Deadly Influencer (2019 Lifetime)

Deadly Influencer (2019 Lifetime)

Stars: Morgan Taylor Campbell, Abby Ross, Anne Dudek

Listen to the Lifetime Uncorked Podcast here!

Watch the movie here

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Eighteen-year-old Skylar Madison is obsessed with managing the online social media “influencer” careers of her fellow classmates and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. That includes murder. Having already gotten away with killing the most popular girl in her school, Skylar now turns her sights on managing the career of seventeen-year-old Jessica Lake, the new girl in class and an up-and-coming fashion video blogger. But Jessica’s mother Lynn Kessling suspects the truth: that Skylar is a dangerous, amoral psychopath, who’s dark secrets may be too frightening to believe!

Thoughts

Skyler is having a social media party for her friend, Monica, who has hit 200,000 followers! Monica steps out on the balcony to take a call from a TALENT AGENCY. They are going to take her to the next level and make her a real model. Skyler is having none of that and insists that SHE is Monica’s manager and pushes her over the balcony.

At the hospital, Monica’s mom (A Katherine Heigl knock off.) learns that her daughter isn’t paralyzed but is in a coma. She disapproves of social media and blames Skyler for turning her daughter into a monster. Skyler looks over Monica’s body in the hospital and gets a text from Jessica… her next social media client.

Jessica Lake does youtube videos similar to Emma Chamberlain without the crudeness. She is excited to start at a new school and to meet her new friend, Skyler. They have been emailing over the last few months.. over 200 emails. 

Skyler lives with her, NOT sister, Doreen. Doreen is Skyler’s homely cousin, who works the night shift at a diner. Apparently, Doreen was taken in by Skyler’s mom. (Who was a control freak just like Skyler.) Skyler wants to be nothing like her dead mother. 

At school, Jessica meets a “hot” jock boy named Rick and finally meets Skyler. In class, the cool substitute teacher (who looks exactly like Monica’s mom.) asks Jessica to stay after class and talk to her. Turns out the cool substitute teacher is Jessica’s mom? They have a mother/daughter talk and agree that change is good!

Monica starts to make a miraculous recovery, much to Skyler’s dismay. Skyler looks in the mirror and screams at herself. “Don’t be weak!!!!” Weak, she isn’t. Skyler orders a nurse’s outfit (with glasses!), makes fake credentials and buys a vial of something. Skyler sneaks into the hospital at night and goes to Monica’s room. Once in the hospital room, Skyler puts the liquid in Monica’s IV and kills her. She sneaks out undetected. 

Jessica and her mother talk about their philosophy on social media. The mom is not for social media, and Jessica is for it. It REALLY contrived conversation and feels very preachy. The mom even states that she doesn’t want to be “the preachy old lady.” but… she does.

Monica’s death rocks the school and the WORLD… not really. Jessica and Skyler connect about their parent’s deaths. Skyler’s mother was shot and killed (probably by her), and Jessica’s dad died too. After bonding with dead parents, we get FASHION MAKEOVER! Jessica tells Skyler to let her hair down and gives her a makeover, which literally involves taking Skyler’s hair down. Skyler is inspired and tells Jessica that is the new direction for her social media persona. Makeovers!

The new direction is a hit, and Jessica gets 2000 new followers. Jessica can’t go anywhere without her classmates, fangirling her and taking selfies. She even gets asked out on a date by Rick. (The hot jock.) Rick sets up Skyler, too, with his friend Adam. They all go on a double date but are followed by their entourage of teenage fangirls. Things don’t go well when Adam gets a little handsy with Skyler. Skyler then beats him up in the parking lot. 

Doreen is left at home, being homely. She has had enough of Skyler’s antics and looks through her laptop and researches Skyler’s mom’s death. She also sets up a fake social media account and reaches out to Jessica. Jessica calls her back and finds out that Doreen is Skyler’s cousin, and they agree to plan a surprise party? 

