Speaking to the fact that you can never trust what you see online, Influencer follows a pretty but unhappy young woman who is befriended by another woman at a Thai resort–only to discover a little too late that she probably should have continued to flirt with the chubby middle-aged Brit at the bar instead.
Emily Tennant plays Madison, an online influencer who is seduced by CW (Cassandra Naud). Things spiral from there, setting off a suspenseful and rewarding game of cat and mouse.
Director and co-writer Kurtis David Harder delivers a well-made and semi-unique thriller that draws you in early and never lets go. The story is grounded, the villain believable, and the events that unfold realistically enough, making Influencer feel just a little more relatable than most films of the genre.
It’s only in the end that Harder and co-writer Tesh Guttikonda miss the mark. CW is a compelling baddie, but Cassandra Naud isn’t given the opportunity to really flex her muscles. I would have loved to learn more about CW’s motivations, or psyche, or simply show her true colors, yet the filmmakers lose sight of their movie’s greatest asset. And her reaction at the end, without giving away too much, doesn’t work at all; in fact, those final few seconds take Influencer from a must-see to something less.
Influencer is a good movie; with a few adjustments, however, it could have been a great one.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.