here for it!
Influencer is on Shudder from Friday, May 26, 2023.
Director: Kurtis David Harder
Writers: Kurtis David Harder, Tesh Guttikonda
Cast: Cassandra Naud, Emily Tennant, Rory J Saper, Sara Canning
While struggling on a solo backpacking trip in Thailand, social media influencer Madison meets CW, who travels with ease and shows her a more uninhibited way of living. But CW’s interest in her takes a darker turn.