Ingrid Goes West: A Dark Take on Social Media

Ingrid Goes West is the latest satire to address social media. The film directed by Matt Spicer stars Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Rec) as Ingrid who is forced into a psych facility for developing stalker tendencies through Instagram. Upon release she gets her phone back and returns to her virtual stalker tendencies, now she’s focused on a social media star. The star Taylor, played by Elizabeth Olsen has become a major hit on Instagram and has the perfect like: hot husband, healthy and fit. She even calls herself a treasure hunter and castle builder. Taylor is even now paid to advertise brands.

Ingrid works to turn herself into her and finds a way to insert herself into Taylor’s life by pretending she rescued her dog. She then is able to get even more involved in Taylor’s life, which concerns her husband and her brother. This film turns into a dark comedy with a big dose of strange narrative. Matt Spicer grabs themes from dark films like Single White Female. This film is strongly focused on how millennial women rely on social media and use it to boost feelings of belonging and also highlight Instagram’s power over people and the toxicity of the app.

Ingrid has led a creepy life which has involved destroying a wedding of someone she obsessed over. This forced her to move to Los Angeles, where she ended up meeting Taylor. The surprising factor is how much social media is not a part of films, it’s become a natural part of life for many people. While Matt Spicer addresses social media, he doesn’t outright attack it. Instead he offers a warning to those who spend time with social media. The film is great because of it’s relevance in today’s world. Taylor is not presented as evil or pretentious. She’s just a simple girl trying to make a living.

Elizabeth Olson kills it as Taylor, delivering a believable performance of someone who is happy, sincere and pleasant. The movie does not really answer whether she is as true as her Instagram presents her to be. With this full length focus on social media, the film lacks in any sincerity in dealing with social media use. The film eventually begins to flop around as it nears the end, as the story-lines begin to fade away and you forget the point of the whole mess. However, just like social media, Matt Spicer has made it so you don’t know who is really telling the truth. The film’s supporting cast is a pleasant surprise with Billy Magnussen and O’Shea Jackson Jr.

If you’re looking for a movie that is relevant in today’s environment, then Ingrid Goes West is the best film available. The film is put together great with the help of Matt Spicer and his casting choice of Elizabeth Olsen and Aubrey Plaza. It is definitely a unique take on stalker movies. Plaza delivers a rich performance that she’s not often given the opportunity to do. The film is a unique story for what is currently coming out of Hollywood.

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