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Film: Influencer (2022)

Director: Kurtis David Harder

Starring: Emily Tennant, Cassandra Naud

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Why You Should Watch It:


Certain members of society are obsessed with social media influencers. We know this to be true because Instagram and TikTok stars seem to effortlessly rack up huge followers and make stacks of cash from their cult status. In recent years, more and more horror films are diving into the icky parts of being online (2022’s DEADSTREAM was a fave of mine). There’s something fascinating and awful about watching a person who is infamous online be exposed or fail. Is it jealousy or disdain that makes it so fun to watch their downfall? These themes and more are explored in Kurtis David Harcher’s 2022 horror thriller INFLUENCER.


At about 90 minutes of run time, INFLUENCER is fast-paced and fun, and doesn't take itself too seriously. With fun party montages, sweeping panoramic shots and a satisfying open ending, this storyline takes you on a winding path that leaves you feeling pumped about your decision to never trust new friends abroad, like, ever.


In INFLUENCER we follow Madison, your run-of-the-mill basic blonde with an indifferent boyfriend and an Instagram following brimming with fake friends. She seemingly has it all; looks, an easy gig as a social media influencer and a carefree life traveling the world, indulging in a luxurious lifestyle. But Madison is hella lonely. Enter CW, a local cool girl with a unique birthmark and an edgy persona. Madison and CW become fast friends and that’s when the terror begins.


When I saw the poster for this film, I knew right away that it was made for me. If you’ve read my novella WHITE IBIS then you’ll know what I mean. The previews promised a gorgeous tropical location (Thailand) and two gorgeous girls who become fast friends and end up in a sinister situation. I thought the direction would go a little different than it did, and was really happy that I didn’t read anything about this film before diving in. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the entire cast of characters was unlikeable, including our main character and villainess. And on that note…


I need more stories where the bad guy is a woman or femme presenting who is bad just for the sake of being bad. I’m talking no motives necessary, just a bad ass bitch behind a knife and a smile. We get all that and more in INFLUENCER, with a side helping of fluffy social commentary and FUN. There were definitely a few plot holes that could have been filled in, and a few questionable moves by supposedly savvy people, but if you can suspend reality for an hour and a half, you’ll have a good time. Grab your popcorn, put down your phone and enjoy!


INFLUENCER is currently streaming on SHUDDER.

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