May 29, 2023

Influencer (2023): Movie Ending, Explained


Influencer (2023) Movie: ‘Influencer’ is a new mystery thriller film streaming on Shudder. The horrifying tale shows American social media influencer Madison’s journey in Thailand. She travels for a solo backpacking trip and meets CW by a chance encounter. They travel together with ease, and this new friend gives her a tour of this foreign land. Neither of them realizes the terrifying ride that awaits them.

Directed by Kurtis David Harder, the psychological thriller is written by him along with Tesh Guttikonda. It stars Cassandra Naud, Emily Tennant, Sara Canning, Rory J Saper, Justin Sams, and Paul Spurrier.

*Spoilers Ahead* 

Influencer (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

What is Shudder’s Influencer about?

‘Influencer’ begins with an aerial shot of a woman lying on a beach. After giving this eerily mysterious start, the film shifts to a more cheerful tone. We meet Madison (Emily Tennant), who travels to Thailand for a solo backpacking trip. She is a social media influencer and wants to give a tour of this tropical land to her fans through her posts.

Madison does all the things that such influencers do, get entry into lavish places, and click photos to entice her fans to aspire to have a life like hers. She feigns excitement toward her adventures even though her life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. She sees her boyfriend, Ryan (Rory J Saper), enjoying his time without her.

Nevertheless, Madison updates all the fun journey details on her social media account and lets her fans know the amazing places she is visiting. Back in her room, she speaks with her friend, Jay (Justin Sams). She is upset that Ryan is not with her as he was supposed to. Jay tries to cheer her up.

How do Madison and CW meet?

After her call with Jay, Madison takes a photo with her free, expensive beauty product to show her fans that she has access to that kind of exclusive stuff. She switches off her smile right after. Later at night, an old British guy, Rupert (Paul Spurrier), starts hitting on her. CW (Cassandra Naud), who was sitting behind Madison, interrupts the conversation and rescues the influencer from that weird interaction.

While taking a walk with CW, Madison opens up about her struggle with loneliness. CW offers to show her around the mystical land so that she won’t keep dwelling on it. The next day, she takes Madison on a bike ride to show some gorgeous scenes around the island. After some sightseeing, they stop at a restaurant for some food. Since Ryan’s not there, the girls decide to have some fun with two other guys.

Madison walks up to her room to find its door wide open. Turns out someone broke in and stole her passport and other documents. CW speaks with the staff and gets an application for Madison for a replacement. Besides, she also offers Madison to join her for two weeks instead of staying worried sick in her room.

Later at night, Madison has a video call with Ryan and tells him about the stolen passport. He gets angry that she has decided to prolong her stay. While she is about to break up with him, he asks her to call later to talk it out. She cuts the call and decides to have fun on a trip with CW instead.

The two travel to a nearby island by boat. It offers several opportunities for scenic views for Madison to capitalize on. After having fun in nature, Madison returns to CW’s place. Early in the next morning, CW rides a motorboat and takes Madison to a remote island. Madison gets worried since there is no reception. But she chooses to see it as a break from her worries.

Later at night, the two light up a bonfire. Madison casually mentions her worry – Is CW going to kill her? CW says that she won’t kill her but leave her there. She says how Madison would struggle to find food or drinkable water in the area on the island or a way to contact the outside world. They both laugh about how ludicrous that sounds.

Afterward, they start speaking about their views on social media. CW says that she doesn’t hate social media as much as how it allows those like Madison to think they are the center of the universe. Madison gets a bit upset but, in her drunken state, blabbers about how the story is about hers – thus, proving CW’s point.

The next morning, while Madison is asleep on the sand, CW packs all their stuff and sneaks out. While the actual influencer is stuck on that remote island, CW enjoys living Madison’s lavish life. She poses with the locals wearing Madison’s dress and then alters her face later before posting the photos online. She carefully steals Madison’s identity and reveals that Madison has decided to take a break from social media.

CW roams around, enjoying Madison’s wealthy lifestyle. But it doesn’t satisfy her as much as she may have thought. She soon stumbles upon a post from Jessica (Sara Canning), another influencer who came to Thailand for a solo backpacking trip. She follows this woman based on her social media history and then manages to find a chance to bump into her. She shares a piece of advice to seem more knowledgeable. But that trick doesn’t work on Jessica as it did with Madison.

A still from Influencer (2023)

As a result, CW decides to pose as Jessica’s passionate follower. She meets her again, this time in a bar, and begins with an awkward interaction. Jessica asks whether she followed her. Under the guise of being transparent, CW feeds Madison’s sad story as hers. She says her boyfriend left her to explore Thailand on her own. She portrays herself as a damsel in distress that Jessica would feel she should help. That’s how she gets a chance to be a close part of Jessica’s life.

