A stalker movie from the perspective of a sympathetic stalker, this delightfully savage comedy pulls no punches in its indictment of self-regarding Instagram culture - no one in the audience will emerge unscathed.
Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) stars as the slightly unstable title character, who shows up uninvited to a wedding and attacks the bride with pepper spray in the film's opening scene. While recuperating in a mental hospital, Ingrid reads a Vogue article about Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), a photographer/social media influencer living in Venice, California.
Funded by an inheritance from her recently-deceased mother, Ingrid heads out to Cali and stalks Taylor through her Instagram account, eventually ingratiating herself into her seemingly charmed life and becoming her new bestie. Things naturally get complicated from there.
As that short burst of awful Facebook horror movies a few years back ably demonstrated, centring a film around social media is a huge gamble, considering how swiftly things can change in that space, compared with how long it takes to write, shoot and release a movie. Which makes it all the more impressive how specifically and authentically Ingrid Goes West nails Instagram culture. Even the most moderate user will feel chastised.
The subject matter becomes a vehicle for salient observations about social ambition, the version of ourselves we choose to present to others, and the nature of friendship. Plus, it's very funny and hilariously judgmental about LA hipsterism and showbiz exclusivity.
Olsen and Plaza are both golden in the leads, but there's revelatory support from the awesomely laconic Wyatt Russell (as Olsen's "creative" husband) and O'Shea Jackson Jr as Plaza's sort-of love interest.
Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen
Prepare to be judged.
DID YOU KNOW...
To get inside the mind of a murderer, Murder on the Orient Express director Kenneth Branagh practiced stabbing dead animal organs to better understand the mechanics of murder.