Influencer (2023)

This is a movie about being authentic in a world which continues to follow the trends set by social media influencers, who are about as real as plastic plants.  How we get there, though, is pretty damn INSANE as one social media influencer finds herself in a Single White Female sort of situation while in Thailand.

The opening few seconds of Influencer says it all: paradise has its ugly side.  Director Kurtis David Harder’s film opens with an establishing shot of a leafy green island.  The sea explodes around it.  It is, in fact, paradise, but look closely . . . . there’s a dead body washed ashore.  Uh oh.

"... buckle up. Things are going to get bumpy"

With beautiful cinematography and great vistas at almost every turn, Influencer is about a popular social media influencer who is having second thoughts about her latest trek to Thailand, despite what she pitches to all her followers.  It is lonely and, according to Madison (Emily Tennant), quite boring.  Well, that’s about to change in the most unexpected way . . .

. . . be sure to buckle up.  Things are going to get bumpy as Madison is about to find a new purpose in life: survival.

 CW (Cassandra Naud, See), a fearless and enigmatic traveler, quickly befriends Madison and offers to take her to some of the most Instagram-worthy locations.  Together, these polar opposites - one, a social media queen, and the other, completely without one - get a little authenticity going between them as they see the sights, visit the animals, and try as many snap-worthy meals as they possibly can.

But Madison still misses her boyfriend, who bailed on the trip, and set her off in a sort of emotional tailspin, so CW ups the ante for the most entertainment and things go bad real quickly.   Suddenly, Madison’s room is broken into and her passport is stolen, then - as she can go nowhere - she has to prolong her Thailand adventure for two weeks.Influencer (2023)

And that’s when Hader’s film gets really dark. 

For the first 25-minutes or so, Influencer feels a lot like a destination blog.  Sure, we get a bit more introspection from Madison, but the slow burn of this horror film is exactly that: SLOW.  This is key because we are building character and doubling-down on a sort-of Lost in Translation vibe as Madison’s listlessness reaches a shoving point from the intrusion of CW, who inspires her to live a little more dangerously. 

But there’s a consequence to living freely and it arrives when - in a most interesting turn - Madison finds herself alone on a remote island.  Where’s CW?!  Where’s CW indeed?!!  And I am not about to reveal anymore to you.  Just watch. 

Co-starring Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries), Influencer is one hell of a solid thriller as CW’s truth is uncovered by extremely violent ways.  The film streams on Shudder starting May 26th.

3/5 stars

Film Details

Influencer (2023)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
92 mins
: Kurtis David Harder
Tesh Guttikonda; Kurtis David Harder
Sara Canning; Emily Tennant; Cassandra Naud
: Thriller | Horror
Be Careful Who You Follow.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 26, 2023
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Tells the story of Madison (Emily Tennant, “Riverdale”), a popular social media influencer who is having a lonely and uneventful trip in Thailand despite what she tells her followers on Instagram. While reflecting on her boyfriend canceling the trip, she meets CW (Cassandra Naud, “See”), a fearless and enigmatic traveler who offers to take her to some of the most Instagram-worthy locations. Together they share authentic meals and drinks with locals, discussing the differences between Madison’s online presence and CW’s lack of one. After showing Madison all of the amazing sights, things take a different turn when CW brings her to a surprise location – a deserted island that is completely off the grid..


Influencer (2023)