Influencer | Crooked Media
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August 08, 2023
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
Influencer

In This Episode

Hey guys, Halle and Alison here. We’re taking a super amazing trip to a luxurious little island to ruin Influencer. Like and follow for more!

 

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

[theme music]:  If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.

 

Halle Kiefer: Hello. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle. 

 

Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And this is a podcast. Where we ruin a horror movie just for you. 

 

Alison Leiby: Just for all you. Halle, how are you doing? 

 

Halle Kiefer: Well, Alison, I’m not great. [laughter] I’ll be honest. 

 

Alison Leiby: Great. 

 

Halle Kiefer: I was reading an article basically about how Italy is taking lesbian mothers off of their children’s birth certificates. 

 

Alison Leiby: No. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: What? 

 

Halle Kiefer: And it’s it’s horrible for two reasons. One, that’s terrifying. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Because basically they’re trying to undermine their both parents claim [laughs] to be a parent. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And then also, you know that it’s going to give conservatives over here some ideas. 

 

Alison Leiby: Ideas. Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And there’s a quote from their prime minister. Sorry, the Minister for Parliamentary Relations. 

 

Alison Leiby: Sure. 

 

Halle Kiefer: According to Reuters said earlier this month, in Italy, marriage is only between a man and a woman, and therefore only the biological parent is the parent whose surname can be registered. 

 

Alison Leiby: Ugh. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And I just think it’s one of those things where they’re trying to split people on the legality. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Where it’s just like versus this in reality, this child has two mothers that should then have a claim to the child. So I think it’s one of those things, again, like America, we do the same thing where we get like the weeds of like and I understand the weeds are being like, well, it’s should be the biological parents, but that’s not really what a birth certificate is. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: You know. And it is, in fact, a legal document about the parents of a child. And I don’t know, it just feels like, you know, in America, obviously trans people are being stripped of their rights and we should care about that. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Obviously, and do. But also, it’s like that is a prelude to everyone under the LGBTQ umbrella having their rights stripped and people somehow. You know, I was talking to a friend of mine who’s a lawyer who worked on DOMA, and even he was saying he’s saying, like in his workplace or circle, he’s he feels like he’s being alarmist to be concerned about all this. And I think people are and I get it. It’s very scary. But I think that people are reticent to be like, oh, it’s going to be that bad. I, it’s going to be that bad [both speaking] like I don’t know what to say—

 

Alison Leiby: Like show me the time that it hasn’t gotten that bad. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Right. 

 

Alison Leiby: Like that is the course of how history works. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Why would they stop? 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. Like, it’s not like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh, we got what we wanted. Like it’s always more and more and more worse, worse, worse for these people who want to take away rights and like make a world that’s just like white and Christian. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. 

 

Alison Leiby: And straight and horrifying. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. So I don’t know. I just read about that. And it’s like, again, I unfortunately, the [laughs] having come out later in life, the thing that I’m grappling with is just sort of the political being used as a political pawn. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: But again, as women, that’s what we have there. You know, that poor 19 year old who got convicted—

 

Alison Leiby: Sentenced. 

 

Halle Kiefer: For using sentenced, has to do 90 days in prison, a felony—

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: —charge, a felony conviction, which I’m not sure what state she’s in, but I’m pretty sure that means she can’t vote. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Even after she gets out of prison cause it’s a felony. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. And I think it’s Texas. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Which is of course also what they’re doing. 

 

Alison Leiby: Or another [both speaking] I might be wrong, but I want to say that when I was I don’t know. It’s hard to conflate like that story with also them, like all of the women who are giving testimonies of their horrific—

 

Halle Kiefer: Horrific. Okay this was Nebraska. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay yeah yeah yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. Horrific shit. Yes. I, I, I, I, saw the one where this woman had to give birth to her baby. Her baby who then died in front of her. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: But what’s so hard about all of this is that they don’t care. Right. 

 

Alison Leiby: No. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And that’s why I think I was the queer part of me is why I always want to be optimistic. It’s like I know as a woman, they don’t care about her suffering. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah, of course. 

 

Halle Kiefer: But as a queer person. It’s almost like well, I feel like if you’re not more optimistic about, like, it’s sort of like you see where things are headed, right? 

 

Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And I guess as a woman, it’s just so hard not to be nihilistic when you see this. And it’s like. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: They don’t care about the testimony. They don’t care that—

 

Alison Leiby: No that’s not changing anything there. 

 

Halle Kiefer: If anything, they’re happy—

 

Alison Leiby: They know that. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Because yeah they think these women and pregnant people transmasculine people, nonbinary people, they they want those people to suffer. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: For the crime of wanting an abortion. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So what do you do? How do you have a functioning society when these people are happy about our suffering? I don’t know. 

 

Alison Leiby: I don’t know. 

 

Halle Kiefer: But we have to figure it out. 

 

Alison Leiby: We do have to figure it out. 

 

Halle Kiefer: The answer is, of course, that we have to fix our legal system. But unfortunately, to do that, we have to use our legal system, which is, you know, again, that’s that’s where we really fucked up. And we as a country—

 

Alison Leiby: It doesn’t work. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And we are bound by it. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And so it’s like there’s going to be more and more again, 19 year old, she’s serving 90 days in jail, but it’s a felony conviction so she’ll be a felon when she gets out. Which felons, it’s hard for them to get jobs to begin with. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And and [both speaking] so it’s like, oh, you are creating more and more people who, you know—

 

Alison Leiby: Disenfranchised. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Trans people and queer people like you know what I mean, it’s all like, oh, it’s all about saving the children. But then it’s like, well, what does that mean? Oh, you can’t do drag. Oh, you can’t appear trans oh you can’t appear gender nonconforming. Like it’s like you are using these religious ideas to force all of us into a very myopic, narrow version of reality. But the thing is, there’s never going to be a point where it’s enough because people always need abortion. People will always be queer and trans. 

 

Alison Leiby: Always. Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So it’s just punishment forever. I knew this. I just [?] down a different way does that make sense? I know. And it’s so hard not to be nihilistic, but I don’t know. That was I just read that lesbian thing. I’m like, that seems really not good. Another really not good stop no, no one that’s listening to this is a surprised, you know, to hear that, obviously. But anyway Alison, what are you doing? You got anything good going on? 

 

Alison Leiby: I got a package of cat food from one of our sponsors, Smalls, and it’s fresh. So it came with a bunch of dry ice and there’s so many warnings all over the dry ice packets that I like freaked out and I just put it outside. 

 

Halle Kiefer: What does it say? Because, like, it could potentially suffocate your animal. 

 

Alison Leiby: So the dry ice, it’s like a chunk that comes like it’s like sealed in plastic. And there’s like, like an it’s you know, I don’t I don’t really understand what dry ice is, but it’s—

 

Halle Kiefer: I don’t know. I don’t know either. Don’t touch it.

 

Alison Leiby: It’s like two like these two like, no and it’s like and it is like in plastic so like it is. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Okay good. 

 

Alison Leiby: You’re not supposed to touch the ice, but you could touch the plastic that’s around it. But it was like, don’t open these. And I’m like, okay. I don’t. I don’t want to. But it’s like, don’t. I’m like, I don’t feel like I can because, like, if those packages open. I guess they’re, like, dangerous. It’s like straight carbon dioxide. Or like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I.

 

Alison Leiby: You have to be in a vent—

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. 

 

Alison Leiby: So I just like the packets outside. And I was like, I will deal with this later. I didn’t want to leave them like Rizz nibbles on shit. Like, I don’t want—

 

Halle Kiefer: Oh exactly. Yeah.

