Review of Ingrid Goes West

This post was written by Colin Free on November 23, 2017

Ingrid Thorburn is a lonely and troubled young woman: after stalking and attacking a girl she was institutionalised. Released, and with the cash inherited from her Mum’s death, she moves to California to pursue her new obsession, Instagram celebrity Taylor Sloane. She engineers a meeting with her and they become friends.

The set-up puts us firmly in Single White Female a territory and that film is referenced when Taylor’s brother discovers Ingrid’s secret. That particular plot is one that has been used many times, and is a favourite of made-for-TV thriller writers. There are a couple of things that sets this film apart. The social media obsession of the participants is used well, and is integral to the story. As someone who does not use any of those things, I am baffled about why people feel the need to live their lives so publicly and crave other peoples’ approval so much.

This movie doesn’t improve my understanding but does show the logical conclusion if the use of social media gets out of hand. The second thing is that usually the person being stalked is the one you are rooting for. I’m this case, Taylor is so clearly a phoney, quoting lines from books she has not read and completely vacuous with a “job” that involves her photographing brands to promote them to her gullable followers. Ingrid has issues but ultimately is easier to warm-to, partly thanks to Aubrey Plaza’s layered performance. Elizabeth Olsen is convincing as Taylor and O’Shea Jackson Jr is good as Ingrid’s landlord, potential love interest and one truly likeable person in the film.

Uncomfortable at times, with characters that you may find irritating but Matt Spicer’s film is one that will linger in my memory.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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