Broadly, when it comes to the genre’s modern era, “travel horror” dates back to The Hills Have Eyes and includes the likes of Tourist Trap, Hostel, Turistas, Wrong Turn, The Rental (feel free to check out that podcast) and of course, more recently, the hit film, Midsommar.

Influencer is the latest entry in what could be described as tourist horror, directed by Calgarian Kurtis David Harder, and has a neo-noir-ish feel and a super unique local that really puts it a cut above and definitely makes it worth your time (currently streaming on Shudder).

Set in Thailand, the movie focuses on a bored, titular influencer (Madison, played by Emily Tennant), who is experiencing Lost in Translation ennui while abroad ’cause her boyfriend is too busy to join her. She lolls about in a hotel bar and eventually connects with a mysterious figure, CW, expertly portrayed by Canadian actress, Cassandra Naud, who shows her the ropes.

Tune into this episode of the podcast and subscribe.

Discussion includes:

  • Whether travel really broadens the mind
  • Travel writers like Pico Ayer
  • Alberta, Canada as a focal point for the genre recently, and horror movies including Skinamarink
  • Whether there is anything new to experience abroad given social media’s broad reach
  • Travel influencers like Sarah Funky, Here Be Barr who offer travel trips to those wishing to visit New York, and others
  • Travel proclivities by Americans in Europe
  • Cassandra Naud and the film narrative
  • Inspiration for Influencer and back-backer culture in Thailand