 

Alison Leiby: Like, or like, if it, like, accidentally bursts. Cause, like, the temperature in here, like. So they’re just outside melting. And I’m like, well, when they melt, what do I do? 

 

Halle Kiefer: I don’t know. I think you could just throw them away. But I suppose you just don’t want to gas your cat inadvertently behind you while recording—

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah or like, you know, putting up down the trash chute and, like, suffocating whoever is doing the trash in the building. Like, I just. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. So it’ll by the time this comes out. It’ll have been too late, but I’ll probably just throw them away when they’re fully melted. I think it’s when they’re still cold that it’s more dangerous. I’ll wrap it in a million things and toss it down the chute. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And yeah, I think the main thing is to be in a ventilated area. You don’t want to like just put it in a closet or like a garbage chute. 

 

Alison Leiby: No. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And then it’s just building up in there. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. So I think I’ll leave them outside till they’re melted because that feels. Better?

 

Halle Kiefer: Safer? I trust you. I trust that you’re doing the right thing. 

 

Alison Leiby: I’m gonna look it up when we get off of this. But I was like, at least while we’re podcasting, I’m going to leave those outside, so in case something happens, it’s outside. 

 

Halle Kiefer: No, I think you’re making the right decisions. 

 

Alison Leiby: Maybe it’ll gas all of the lantern bugs that are flying around. 

 

Halle Kiefer: If you figure out that’s how to get rid of them, you will be lauded as a hero. 

 

Alison Leiby: I will get a Nobel Science Prize, I’m sure. 

 

Halle Kiefer: This is for the for the dumbest person to ever be a genius. 

 

Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Gorgeous. 

 

Alison Leiby: My goal. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Halle Kiefer: All right. Fabulous. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: We are continuing our vacation horror theme for August. We hope you get to have a little moment to yourself. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Just go somewhere or go somewhere in your mind. 

 

Alison Leiby: Mentally. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Just sit there and think about a vacation. But we are in doing a movie that I saw the trailer for, it was like, this absolutely is up my fucking alley is called Influencer. It is from 2022 directed by     Kurtis David Hard, Harder, great name. Who co-wrote the movie with Tesh Guttikonda and it is an influencer in Thailand. It is somebody living the life and then of course, the life behind the veil. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Alison. We always like to have her watch a trailer for the film we were doing. What are your thoughts about the trailer for Influencer? 

 

Alison Leiby: This is a good trailer. I’m like excited for this one. This feels like there’s a lot of like, who are you really?

 

Halle Kiefer: Hell yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah, and that’s a fun world to be in. And I also I’m just like, I think we’re finally at the point with influencer culture in the same way that I think a few years ago at least horror finally got right, like social media narratives where it’s like, okay, now it’s not just like this weird device to you. Like we understand how to actually, like, adapt it to film and like, make stories about it that feel, you know, interesting, like, not interesting, but like, grounded in, like the reality of what we’re talking about. So like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: I think some of, like the fun, like unfriended, like some of those where I’m like, yes, this captures like what the scary part of this is. Like, I feel like this seems like a good take on influencer and lifestyle culture. But, you know, I. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah, it’s integrated into the horror rather than we’re either ignoring the fact that everyone would be on their phone. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. Right.

 

Halle Kiefer: Or treating it like some exotic thing where it’s like no, no. We all know these people. We know these people exist. 

 

Alison Leiby: Exactly. 

 

Halle Kiefer: We we it’s unfathomable to understand how there’s so much money. But I mean I guess I just that’s that’s what an influencer is, is it’s a total integration of the brand of self and the brand of whatever corporation you work for. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And the impact of that. And when you do that, who can take advantage of you is sort of the I think the idea behind influencer. We always like to take a baseline scary to see where Alison’s at with the the baseline premise of the film. How scary do you find the concept of befriending someone while on vacation Alison?

 

Alison Leiby: Terrifying. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Have you ever done such a thing? 

 

Alison Leiby: No. 

 

Halle Kiefer: I don’t think I haven’t really been on a lot of vacations. 

 

Alison Leiby: Or wait when I was in college on spring break once with a couple of friends, like we ended up like, hanging out like some girl got kind of, like, separated from her group. And we were a group of four girls and two guys and some girl kind of like ended up like getting separated from her group we’re in Mexico, so she ended up like, hanging out with us and like, crashing with us in a way that like. Yes. In like the wrong narrative, like she is robbing us and killing. But like, we were like, this is safer for her if she just stays with us. Then like, this is I mean, I guess technically we had cell phones, but I don’t think that we were even like using cell phones that are in 2004. In this way. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I think this movie does sort of get into like there is some there’s a fantasy element to this, obviously, because in reality it’s like, no, no, it’s probably just better to hang out with someone most people are not. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Murderers or going to steal your identity. Yeah. So she made the right call—

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. And she was really nice. Um, like, you know, slept on our floor. And she was, I think, trying to hook up with our friend’s friend Tony. And I was like, whatever. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: And she was fine. But it’s like, I do see the alternate reality where, like, she was predatory and, like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. 

 

Alison Leiby: Came into our group and was like, I’ll, I’ll trick these assholes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: [?] off one by one. Exactly. And then knowing what you know from the trailer and our brief discussion, Alison, would you like to guess the twist in Influencer? 

 

[voice over]: Guess the twist. 

 

Alison Leiby: I’m going to guess that the woman who is the influencer that we meet is like the third version of this woman. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Ooh. 

 

Alison Leiby: And she’s just like taking over like like her online identity is like a cat. Like. Like, that’s not who she is. That there’s this. And so, like, she’s. Like people become this person and, like, take on and kill whoever was being her. 

 

Halle Kiefer: I love this. 

 

Alison Leiby: You understand what I’m saying? Yes?

 

Halle Kiefer: I fucking do and—

 

Alison Leiby: Cool. 

 

Halle Kiefer: —it’s a great idea Alison. 

 

Alison Leiby: All right, well, if it’s not [both speaking] we’ll write it. 

 

Halle Kiefer: You do come out. I feel like with such bangers, I guess it’s like we should write it down. Like, I guess we could just listen to our own podcasts. 

 

Alison Leiby: But who would wanna do that, besides all of you wonderful people.

 

Halle Kiefer: To listen to your own voice? Yeah, thank you for doing that. 

 

Alison Leiby: Your own voice. Yeah, but your own voice is a particular level in hell that I think a lot of people until very recently have not had to deal with in the way that like comedians have had to. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah, that’s a really good point. Now we all hear ourselves talking. We’re all making videos about how great our lives are hearing us spinning yarn to ourselves about the paradise we live in. Let us begin Alison, ruining, Influencer. We open on ominous music over a gorgeous little tiny island. Little teeny, tiny island island. 

 

Alison Leiby: Very small island. 

 

Halle Kiefer: I almost wrote an atoll. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know why I thought I could use a word. I don’t know. 

 

Alison Leiby: Not me. 

 

Halle Kiefer: We zoom over the tiny beach and we see a blond woman face down in the surf. 

 

Alison Leiby: Great. 

