Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Influencer (2023)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Influencer (2023)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 1h 32min
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Octane Entertainment, Superchill, Shudder
Director: Kurtis David Harder
Writer: Kurtis David Harder, Tesh Guttikonda
Actors: Sara Canning, Emily Tennant, Cassandra Naud, Rory J. Saper, Paul Spurrier, Justin Sams
Blurb from IMDb: 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.

Selina’s Point of View:
Influencer turned out to be completely different than I expected. The trailer does have a few spoilers, but only if you sit there consciously waiting for the scenes. Out of context, it does a great job of misleading the audience in the right way.
I’ve talked a lot about how some trailers will mislead audiences, which can hurt the movie. When I’m talking about that, I’m mostly discussing the genre bait and switch. Not this kind of thing.
The Influencer trailer did something different. It’s still selling the right kind of movie, but it’s painting a very different story than you get in the real thing. That means you can be super blindsided by twists that otherwise happen relatively early in the story.

I really liked how they went about it. I almost see the trailer as it’s very own character in the movie.
The film itself was also good. It held my attention and kept me curious throughout the entire runtime. It has the feel of Superhost (2021) in the way the character interactions are handled. (Though I will admit that Superhost is the better flick.)
Cassandra Naud (See, Snowpiercer, Loudermilk) absolutely rocked her part. I can’t think of a single actor who could have pulled of a performance better than her as CW. The most memorable parts of Influencer are because of her.
All-in-all, Influencer was a solid horror, and worth giving a shot. If you’re interested, it premieres on Shudder Friday, May 26.

Cat’s Point of View:
Influencer didn’t quite play out the way I expected, and I was here for it.
The scenario in Influencer’s story is the stuff of nightmares. The narrative plays on all of the fears of a traveler visiting a foreign country alone – especially one that doesn’t share your primary language. It takes things beyond the whole social media angle.
Aside from a tale that takes an interesting turn, Influencer was a feast for the eyes. That, of course, paired well with the social media personality theme. The locations were gorgeous, and the cinematography captured the stunning landscapes and urban settings very well. I found myself envious of the fictional character on screen, enjoying their seemingly top-tier resort accommodations. 

Cassandra Naud was an excellent choice to play CW. It was as if the part was written just for her. Of course, Emily Tennant (Polly Pocket, The Watchful Eye, The Baby Swindler) and Sara Canning (Nancy Drew, The Banana Splits Movie, Superhost) certainly were up to the task of their roles as well. I had a little internal giggle that Canning’s character interacts with a character referred to as CW, considering I first got to know her as an actress from The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017) on the CW network.
I really enjoyed my experience watching Influencer. I wish there was a bit more to the ending – or a post-credits epilogue. That’s only my own curiosity wondering what happened next. The ending was fine the way it was.
If you have a Shudder subscription, this would be worth the watch.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 93%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score –7.7/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 3.5/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer:

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