Eerily accurate to some degree in its commentary on the need to be "liked" on social media and the dependency some have on their phones, Ingrid Goes West is a black comedy that will either make you think twice about your next social media post or make you want to post more frequently. Don't worry, I'm not here to judge.
Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) lives her life on Instagram. Instead of posting though, Ingrid spends most of her time stalking the lives of others through the app that millions around the world utilise. When Ingrid discovers the profile of Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), an Instagram star, she heads to LA to force her way into Taylor's life with some disturbing results.
It feels odd to be reviewing Ingrid Goes West without using copious amounts of emojis and hashtags. Not that I'd normally do that anyway but for a film that hones in on the use of social media platforms, it'd be rather fitting. Matt Spicer's directorial debut is a rather impressive and poignant affair, the ease of how something like this could be done in real life the most striking thing for me. It could have been extremely over the top in its narrative but Spicer keeps the film's feet firmly on the ground with a more realistic approach.

Spicer, along with his writing partner David Branson Smith, deserve praise for their writing on this film. It's not designed to be the funniest film ever however, their writing of the interactions between Ingrid and Taylor in particular make the film both entertaining and disturbing.
Of course, good writing needs a cast capable of bringing such believability to proceedings. Ingrid Goes West certainly has that, the particular star of the piece being the film's lead, Aubrey Plaza. We've seen Plaza play unhinged before in Legionhowever, she's even scarier here due to the realness of the film. Without doubt this is Plaza's best performance to date. She's joined by a supporting cast who all play their parts well, particularly Elizabeth Olsen as the stereotypical "fake" Instagram star and O'Shea Jackson Jr. as Ingrid's landlord inadvertently dragged into Ingrid's web of lies.
With smart writing, strong performances and a relevancy in today's world, Ingrid Goes West is a small budget independent film that might just make a lasting impression on those in the world more obsessed with other lives than their own.

Verdict: ★★★★


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