 

Halle Kiefer: We then meet up with Madison, who is our influencer, the blonde in the trailer, ostensibly the blonde who we saw face down on the beach a moment before. She is narrating. She is a travel influencer, so she’s narrating her videos and her style is like she’s like there’s still photos of her. And then there’s mostly video of like this incredible resort and like, meeting the people of Thailand. Excuse me. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh God. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And she’s talking about like, you know, I’m experiencing Thailand like it was meant to be experienced out of my comfort zone. We, of course, see her. She doesn’t leave the resort. She is eating hamburgers. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She’s taking selfies by the pool. She’s not experiencing Thailand in any way. 

 

Alison Leiby: She’s experiencing a hotel. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah, she might as well be in Cleveland, you know. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. Which, like, I mean, who doesn’t want to go to a hotel? But, like, it’s false advertising. 

 

Halle Kiefer: What are you doing? Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And she. We see her. She’s kind of, like, holed up in her room, and she’s sad because her boyfriend, Ryan, was not able to come with her. So the idea is like they’re going for a week. Ryan is kind of with her. Coming, come with her. She ended up staying an extra week, I think, to try to get more sponsorship. So she has sponsors. She’s very successful. And as much as like you can be successful and make money even if no, you’re not like someone who people actually know. You know what I mean?

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah, right. No. It’s numbers.

 

Halle Kiefer: But if you have millions of TikTok followers. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. Or even just views on enough stuff like it is. Just like, here’s some money. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And we’ve all seen this where it’s like people who live young, beautiful people who have like incredible lives and you’re like, how the fuck do you travel like this? 

 

Alison Leiby: No, it’s so confusing. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Like, most people can’t see a fucking doctor. Like, what are you doing here? And of course, it sort of consumed her life, and she’s really disappointed her boyfriend couldn’t come. And she’s looking at his Insta stories and sort of mourning the fact that this could have been, you know, something different. And we saw the pool and we see climbing out the pool with your beautiful brunette woman with a big facial birthmark, which we also see in the trailer. Madison FaceTime’s with her friend Jay, who lives back in L.A., and he’s telling her about this very disappointing hookup he had. And he’s like, I’m so sorry, I should have gone with you, because apparently Ryan bailed. She offered the extra ticket to Jay, and it’s like, who are these people that I would I would quit my fucking job to go somewhere like this. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah I’d walk away from everything I know and love to have a free trip to Thailand. 

 

Halle Kiefer: I would call Jigsaw and give them my parents home address if it meant [laughter] I can go to fucking Thailand. You know what I mean? But you know, he’s like, I’m sorry. I should have gone with you. And we see her open up container of face cream and Jay’s immediately jealous. He’s like, oh, my God, you bitch. That whole line isn’t even out yet. So again, she’s also a makeup skincare influencer and again she’s like a beautiful young blonde woman.

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. That’s what they all look like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: You know, someone who will use white supremacy our obsession with use of beauty to make money, you know, we’re all out here. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And he tells her, like you’re living the life like, that’s amazing you have all these sponsors. Could you please tell Ryan to get me on their PR list? So Ryan was kind of her Svengali, sort of like he already worked in social media. He was already in the influencer scene and was able to leverage her as his girlfriend to where she’s at. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And but Madison says, I’ll be honest, this whole experience kind of makes me feel like I’m hitting a wall, like I need to be fucking doing something else. And I don’t know, like me and Ryan. But Jay says, look, the man put you up for a week in paradise. Like, listen, you can’t, like, criticize him all you want. Like, look where you’re at.

 

Alison Leiby: Right.

 

Halle Kiefer: And Madison says yeah, you’re right. But he was supposed to be here with me, and that was kind of the whole point of this. That night she goes to a hotel bar alone and she takes a selfie drinking a martini, which looks so fucking good. And I’m not really even a martini gal. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah, but it’s just when it’s right, it’s right.

 

Halle Kiefer: It looks so cold. As she does, this older British expat named Rupert kind of sidles up to her to run some old British man game on her, you know? 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, okay. All right bud. And also it’s February so I think we’re to understand this is like a part of the rainy season because it’s very overcast. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And the resort’s not bustling, you know like there are people. 

 

Alison Leiby: So it’s like off season. 

 

Halle Kiefer: It’s off season. Yeah. And she says, oh, great, what brings you to Thailand, Rupert? And he says, the wonderful women, I’m kidding. I just didn’t like Britain. It’s so rainy. Plus I wanted to get rid of all get away from all the horrible women in Britain. You know.

 

Alison Leiby: Cool guy. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So Madison says okay, all right. Looks like—

 

Alison Leiby: That’s enough. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Fortunately, the woman with the facial birthmark comes over to the bar and says to Rupert, take a hint, okay? And Rupert kind of sputters. And the woman who we find out her name is CW turns to Madison and says, you know, I’m going to go for a walk if you want to join me. This could have been the start of an amazing lesbian romance. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: But sadly, Alison, we are not headed in that direction. 

 

Alison Leiby: No. 

 

Halle Kiefer: When I write the reboot, that’s what’s— 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes, yes, let’s write that movie. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And there’ll be no murder. It will just be two women falling in love. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah, like gently over a week long vacation in paradise. [laughs]

 

Halle Kiefer: It is. I mean. I mean, it is. It looks incredible. 

 

Alison Leiby: Like I have not been to Southeast Asia. And it it’s like one of the things where I’m like, I don’t know if I could ever travel that far, but boy, I want to. Like everyone I know, has been like it is the most beautiful place on earth. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Gorgeous. Stunning. And we see a lot of it. It is. It is beautiful. So again, what would that movie have been made? I would have enjoyed it. But they’re strolling along. So this beautiful lagoon. And Madison’s telling CW this sob story about being rich and her boyfriend not coming. It’s like, okay, all right. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: You know, like life could be worse. And CW says to Madison, what are your plans tomorrow? Alison, we then see them scootering at dawn and hiking up a beautiful mountain peak to watch dawn fall over this town. 

 

Alison Leiby: Wow. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Madison starts to record a video and turns to catch CW in the video and CW covers her face. So there’s this ongoing thing where CW doesn’t want to be recorded, and everyone attributes it to this very large facial birthmark. That’s not why, but it offers it provides her a convenient excuse. 

 

Alison Leiby: That people won’t like prod. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: It’s like, oh, yeah, okay, you’re self-conscious about that thing. Sure. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Exactly. 

 

Alison Leiby: Not that it’s probably extremely identifiable. [laughs]

 

Halle Kiefer: Well, and that does come up a lot where I’m like, you just kind of think if you’re in Thailand for a number of weeks, you’re a white woman with a very a beautiful, stunning white young white woman with a huge facial birthmark. People are going to maybe take notice. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: People are going to say, hey, who’s this gal? But we see them Madison, CW, they meet elephants, they go to a night market, they eat incredible food. And we see Madison taking photos of her food and CW’s chastising her and sort of denigrating like, I’m not even on social media, just eat your food when it’s hot. Don’t take a photo. And she asked Madison about your boyfriend. Her boyfriend, Ryan, and Madison kind of doesn’t answer. And CW spots two age appropriate, handsome white men, obviously other tourist. Next thing you know, the girls are hanging out with these guys, having the night of their lives. They’re having drinks on the beach like, you know, and Madison obviously feels guilty about having fun without Ryan there. So get back to the resort. They hug Madison tells CW, I wish I met you sooner. I’m going to I’m supposed to leave, you know. And CW said, I had a great time. Alison. Madison walks up to the door of her villa, searching her bag. She looks up, the door is standing open. She runs in. All of her shit has been rummaged through. And her passport has been stolen. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh, boy. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She calls CW, meets her the lobby, and CW kind of acts as someone who has been in Thailand a lot longer and is sort of like Madison doesn’t ask the tough questions about how this woman lives. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: First of all. 