Why does Ryan suddenly come to Thailand?

Later, CW steals Jessica’s room card. While Jessica bails out on her for some work, CW enters her room. Through that, she manages to lure Jessica into her plan. She then takes the influencer to Madison’s place the way she did before. But to her shock, Ryan had come there to surprise Madison with a candlelight dinner. CW says that she is a friend of Madison’s and that Madison’s away. He reveals that he owns the place. CW tries not to let her secret be revealed.

The next morning, Ryan receives a call from Madison. He starts thinking it is, in fact, his girlfriend. However, it was CW who called him and shared messages through a prompter. He assumes that Madison wants to stay on her own for the time being. Right after, Jessica asks CW to show her around the island. Since Ryan offers to do so instead, CW joins them – so that her plan with Madison won’t be revealed.

While CW orders food for them, Ryan tells Jessica that someone broke into Madison’s room. Since the same happened to her, she gets suspicious about CW’s intentions. She also brings up that subject in further discussion. But CW diverts that blame by saying the break-in incidents are frequent in their area.

Why does Jessica decide to leave CW’s place?

Later at night, CW notices that Jessica sent a message on Madison’s phone to ask about the break-in incident. She then sneaks out without CW and Ryan. CW returns to their place to find a cab outside. The driver was there to pick up Madison at another place. CW pays him off and meets Jessica inside.

CW tries to make her not leave in one way or the other. But Jessica insists on it. Besides, she also shares her suspicion about CW. Since the cat’s out of the bag, CW tries to cover up her fear. She ends up hitting Jessica repeatedly. Since Ryan returns with some of his friends, she hides Jessica’s bloodied body inside a suitcase.

CW tells Ryan to leave the place since Madison does not want him there. He does not pay heed to her intimidation. Eventually, CW learns that Ryan posted a photo of her on his feed. To get access to his phone, she concocts another plan. The next morning, she apologizes to him and allows him to stay for the time being.

Ryan looks at Madison’s social media feed and finds a photo from a date after their break-up with another man. He brings it up to CW, who says that maybe Madison isn’t worth dating him. He reveals that he introduced Madison to social media and led her to fame. CW goes back to Ryan’s room with him and gets him to fall asleep. Then, she deletes the photo he posted of hers.

The next morning, Ryan wakes up to notice a condom lying nearby. He decides to flee the place right after. Once he leaves, CW burns Madison’s dress that she wore in the posts where she posed as her. She also burns Madison’s passport. Meanwhile, Ryan returns to the hotel where Madison was staying to speak with the staff. He meets Rupert, who talks about Madison meeting with CW. He also says that it is impossible for her to be away for so long due to the climate.

How does Ryan realize that CW impersonated Madison?

Ryan gets worried about Madison and calls Jay about her. He learns that Jay did not speak with her for several days either. He watches Madison’s posts after their break-up night. In one of the frames of her video post, Ryan notices CW’s birthmark on Madison’s face. He realizes that CW used a filter to impersonate his missing girlfriend online.

Influencer (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:

After finding out about CW’s secret, Ryan goes back to their place. He walks in without making any sound. He opens Madison’s diary to read her recent entries. He then attacks CW once she walks in. He ties her to a chair and confronts her – to know where Madison is.

Ryan believes CW is doing it not just for money but also because of her loneliness. CW says how people would find his story ludicrous. Eventually, she offers to take him to meet Madison.

Does Ryan get to meet Madison?

CW walks Ryan up to the boat and attacks him right before he can enter. He tries to defend himself but ultimately fails to do so. She strangles him and brings his dead body back to the boat. After taking a shower to clean the blood, she writes a post from Madison’s account to defame Ryan. Afterward, she wears the ring that Ryan was planning to give Madison.

What happens to CW in the end?

The next morning, CW notices that Ryan’s credibility is in shambles because of what she did. She later rides the boat back to the island to dump the two bodies. She steps onto the island to find marks on the wooden log, more than what she saw before. She gets worried that Madison might be on to her. So, she starts looking around while holding a shovel. She walks up a cliff and notices some movement in the water.

What happens to Madison in the end?

Before CW could have time to think, Madison approaches her from the back and hits her. While CW falls on the ground, unconscious, Madison takes that boat for a return ride. CW regains her consciousness by then and walks up to the shore. Despite seeing Madison ride away, she faintly smiles.

Related to Influencer (2022): Inside (2007) Ending Explained: Does Sarah and her baby survive by the end of the night?

Influencer (2023) Trailer

Influencer (2023) Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Influencer (2023) Cast: Sara Canning, Emily Tennant, Cassandra Naud
Where to watch Influencer

Akash Deshpande

Obsessed, fascinated, and always nerding out about cinema! You can find me in the corner of a room ruminating over the last TV series I watched.

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