"Dark Satire of People’s Social Media Obsession"
What You Need To Know:
INGRID GOES WEST has some pretty funny moments. Director and Co-Writer Matt Spicer and his cast cleverly hold a mirror up to society about people’s immoral, destructive obsession with social media. They manage to make viewers alternately laugh at and be mortified by the characters’ behavior at the same time. However, INGRID GOES WEST contains excessive objectionable content, including lots of strong foul language, some gratuitous lewd content, frequent substance abuse, and other bad behavior. Consequently, media-wise moviegoers ultimately will want to avoid INGRID GOES WEST.
(PaPaPa, B, C, LLL, VV, SS, AAA, DDD, MMM) Very strong, slightly mixed worldview about a woman, who lies and manipulates others solely to become friends with a woman, who is “famous” on Instagram, mitigated slightly by a criticism of society’s obsession with social media, and a key but brief redemptive moment of forgiveness at the end; at least 78 obscenities (including 44 “f” words) and nine mostly strong profanities; strong violence includes title character convinces person to kidnap and threaten a man who’s figured out her lies, she bludgeons him with a tire iron after he brutally beats her accomplice before leaving him for dead in the desert, bludgeoned man survives, her accomplice is left paralyzed, title character pepper sprays a bride in the eyes at her wedding reception in a scene that’s disturbing yet also played for laughs, she also pays a teenage male to punch her in the face so she can blame the bruise on another man and get him in trouble, and character tries to commit suicide by mixing pills with alcohol; strong sexual content includes fornication scene where woman dresses up as Catwoman and fools around with a man obsessed by Batman, woman offers sex to manipulate an unwitting man to pretend to be her boyfriend at a later social gathering, and title character crudely and repeatedly asks a man for sex; people drink alcohol to excess throughout movie, woman drives a borrowed truck drunk; man smokes marijuana in nearly every scene with him, cocaine is used in a couple of scenes by other characters, woman not only drives a borrowed drunk but also high on cocaine and ruins the truck’s paint job when she runs into a guardrail; and, story is built on deception and manipulation from start to finish, issues of mental stability when title character is shown being treated in a mental hospital early in the movie and is clearly mentally disturbed, title character lies to owner of a truck to borrow the truck and then breaks her promise to return truck in time for an important meeting, and kidnapping.
Social media addiction is a growing problem among Americans from their teenage years through their 30s and beyond. INGRID GOES WEST offers a dark satire about that sad situation. After opening on its title character as she crashes a wedding reception and pepper sprays its bride in the eyes for not inviting her, Ingrid quickly winds up in a mental hospital until she pretends to resolve her social-media obsession. However, the reason she wasn’t invited to the wedding a disturbing one. She had approached the bride on Instagram and manipulated her way into her life, then was left out when her ruse was discovered.
Upon her release, Ingrid soon finds a woman named Taylor living a seemingly glamorous life in Los Angeles. Cashing in a $60,000 inheritance from her late mother, Ingrid abruptly moves to L.A. to stalk Taylor and worm her way into her life. She rents a house in Taylor’s Venice neighborhood from a too-trusting guy named Dan and steals Taylor’s dog in order to meet her when she returns it.
The two become fast friends, although Taylor is unaware that Ingrid is an entirely fake person. With Taylor living a false and vacuous existence where her every move is photographed for Instagram and her “career” involves promoting products in her pictures, these two women are a seemingly perfect match.
However, as Taylor’s husband and sleazy brother start to wonder about Ingrid’s odd behavior and notice her stories don’t add up, Ingrid winds up roping in the unwitting Dan into her schemes. Her determination to avoid being caught and to grow ever closer to the online-popular Taylor escalates into a surprisingly violent turn of events and eventually some serious consequences.
INGRID GOES WEST centers on a woman who’s clearly disturbed and engages in morally abhorrent behavior toward everyone around her. Pushy, deceptive and manipulative, Ingrid is the worst person in a circle of people whose lives are shallowly centered on the empty allure of fame and materialism and on living lazy lives where the most positive character is constantly smoking marijuana.
Yet, the cast and co-writer/director Matt Spicer manage to pull off a pretty impressive feat in making it clear that they are satirizing these empty people, rather than endorsing their behavior. The movie isn’t asking viewers to root for or endorse Ingrid’s terrible tactics, but rather trying to hold a mirror up to our society that could provide uncomfortable recognition for viewers who are obsessed themselves with social media.
INGRID also masters the ability to make viewers alternately laugh at and be mortified by its characters’ behavior at the same time. The movie has many funny moments in spite of itself, akin to GIRLS TRIP, but contains excessive objectionable content, including lots of strong foul language, some gratuitous lewd content and frequent substance abuse.