 

Alison Leiby: I just need all the answers, like personally, but also like when you’re alone and you’re in another country, thousands and thousands halfway across the world from where you’re from, like just kind of vet people a little deeper than—

 

Halle Kiefer: Agreed. And I mean, I’m sure again, having never been in a place like this, I’m sure it’s full of like the children of the very wealthy. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Like, you kind of just assume that Madison’s [both speaking] I think that everybody else to be like. She’s also that as well. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So she kind of is. And then this passport, passport being stolen, it kind of bonds her to CW as the only person she knows in the country, right? 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So CW kind of helps her as an interpreter and says, hey, you have to fill out this police report. This is going to take two weeks to get a new passport and we’ll have to go to Bangkok to the embassy for you to pick it up. But you don’t have to worry about paying for a hotel room. You could come stay at my place. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Right. And CW said, honest to God, I was just going to bum around. And Madison does sort of ask like so do you not really have family or like, you don’t have a home base? And Madison says yeah I have people around, but not really. I’m kind of just on my own. And Madison goes back to a room upset obviously and calls Ryan and says, I’m not going to be able to come home. She’s to fly out the next day and tells him the whole thing with the passport. And Ryan says, this is so you. And that’s how we know—

 

Alison Leiby: Getting robbed? 

 

Halle Kiefer: That’s how we know Ryan is going to die. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah, I hope so. 

 

Halle Kiefer: You cannot say. This is so you, to getting your passport stolen out of your hotel room? 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: He also says to her. I don’t understand how you let this happen. 

 

Alison Leiby: That victim blaming shit when like, it’s like. Even if she was careless. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: Like, this just isn’t the time. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And Madison, who clearly would seem that she’s been upset, but we kind of assumed it was because oh he’s not here. In reality, it seems like this is probably hitting. The relationship was coming to an end. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And she has, at least in this moment, a reasonable response, which is I’ve been thinking about this for the past couple of weeks. I think we need to break up. And Ryan says, how about you call me in the morning when you’ve calmed down? 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And she hangs up on him. Of course, on her social, Madison doesn’t say anything about the passport, which I’m like, if anything, that’s people like influences that are authentic, you know? So if anything, you should say it. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah here’s the messy side of my beautiful—

 

Halle Kiefer: My life looks perfect, but actually, like I am a person too like, that’s what people want. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Instead, she puts a happy face on saying, you know what? I met a friend and I’m going to stay here for two more weeks because I’m ready for a new adventure. I’m ready to like, do me, you know, and they have an amazing time Alison. 

 

Alison Leiby: Couldn’t be me. 

 

Halle Kiefer: We see they take a boat ride, they go into a cave, they look up and see a bat. Madison’s journaling. They have like those sort of like where it’s like a platform that extends over the water and there’s a little sort of like free standing structures I don’t know what you call that, but they’re hanging out like a shade area. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She’s writing in her journal and CW’s encouraging, like post all of it, you know, and they take a ferry and it’s interesting I was doing because they did shoot, I’m assuming they shot this during a rainy season or off season because it’s very cloudy and gray and foggy. It’s gorgeous, but it’s not what you sort of like for influencers to go to Thailand, you imagine you be going when you get those insane views like these beautiful vistas? But it looks beautiful. They get off the ferry where they’re going to CW’s house, basically. And Ryan’s texting Madison like, fine, don’t call me. I see how it is. Like I’ve tried to talk to you. So she’s not engaging. She’s sort of stopped replying. They get out the ferry and CW unveils a fucking sickening motorcycle, which is just waiting. 

 

Alison Leiby: Cool. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And Madison gets in the back and they drive to the CW’s house, which is a rich person’s all glass mansion in the middle of the fucking jungle. 

 

Alison Leiby: God. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Again. This should be a lesbian travel dramedy. [laughter] What are we doing? In the. Once they get inside and obviously Madison is blown away. Beautiful, incredible house. And she finds a book that’s called The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. Again, hilarious. And she opens a cover, but it’s not CW, it’s Becky Wilson. She doesn’t ask about that. You have to ask, who’s Becky Wilson? As soon as you see that name. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She puts the books down, doesn’t answer, and then CW prepare, like an elaborate fish dinner. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. Love that. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Gorgeous, and Madison looks up things to do. Like, oh, what should we do in the area? And CW  says you don’t have to plan anything. I actually have a surprise for you. And look, Madison, I know you’re straight, but if a beautiful woman takes you on a motorcycle to her mansion of the jungle where she prepares you fish by hand, she either wants to make you her bride or she’s going to murder you. That’s it.

 

Alison Leiby: That’s it. Those are the choices. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Those are the only two options. 

 

Alison Leiby: She’s not like your gal pal now. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And to not have her at least be like, oh, I’m so. I just want to be clear. Like, I’m straight or whatever. Like, it’s like, I just didn’t want you to, like, think or just to not have that even raised as her character to be like, oh, it seems like this is kind of romantic—

 

Alison Leiby: Romantic. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And you have a surprise for me. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: I don’t want to give you the, like, disappoint you or give you the wrong impression. They don’t address that at all. Which just like if it’s not romantic, girl, she’s going to murder you. You don’t know—

 

Alison Leiby: That’s all that’s left. 

 

Halle Kiefer: This is either a lesbian mating ritual or she is going to take your skin and wear it. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: There’s a monarch butterfly dancing outside my window right now. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. The opposite of the spotted lanternflies that land on my door. 

 

Halle Kiefer: I know. Another great thing about living in L.A. is you constantly see butterflies. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. Gorgeous. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And again, Madison’s not really interested in CW back story. Like, where’d that motorcycle come from? Or like, who’s—

 

Alison Leiby: What’s happening? 

 

Halle Kiefer: What’s happening? How’s this possible? You know? And again, I’m assuming she’s thinking, oh, yeah, she’s just like the rich. 

 

Alison Leiby: Some rich girl. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She’s the daughter of a Lockheed Martin partner, you know? 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. 

 

Halle Kiefer: The next morning, it’s. It’s at blue dawn super early. They go to the dock, and there’s a little motorboat, also owned by CW. And again, want to be like. Where do you how do you just. And she can, lie, but just to even ask the question. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. Just ask the questions. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And Madison starts to film herself. And CW stops her and says, wait till we get there. I don’t want you to record this part. At this point, if you aren’t trying to have sex with this woman, I’m not going to the island. Like, it’s just sort of like whatever’s happening on the island. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: It’s like we’re either going to make love or you’re going to cut my head off. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And put it on a pipe. 

 

Alison Leiby: That’s it. 

 

Halle Kiefer: That’s it. They arrive at Alison, the tiny island we saw at the beginning of the movie, where, unfortunately, Madison was face down in the sand. They get off, Madison, walks over a fallen log, and then we see that someone has scratched seven dashes in the wood. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Doesn’t ask. Didn’t say, Hey, look at these dashes. Hey, come look at this. Somebody carved seven dashes. 

 

Alison Leiby: Like file it away at the very least. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Alison, she looks at her phone. No service. And the implication is that they’ve been boating for an hour. This is the this is not somewhere where you can swim to land. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: You are in the ocean, right? They stay all day, they drink like they eat again. They should be having sex. But again, it’s never addressed.

 

Alison Leiby: That’s not what this is for some reason.

