Skip to content

INGRID GOES WEST

Written By:

Peter Turner
Ingrid Goes West

Thought Aubrey Plaza was scary as a zombie in Life After Beth? Think again. In Ingrid Goes West, Plaza’s desperately sad loner is a single white female who’s stalking of a social media celebrity is positively chilling. And very much like her turn as a decaying ex-girlfriend in Life After Beth, in Ingrid Goes West she mashes together terror and black comedy fearlessly. 

Ingrid’s life is a mess. Her mother has died leaving her a fat inheritance, but she’s left in a psychiatric ward after a meltdown at an old friend’s wedding. Obsessed with Instagram, hashtags about perfection and happiness and the perfect emoji to use when commenting, she’s desperate for a friend, and for someone to notice her (and more importantly ‘like’ her pictures). Discovering the seemingly perfect life of social media sensation Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen) in a magazine, she moves to LA to needle her way into Taylor’s life, no matter what the cost. 

There’s a sledgehammer subtle message here: be careful what you share about yourself online. But Ingrid Goes West isn’t sermonising and plays its concept for pitch-black laughs almost throughout. It’s genius is to make you laugh with recognition at Ingrid’s sad but harmless perpetual liking of other’s Instagram snaps, while in reality she bawls her eyes out with jealousy and loneliness. It shouldn’t be funny, and by the end writers David Branson Smith and Matt Spicer have done a nifty flip-reverse and made sure you care about Ingrid even as her behaviour becomes more repugnant, but ultimately understandable.

Ingrid Goes West is a film about phoniness, from Ingrid’s own antics to the social media celebs that she so idolises. No one here is as perfect as their profile suggests, though director Matt Spicer captures the bohemian chic of those who can afford to live a life shared between hipster cafes in LA and classy getaways in the desert of the Joshua Tree National Park. With its sun-kissed locales, and characters all stuck with their faces in their phones, it’s like an episode of Black Mirror set worryingly in the present. 

Even in its portrait of obsession and desperation, Ingrid Goes West is above all else, hilarious. Whether mercilessly mocking ideas about modern art or how people interact on social media, it’s brilliantly well observed and will have you thinking twice about your own use of Instagram. Only O’Shea Jackson Jr. emerges as a really likeable character, but even his obsession with Batman is played constantly for laughs. 

Though its ending gets suitably dark, the film doesn’t quite go as sinister or psychotic as you might expect. Despite that, Ingrid Goes West is bright, funny as hell and so full of contemporary razor-sharp insight that it will make many in the audience squirm. Fuelled by Aubrey Plaza’s hysterical performance, it’s almost #perfect. 

INGRID GOES WEST / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: MATT SPICER / SCREENPLAY: DAVID BRANSON SMITH, MATT SPICER / STARRING: AUBREY PLAZA, ELIZABETH OLSEN, BILLY MAGNUSSEN / RELEASE DATE: 17TH NOVEMBER 


Peter Turner

You May Also Like...

Exclusive: VIDEO VISION Teaser and Poster Unveiled

The Pigeon Shrine FrightFest line-up was announced yesterday (check here if you missed it), and now we can exclusively reveal the poster and teaser for Video Vision, one of the
Read More
doctor manhattan in first trailer for watchmen chapter 1 by brandon vietti

WATCHMEN CHAPTER 1 Drops Excellent First Trailer

Warner Bros. Animation and Paramount have dropped the first trailer for their animated feature, Watchmen Chapter 1, a two-part film based on the classic DC Comics. The alt-history series is
Read More
paul b. rainey graphic novel why don't you love me? cover illustration

Jennifer Lawrence To Star In A24 Graphic Novel Adaptation WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME?

Jennifer Lawrence’s projects just keep lining up, with news that A24 has optioned Paul B. Rainey’s dark sci-fi comedy graphic novel Why Don’t You Love Me and have tapped Lawrence
Read More

Pigeon Shrine FrightFest 2024 Line-Up Unleashed!

The wait is over! The line-up for the 2024 edition of Pigeon Shrine FrightFest is here. Taking place between Thursday, August 22nd and Monday, August 26th, the event will take
Read More
still from 1981 horror film possession starring sam neill

Paramount Nears Deal For Remake Of 80s Horror POSSESSION

Paramount Pictures is reportedly in the final stages of closing a deal with Robert Pattinson and Smile filmmaker Parker Finn to tackle a remake of Possession, the 1981 supernatural psychological horror movie from writer-director Andrzej Żuławski. Finn
Read More
paul mescal in the first trailer for ridley scott sequel gladiator 2

GLADIATOR 2 Debuts Fierce First Trailer

Paul Mescal and Denzel Washington don their togas in the first trailer for Ridley Scott‘s long-coming sequel movie, Gladiator 2. Starring Mescal, Washington, Pedro Pascal, Joseph Quinn (looking very sickly) and Connie Nielsen, the film is
Read More