More social media fangirling happens at a clothing store. The store is sponsoring the video that they are recording on their iPhones. (The Dolan Twins would NEVER!)

The surprise birthday happens, and I gotta say. It is pretty lame. Skyler is less upset about the lame party and more upset about her cousin Doreen being out in public. Skyler goes to the bathroom and talks to herself in the mirror some more. She tells herself to “Don’t be weak; be in charge.” (Haha, okay?) 

In the garage, while the party is still happening, Skyler then confronts Doreen about going on her computer and sends her home in a “rideshare car.” When Dorren refuses to go, Skyler knocks her out with a baseball bat. Jessica walks in on the scene, and Skyler makes up a lie about Doreen being an alcoholic who slipped and hit her head. Doreen comes too and believes that she had too much to drink and vows to never drink again. 

Jessica doubles down on her vlog, J-Lake, and shows her mom the management contract that Skyler proposes. Jessica’s mom is concerned that it is a ten-year contract and wants to have her lawyers look it over. Skyler is not pleased to learn about the agreement not being signed, especially with Jessica receiving 95,000 followers. 

Cue MORE makeover montages. Jessica has suddenly become a hairstylist? What Jessica has not become is a good student. Her mother sits her down to talk about her grades and insists that she have a REAL life. Not a life as a social media influencer.

Doreen accuses Skyler of killing her own mother to get the insurance money and the house. She blackmails Skyler for half of her earnings from Jessica, or she will go to the police. Skyer can’t let that happen and stabs her to death in a parking lot. (She makes it look like a mugging gone wrong.) With her mother and Doreen out of the way, Skyler thinks she is finally in charge.

Jessica’s mother is concerned that death keeps following Skyler around. She has a bad feeling about the whole thing and makes an appointment to meet with Monica’s mom. Jessica starts to see what her mother is talking about when Skyler comes on really strong. Skyler has big plans to move to New York, become roommates, and start their empire. Jessica feels uncomfortable, but that doesn’t stop Jessica from posting a video and throwing a 200,000 follower party. 

Syler notices Jessica’s reservations and ties Jessica up in her sleep. Skyler tells Jessica that she is the boss, and she is in charge. Then she shouts, “MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Oh, but it is just a dream.

The next morning, Jessica tells her mom about her uneasiness with Skyler. Jessica’s mother tells her that she talked to Monica’s mother and thinks that Skyler may be responsible for Monica’s death. They then go to the hospital to speak to the nurse about the night Monica died. They review the hospital security footage and see Skyler’s car in the parking lot and see her disguised as a nurse. They know she is a killer. 

Instead of going to the police, Jessica and her mom come up with an elaborate plan. Jesica will go to the 200K party with Rick, and he will protect her? Meanwhile, Jessica’s mom will go to the police?  

At the party, Jessica is greeted by a bunch of pre-teens taking selfies with her and of course, Skyler. Skyler introduces Jessica to all her fans. On stage, Jessica thanks all of her fans and tells them that she is grateful for their support. Then her speech turns to the dark side of social media and how it can take over and ruin lives… Like Monica. The police show up and take Skyler in for questioning. As the police drag her away, Skyler screams that she made Jessica and Monica as everyone in the party films her with their smartphones. 

Jessica brings the attention back on herself and makes the following speech:

“Our true friends and true families? They’re not clicks or likes. They’re real people who love us IRL… That means in real life.” 

She then asks for a moment of silence for Monica and turns off her phone. Which prompts everyone at the party to turn off their phones in solidarity. So brave. 

Side Note

Being a social media influencer is a real job. Emma Chamberlain has over 7 million Youtube subscribers and almost 600 million views! She makes a reported $6K a day from her videos.

Minority Report: One of the fangirls. This movie had little to no representation of substance. 

Don’t forget to listen to the Lifetime Uncorked Podcast available on iTunesStitcherSpotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

Overall rating

🔪🔪🔪 (3 Knives)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime

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