 

Halle Kiefer: It’s nightfall. They start a fire and Madison says, you know, I haven’t been in front of a fire in decades. Like, I remember I used to know this girl who would tell me like the most gruesome, like campfire stories. And I bet she would say that you brought me here to kill you. And CW says, no, I’m not going to kill you. 

 

[clip of Cassandra Naud]: But I am going to leave you here. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And she starts to describe what will happen. You can’t drink the water. You’ll scavenge for food. But it’s a very small island. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: After a while, you’ll start seeing things as you become more dehydrated. But the thing is, it’s not going to be. People think it’s going to be unpleasant or it’s going to hurt. You’re actually going to become euphoric because your brain will start to shut down. And if you’re like most people, you’ll last for three or four days without water because there’s water surrounding us. But it’s salt water. You can’t drink it. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And like all the other girls, no one will come looking for you and you’ll just fade away into history as the sand crabs eat your flesh. Alison, what would you do if you heard such a thing? 

 

[voice over]: What would you do? 

 

Alison Leiby: I I’d go climb in the boat and be like, you’re going to have to remove me from this boat. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah, you got to get you have to get in your ape rage. You have to fucking freak out.

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah like get ahead of this. I have no problem killing her if I have to. 

 

Halle Kiefer: 100%. 

 

Alison Leiby: As somebody who knows how to use a boat, I feel like I could get myself back to land. That’s not everyone. But I think—

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah I was gonna say that would be my problem is, like, even if I was able to overpower her and get back to the boat and start the engine, which is our big ifs, I feel like I would just go straight into the middle of the ocean to die. [laughter] Like I wouldn’t know which way to go back. I would just go straight to the Pacific and they would ever find me. 

 

Alison Leiby: I think like I think, yeah, I certainly grab something near me that’s a weapon and be like, we’re both going back. I’ll never say anything about this as long as you let me you bring you take me to the hotel. 

 

[AD BREAK] 

 

Halle Kiefer: Alison, Madison starts laughing. 

 

Alison Leiby: Of course. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She says, oh my God, that’s so funny. That’s so crazy. But she says, the only thing is the one flaw, people would notice I’m gone. And CW says, I mean, let’s be honest. You sell products to little, girls. You think if you stop posting, they’re going to like, come look after you. They don’t know you. 

 

Alison Leiby: That’s like all TikTok is is finding missing women at this point. [laughter]

 

Halle Kiefer: I believe I did think that, too. I was like, no, if anything they will become obsessed with her.  

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s all they’re going to talk about. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. If anything. You blow up, get way more followers. Way more views if you died and she’s and then CW says or I could take over your account. They wouldn’t even notice you were gone. I would just be posting for you. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: CW tells Madison, social media makes you think you’re at the center of the universe, but you aren’t the main character no one is. And Madison gets up and starts dancing and says, oh, but we are. We’re 100% in my story. Alison in the morning, early dawn.

 

Alison Leiby: In the morning. What? They just went to bed?

 

Halle Kiefer: They slept on the beach. We see CW smoking a cigarette.

 

Alison Leiby: How could you go to sleep? 

 

Halle Kiefer: Madison is still asleep. CW takes her bag and Madison’s purse puts them in the boat, puts the boat on the water. So Madison doesn’t wake up to the engine, pushes it out, starts it, drives away. 

 

Alison Leiby: Bye. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Alison it’s three weeks later. 

 

Alison Leiby: What? 

 

Halle Kiefer: We basically see, CW is in a brand new, even nicer mansion.

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And we see her. She has all of Madison’s information. So she has her driver’s license, her credit card. We hear her calling her credit card companies to raise her limit. She’s draining her bank accounts like she is just sort of taking stripping everything out of Madison’s life. As it is implied she has done to other people before. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So we see we then see, which I do think is interesting, because it’s like even last year, I feel like this I would have seen this and been like, well, you couldn’t really do that now, having seen deepfakes, AI—

 

Alison Leiby: Deepfakes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Like it’s like the audio deepfakes that are possible now.

 

Alison Leiby: Right. Especially when there’s—

 

Halle Kiefer: Considering Madison’s— 

 

Alison Leiby: So much of you exactly there to scrape. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. You’re so much of your face. So much of your voice. Right. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So we see her basically and we see this in the trailer where we see CW put on a blond wig, put on one of Madison’s outfits, and then go different places, take video, take photos, go home, use A.I. to essentially put Madison’s face over hers and then replicate Madison’s narration takes the money from her sponsors. Oh, my God. I was like, that’s this woman’s actually a genius. 

 

Alison Leiby: That’s a good scam, that’s a good scam. 

 

Halle Kiefer: That’s a great scam. 

 

Alison Leiby: That’s a great scam.

 

Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, it’s three weeks later, Ryan, the only person who is like, been trying to get in contact, has been texting and finally was like, okay, great. So I guess you’re really icing me out. So it’s like because he’s coming from a place where they were fighting. He does not have the ability to say, even if we’re fighting—

 

Alison Leiby: Oh that’s weird that she’s not—

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. Exactly. So he’s thinking, that—

 

Alison Leiby: This all worked out pretty well for old CW. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And it is Infinity Pool vibes. Like we keep seeing her at places where, like she’s the only person there because it’s off season. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And we see her like go to like different where there’s a bunch of ex-pats like big rowdy bars. But this is where I wrote. Like even the people in these towns, which are like, they’re not they’re like beach town, like party towns. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: For like foreign tourists. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Eventually, like the bartenders and stuff would be like, hey, have you seen that beautiful brunette woman with the huge, distinct facial birthmark. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Who keeps showing up with these blonde white women who then disappear? Like, I just feel like people in the town would be noticing this. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah, unless she’s, like, going to different places. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And I think she is. I think she’s moving around a lot. And then, I guess like, like—

 

Alison Leiby: I think that is the thing about, like, that part of the world where, like, you can bop around from beach town to beach town. Seemingly.

 

Halle Kiefer: And if you’re working in a bar like that, you’re local, how many people do you see? 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: You’re seeing hundreds of thousands of new people during these like tourist seasons. You’re not retaining this even if someone does—

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: —look really distinct, you know? I’m sure it’s just like I just have to do my job, you know? 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She goes down to the beach, we see all these, like, young people playing jump rope with a flaming rope, which I’ve seen before, and she needs a new victim. Right? So we’re three weeks on. She’s ready for another person. So CW goes on Instagram, looks up like hashtag Bangkok and to see like, who’s been posting. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh, I mean. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She’s smart. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah.

 

Halle Kiefer: The implication. Is that like, where she’s staying is, like, on the coast, and then she can travel to Bangkok to sort of meet people who are going to like the bigger city. She finds a travel influencer, another white blond named Jessica Teagan. I’m assuming related to Chrissy. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’s gotta be.

 

Halle Kiefer: Chrissy’s cousin, with 800,000 followers. Jessica is traveling alone. CW is now on the hunt. And I will say, watching this, I’m like, wow, how easily a beautiful woman can murder me. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah.

 

Halle Kiefer: And I don’t even mean necessarily conventionally beautiful. I mean, like, beautiful to me. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Or really any woman. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And why won’t she do it already? You know what I mean like. 

 

Alison Leiby: Just do it. Pull the trigger. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Just don’t make me do this anymore. [laughter] But of course, CW’s smart, she finds Jessica Teagan and approaches her at a souvenir shop. And she she her tack with Madison was, to me, the savvy one. Like I know everything. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So of course, she tries it with Jessica and says, oh, you know, this isn’t real jade. I know a place with the real stuff and it’s cheaper than this. Jessica is even more just like, doesn’t give a fuck and says, oh, I know, it’s just some bullshit for my sister. Thank you so much though. [laughter] Buys it—

 

Alison Leiby: Respect. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She’s like, oh girl, I don’t fucking care. It’s just some junk and—

 

Alison Leiby: I don’t need, don’t need the nice stuff that’s further away.

