Under the Influencer: A Funny, Unsettling Portrait of Social Media and Millennial Angst
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Under the Influencer: A Funny, Unsettling Portrait of Social Media and Millennial Angst

Alex Haughey’s new film is Under the Influencer, now available on streaming (Apple TV, Amazon). At first glance, the zany satirical comedy feels like something akin to a Harmony Korine picture, complete with dazzling color, meticulous framing (shout out to cinematographer Matthew Lynn, QC’s It Lives Inside), and strange and offbeat characterization. Quickly though, we’re pulled into something of a semi-meta experience, fluidly transitioning between the act of an aging (25) social media influencer, and the real-life goings-on concerning her and her team as her brand begins decreasing in popularity.

The first two acts of the film are an exquisite, exhausting blur, putting us experientially in the shoes of Tori (Taylor Joree Scorse). When we’re not focusing on the painstaking lengths Tori goes to maintaining her brand, other scenes are peppered with a light suspense highlighting a surprising frailty (an unclarified medical diagnosis, a potential quarter life crisis, and an increasing sense of isolation as the desperate artificialities begin to grow). The last act of the film, however, takes an abrupt and surprising turn. It’s not something one would expect, but by the time the final frame flashes across the screen feels oddly perfect. It adds to the delightful weirdness of Tori’s singular aesthetic, and the world she has built around her to support said traits.

Director Haughey states, “On the surface, the movie is a cautionary tale about the dangers of the digital persona. At its core, the story is of identity and how easy it is to lose track of oneself – be it in social media, politics, a job, a lifestyle, a relationship. It is an experience a lot of people relate with, and it gives the film real heart.”

Under the Influencer is distributed by leading independent sales and VOD aggregator Vision Films, licensing, marketing, and distributing over 800 feature films, documentaries, and series from some of the most prolific independent film producers in the world. CEO and Managing Director Lise Romanoff states, “Although Under the Influencer is a fun and funny look behind the scenes of a popular social media content creator, it is also a reminder that what matters most is being your authentic self and sometimes, one has to completely disconnect to connect.”

Writer/Director: Alex Haughey (“Prodigy”)

Producers: Anna Grigorian, Masha Ko, Marlaina Smith, Kelton White, Alex Haughey

Cast: Taylor Joree Scorse, Spencer Vaughn Kelly, Chandler Young, Zach Paul Brown

The single “Used to Be” written and performed by Taylor Joree Scorse is available for download.

The film is available for purchase and rental on Apple TV. It is also available on the following.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/amzn1.dv.gti.8e29d5bb-c29e-467d-ae7d-66aaad4917e7?autoplay=0&ref_=atv_cf_strg_wb

Vudu: https://www.vudu.com/content/browse/details/Under-the-Influencer/2635837?cmp=OrganicSearch~Vudu~GoogleWatch

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyzszVSaLq0

Troy Johnstone

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