 

Halle Kiefer: Girl. I’m not, spending money on my family. 

 

Alison Leiby: And I’m like, barely here. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So then back at her hotel room CW, has to study Jessica’s Instagram and pivot, and she sees it’s one of these things where Jessica is like a be a woman. Join my team. My team is all about female empowerment. 

 

Alison Leiby: It’s like an MLM. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes, absolutely. And it’s not for a particular product. So I was like, I like that they kept it so vague. 

 

Alison Leiby: No there are MLM’s that are like just empowerment seminars now. It’s really fucked up.

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah I guess you’re like expecting to like a woman who’s doesn’t really know anything. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’s a cult. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah, you’re being drawn into a cult. Not that she doesn’t know anything but like, I think it’s like, oh, you’re looking for meaning. You’re looking for something. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: You’re abroad, alone. So then CW decides she’s the innocent, naive woman. So then she goes to Jessica’s hotel, finds her at the hotel bar is like and now is like, youthful, giggling, gushy, like, oh my God, this is so crazy. When I talked to you yesterday, I realize I follow you on Instagram and I was so embarrassed. And Jessica kind of like, just like gives her this deadpan look. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. I’m sure she’s always like oh my God.

 

Halle Kiefer: It’s like, okay, great. But when CW says, I’m sorry I didn’t want to say anything, I think you’re so great. She turns to leave. Jessica goes, you follow me? And CW knows she’s got her. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So CW and Jessica get a drink and she’s like, wow. Like my boyfriend rented this huge villa, but it’s too big for one person. And I don’t know anyone here. And I just like and basically is like, I’m a rich girl with like, no one else here. I sure would hate it if another white woman took my money and took advantage me, you know? 

 

Alison Leiby: What are all of these women doing traveling alone? And that like I like I travel alone all the time, I guess. But I don’t, like, advertise that I’m alone. Like, there’s. I don’t know. It just feels like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: It is something interesting about posting your location alone. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah it’s—

 

Halle Kiefer: That’s a fair point. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. There’s something about, like, travel going and being like, I’m here. Like, I like. I just. Just. I don’t know why I assume that, like, when people are on these, like, influencer trips, that they are not alone. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I guess that’s a good point. And I guess that makes me think of like people who post their children, like their visit, like they’re traveling with their kids. I don’t know. I don’t really know. But I mean, like if I was traveling alone—

 

Alison Leiby: And it’s a movie, obviously, like, I’m alone, like, is the thing, but like. Oy. Ladies. Be careful.

 

Halle Kiefer: I feel like I feel like I would post, I would just do without thinking, I think. [both speaking] But then I guess like with them and like, at least in Jessica’s case, I think she’s trying to be like women could do anything, including travel alone to the best fucking hotels, drink at the best bars—

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. You deserve all of this. Girl. Power.

 

Halle Kiefer: You deserve this, girl. So now, CW’s trying to be like, oh, no, I’d hate to have to pay a mentor to, like, teach me how to be a successful white woman, you know? 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: The next day Jessica is doing a photoshoot and is having CW sort of hype her up is like, oh, this obsessed fan, you know? And Jessica says, should I go hat or no hat? And she puts on a straw hat. And CW’s like you got to do the hat. It’s so good.

 

Alison Leiby: Do hat.

 

Halle Kiefer: Do the hat. And while, of course she’s doing the hat. CW puts her hand in Jessica’s purse, steals her hotel key. She’s going to do the whole passport stealing thing again. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: On the way back to hotel, Jessica says, I have to meet these sponsors. But why don’t we go out tonight? I’d love to take you out on the town. You know, obviously, we’ll take more photos, show everyone how great my life is. CW when she gets back to the hotel, immediately goes to Jessica’s hotel room, which is fucking insane. There’s like a spiral staircase to the second floor of the whole of the hotel room. We see Jessica return a little bit later. CW is smoking outside in the shadows, the best place to smoke.

 

Alison Leiby: That’s the best place to smoke. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And wouldn’t you know it? Seconds later, she gets a call from Jessica. Her passport has been stolen in her hotel room, ransacked. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh my God. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So again, the cycle begins again. So Jessica then comes to CW to stay at this new sickening house near the beach. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right, yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So, again, like this, even more beautiful. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Which she’s not paying for obviously, when they approach the door. Alison, the door is open. And there are rose petals and tea candles all down the stairwell. And they, Jessica and CW walk down the stairs and at the bottom there’s dinner and wine laid out by Ryan. Ryan’s like who are you? And CW says who are you? It’s like, oh, Madison told me she was staying with a friend. And of course, Jessica doesn’t know what the fuck’s going on, so CW says. Madison said that she told me she broke up with you. And Ryan says, well, you know, I’m actually paying for this place. So it turns out that he is the implication is that he was monitoring Madison’s finances. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: But also that she was using his credit card. So he’s like, actually, when I—

 

Alison Leiby: I know exactly what. Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. Got it. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So I came here because I saw that she had charged this house and I wanted to surprise her and win her back. So where is she? 

 

Alison Leiby: Well. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And Madison says, you know, actually, she’s out and she doesn’t want to talk to you, but I’ll let her know you’re here. And Ryan says, okay, great, no problem. You guys enjoy the food. I’m going to hang out till Madison gets here. I’ll just take her room and we’ll just. We’ll just see when Madison gets back. Alison. In the morning, Ryan gets a call from Madison. It is a deepfake voice. 

 

Alison Leiby: Deepfake voice. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And we see CW is typing it out on her laptop from another from the other room. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And she says, you know, we hear fake AI Madison say. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: We broke up. I don’t know why you’re doing this. It is inappropriate. I told you like you’re controlling. This is absurd. You need to leave. And Ryan says, I’m not leaving here until you come and tell me all this face to face. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh, boy. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, Jessica was like, I don’t know any of you bitches, but I still want to go on our excursion, and Ryan invites himself along. So now it’s a threesome. 

 

Alison Leiby: Hmm. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So they’re going to the beach, and CW is trying to do her best to never let Ryan and Jessica be alone together, because Ryan’s obviously going to be talking about Madison. And—

 

Alison Leiby: Yes and then, yeah, it’s like you got to. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Pulling at the thread. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’ll all unravel. 

 

Halle Kiefer: CW’s at the bar and Ryan says to Jessica, yeah, I was so like, the reason that Madison was staying and ended up staying with this weird woman that I don’t even fucking know is that Madison’s room at her resort got broken into and her passport got stolen. Jessica is no fucking dummy. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So now her wheels are turning, right? 

 

Alison Leiby: She’s like, well, sounds pretty familiar. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Pretty gosh darn convenient. That night there at a bar, CW again steps away to get drinks, and she has Madison’s phone on her. She gets an Instagram message to Madison’s account from Jessica, and the password says, I need to talk to you about your roommate or whoever. I met your boyfriend, Ryan. He said you had your passport stolen, and so did I. I really need to talk to you. So no one’s thinking that Madison’s dead. They don’t know about that part. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. Also, like, smart of Jessica—

 

Halle Kiefer: 100%. 

 

Alison Leiby: —to be like, let me start getting to the bottom of this instead of just being like, okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So, Jessica, at this point and Ryan, soon, you know, no surprise is going to be like, are you, you’re scamming Madison? You’re taking advantage of her. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She just broke up with a long term boyfriend. She’s in a different country. And you came in and you’re a grifter, right? So that’s what Jessica is like. I think that this person stole our passports. Let’s talk. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: CW runs over to try to talk to Jessica. Jessica’s getting into a cab. CW hops in one too,  and they end up back at the big, beautiful house. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Jessica’s grab is grabbing her luggage. She’s like, oh, you know what? Actually, I’m going to go to a hotel. I didn’t really want to put you out, but thank you for everything. And I’m gonna go. 

 

Alison Leiby: Never contact me. [laughs]

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: This was terrifying. Thank you. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And CW says, did I do something? Did I offend you? And Jessica, because say what you will. She’s a bitch. She’s a boss bitch. She’s a girl boss. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She says, yeah, I think you fucking took my passport. I think you took your friend Madison’s passport. And I think you’re taking advantage of her and sort of being weird and controlling. And Jessica reaches in her bag and hands CW, a big fistful of bills says if you want money, just take money. It means nothing to me. 

 

Alison Leiby: That’s a nice life.

 

Halle Kiefer: And CW was like, I don’t want your money. Jessica says, you know what? I should have known when I met you that first time in the store that you were bad news. Because I’ll be honest, you’re fucking creepy. Fortunately, Alison, unfortunately for Jessica, she starts to walk past CW, CW grabs her and just slams her into the wall. 

 

Alison Leiby: Jesus Christ. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And then throws her to the ground. So Jessica’s trying to crawl over. She ends up crawling out to the pool, trying to get away from her. 

 

Alison Leiby: Uh oh. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And CW’s standing over her, screaming at her. It’s like. 

 

[clip of Cassandra Naud]: I don’t want your fucking money. You entitled, bitch. 

 

Halle Kiefer: I’ll tell you what I tell all of them. No one will notice when you’re gone. They never do. Alison, Jessica has rolled over under her back, pleading for her life. And CW lifts her foot and rams her high heel into Jessica’s eye socket, killing her. 

 

Alison Leiby: Ew. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She takes Jessica’s body and puts it into an empty suitcase and zips it up and then starts cleaning up the pool area and is barely done. When Ryan and some ex-pats he met at the bar come back to the house cause he’s like, let’s we have a fucking house. Let’s have people here and let’s party, you know? 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: He says did Jessica leave? She says, no, no, she’s asleep. She just got too drunk. But you need to get these guys out of here. Like Madison can be back any minute. You think she’s going to want to see this, manipulates him, convinces him.

 

Alison Leiby: Any minute from where? Like what are you like, what is this like that they’re all believing? 

 

Halle Kiefer: Right like—

 

Alison Leiby: At any point she’s coming back to the house, even though it’s been like a full day or two and she hasn’t done that yet. [laughs]

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. He kicks the guys out. He’s like, whatever. I’m going to bed. He goes into bed and we see CW grab a knife and start to head up to Ryan’s room. Just then, Madison’s phone pings. Ryan has posted a photo of Jessica Teagan, who is tagged with CW in the background because, again, she doesn’t have social media. Right. And the caption is here in Thailand with Jessica @JessicaTeagan and @Madison1’s weird friend and her face is in it. So she if things start to unravel, they were sent a photo of her. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. Finally.

 

Halle Kiefer: That’s going to be obvious who did this.

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. Right. It’s like that is when you have a very identifying physical feature like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: People will be like, well, that was you. Right? 

 

Halle Kiefer: Again, Alison CW is no slouch. She she pivots. 

 

Alison Leiby: You gotta.

 

Halle Kiefer: In the morning, Ryan comes down. There’s like a beautiful breakfast that CW has made. She has artfully put a third plate of half eaten food on the table implying that Jessica ate. 

 

Alison Leiby: Wow. Wow. Commitment.

 

Halle Kiefer: And Ryan says, like did Jessica, leave already. It’s like, oh, yes, she had she had a rush. She didn’t text you? He’s like, I didn’t look at my phone yet. But CW says, I apologize for last night. You’re right. This is a weird situation and I don’t want to get between you and Madison. You could stay here till Madison gets back. I won’t say anything. Whatever.

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Alison Ryan looks at Madison’s Instagram, and she just posted a photo with a new bearded white man. With the caption, New Love of my Life, which is the most, the lady doth protest too much. Caption.

 

Alison Leiby: Yes, yeah. That’s—

 

Halle Kiefer: Imaginable.

 

Alison Leiby: A little fast. Like it’s suspicious. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Now. But now again, it was smart because now Ryan is in his emotion like he’s spiraling. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. He’s not going to be like paying attention to the details. Like, why is Jessica dead in a suitcase? Who are you like? [laughs]

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah, like, why does it look like there’s blood spattered all over the pool area? He and CW bike to the beach and he’s like, you know, I made Madison. Ever since she got here, her account has really been falling off. It’s not like her normal banger material. Of course. It’s all CW posting. And she tell this is this is we find out what her new tactic is. She says, you know, I would kill for a guy to travel halfway around the world for me. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah, of course. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Seeing how much you love her, it just like, I don’t know. It’s like, really special. She’s going to seduce him. 

 

Alison Leiby: Of course. And a logical pivot to make for her. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Of course. You got to. That night at the bar. She puts a pill in his drink and he’s ranting like, I can’t believe she’d do this for me. She found some other fucking guy. She’s been here for two weeks. She tries to break up with me. I love her. You know, I knew from the second we met that she could be an influencer. He doesn’t even say the influencer, because I kept waiting for— 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: —the titular line. But.

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: It’s like I knew she could make money. I knew she people would love her. She’s like a lovable person. And he says he looks to CW and is like you know, you’re really unique, which is very big right now. You could do this for a living if you wanted to. CW’s like, you know what? I make a living. You don’t have to worry about that. Because he’s been drugged. By the time they get home, Ryan could barely stand up under his own power. CW puts him into his bed, climbs on top of him, starts stripping him. I was concerned she was going to sexually assault him. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: But instead she has just staged that they have had sex. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Which I do. I’m like, thank you. At least. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So she takes out a condom, throws it on the ground. They both strip down and she uses his face to unlock his phone. 

 

Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And then deletes the photo with her in it. But my thing is like, wouldn’t he. He would just notice that in the morning. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Alison, we see Madison standing by the infinity pool, looking out into nature’s infinity pool. The ocean. 

 

Alison Leiby: Madison?

 

Halle Kiefer: We see Madison, and she turns and she says, wake up. And of course, it’s Ryan waking up out of a dream. But now Ryan’s like, oh, I’m naked in bed with this woman. I’ve cheated on my girlfriend. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh boy. 

 

Halle Kiefer: I guess we fucked. And he sees the condom on the floor. She says, let’s, let’s go. There’s an hour left before your ferry leaves. There’s no cum in it. Which I to me, I was like, we should have seen a little more attention to detail. 

 

Alison Leiby: A little bit more attention to detail. Like yeah. [both speaking] Put some water and yogurt in there and like fake it. Yeah.

 

Halle Kiefer: You know, because, but you know, an orgasm is not what makes straight sex. It is the act of penetration, which is how you know that you’ve betrayed your girlfriend. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Ryan is, of course, now weirded out. It’s like wants to get out of there, like, oh, fuck. You know? So when CW takes him to the ferry, she again, very wisely is like, you know, I really wish you could stay. And he’s like, nope, it’s good. I’m going, I’m going to go. 

 

Alison Leiby: Goodbye. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Bye. You know, so he runs down to the ferry. 

 

Alison Leiby: Bye bye.

 

Halle Kiefer: And as he looks back, we see her watching astride her motorcycle smoking. 

 

Alison Leiby: It’s a look. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Back in the house. She looks so cool. 

 

Alison Leiby: I mean. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Back at the house. She burns all of Madison’s clothes. She burns the blonde wig. She, however, keeps Madison’s journal where Madison was journaling about her travels. Because the last entry was when they were going to the island. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She ended on the phrase basically like, it’s so beautiful. I don’t even know if I want to go back. So I think the idea is like, oh, if if this is her handwriting and it is, then maybe she just left or maybe she just like, abandoned her life and finally she burns Madison’s passport. We then cut back in time to Ryan and Madison’s first date. And they meet up and it turns out they only met up because Ryan’s friend Theon messaged her when he was drunk from Ryan’s account to ask her out. He was like just messaging a bunch of women. And Madison was like, yeah, okay, you’re cute. 

 

Alison Leiby: All right, I’ll do it. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So they go to an arcade and they have like a cute moment, and she’s really good at all the games. And he takes a photo of her with the stuffed bear that she won. And he’s like, you know, I’m looking at your Instagram. I work in social media and you have an incredible online presence. Like it’s very I could see if you were willing to listen to me. You can really turn this into something and people make insane money doing this kind of thing. 

 

Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She’s like, I don’t know. But then she said, well, let me see the photo you took. So immediately she’s hooked, you know? 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes, right. Somebody telling you you can make tons of money doing something you already do. Like, I mean, it’s appealing. 

 

Halle Kiefer: I mean, however, while Ryan may have taken the ferry, he’s not going home. He’s not going back to the U.S. He’s headed back to the resort where Madison first stayed. 

 

Alison Leiby: Smart. Okay, good. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Because he was like this all isn’t, this all isn’t adding up.

 

Alison Leiby: This is not working, it doesn’t all add up like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. 

 

Alison Leiby: Great. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And this photo of her with the new guy is from the resort. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So he’s thinking, is she still back here? Did she come back here? Of course. When he’s like, I think she’s staying here, the staff doesn’t recognize her. And again, people are in and out. Yeah. And Ryan goes to the bar, and Alison, who does he see at the bar? Rupert, the sweaty British expat. 

 

Alison Leiby: Fabulous. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And Rupert says, well, you look like you’ve had your heartbroken son. And oh I’m sorry, oy guv’nor you look like you’ve ‘ad your ‘artbroken. I know I’ve been divorced three times. And Ryan shows Rupert the photo and says, have you seen this woman? And Rupert was like oh I don’t know. There are a lot of beautiful women here. 

 

Alison Leiby: Calm down, bro. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And Ryan’s like, well, a couple, couple weeks ago, she got a room broken into. It’s like, and he says—

 

[clip of Paul Spurrier]: Yes she was with a girl with a birthmark. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. Again, like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Finally. 

 

Alison Leiby: If you’re going to be pulling this kind of scam like you do, have to cover that up a little bit because like, I do think like a million, like young, thin women. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. 

 

Alison Leiby: Who just come into daddy’s money, like, you can blend in with them, but you unfortunately can’t if you have like a really distinguishing facial feature. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Couldn’t cover it up. And Ryan shows him— 

 

Alison Leiby: If you’re scamming people. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. If you’re not. 

 

Alison Leiby: If you’re not, live your life. 

 

Halle Kiefer: You’re beautiful. You’re a beautiful woman.

 

Alison Leiby: But if you’re scamming. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Be a little more discreet. Ryan shows Rupert the photo of Madison with this new guy. And says she posted from this resort a few days ago. And Rupert says, no, that’s not possible, because look in the photo, there isn’t a cloud in the sky. It’s rainy season. I don’t know when this photo was taken, but it wasn’t in the last month. If I had to guess. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh boy. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Because CW was just using a photo taken like that, probably the day that that Madison arrived. So it hasn’t been that nice for weeks. So this was a Photoshopped photo. That night, Ryan wisely calls Madison’s friends Jay. Friend Jay. And says, when did you last talk to Madison? And Jay’s like, I think like a week ago. Ryan says no, no, but did you talk to her? He said, no, we just been texting, but she seems fine, why? And Ryan says, I came here to try to find her and Jay’s like, oh is this about the post. Like, there’s no way she’s in love with that guy. She would have told me, like she’d never told me there was another guy. Like, I don’t. I don’t believe that. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Like, she’s probably just trying to make you jealous. And then Jay says, I’ll be honest, you could probably do better than her. Which I was like, oh. 

 

Alison Leiby: Ew. 

 

Halle Kiefer: I’m out here fucking eating crab meat, dying on an island. My friends selling me out to my boy ex-boyfriend. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. Rude. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Finally, Ryan starts to watch all of Madison’s videos more closely and realizes that there is a filter on her face. Right.

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And he goes through frame by frame, and in one of the videos, he clicks through. And in one of the moments, you can see the filter shift—

 

Alison Leiby: Shift.

 

Halle Kiefer: —and see, of course, the shadow of a birthmark on the person’s face. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes.

 

Halle Kiefer: Alison. He is going to. He’s off to find CW. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And I ask you now who will survive this film? 

 

[voice over]: Who will survive? 

 

Alison Leiby: I think that Ryan is going to die and that CW is going to survive and continue her scam. Like we will leave on the precipice of her next influence or victim. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Great. 

 

Alison Leiby: Maybe. Maybe in this place, maybe somewhere else. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Alison. Ryan returns to the big beautiful house and is of course been totally emptied. 

 

Alison Leiby: I’d be like, can’t we put all of this aside and just like, live in this house? 

 

Halle Kiefer: I know, can’t we all come together? Yeah. So you left my girlfriend on an island. Okay, we all make mistakes. But again, she’s cleaned everything. Of course, cleaned up her fingerprints like bleached, the whole place. However, on one of the beds, he finds a backpack with the jade Buddha that Jessica bought and Madison’s journal. I think they’re assuming that CW was going to leave the journal and be like, wow, I guess she just really abandoned her life, which is not really something that people do right?

 

Alison Leiby: No. That’s especially when there’s like a million ways to contact people. You don’t be like, I’ll just write this down and disappear forever. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And suddenly he hears a car pull up, CW walks into the house. Ryan hides behind a wall near the pool, and when she turns a corner, he punches her in the face. And I guess she were to think that—

 

Alison Leiby: Good. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Because he got on the ferry, she trusted that he wasn’t going to come back. That’s the first mistake she made. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She was so good. And yet she didn’t think that this guy cared. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah, a little. At least enough to like, fish around more and not be like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: And even if he was taking the ferry back, like he was getting on a flight back to America. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: He was still around. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So CW wakes up, tied to a chair hours later as Ryan splashes water on her face. She’s bleeding from her face where he was, she was, she was punched. And he tells her, you know, you had me going, but I’ve blacked out a million times. Okay? I blacked out all the time when I drink, but I have never forgotten a shag. I knew we didn’t have sex. So I’m going to ask you. Where the fuck is Madison? 

 

Alison Leiby: A great question. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Of course CW is dancing around and she’s trying to obfuscate, you know, like you’re so controlling. You monitor all everything, you monitor her finances. And he’s like, let’s talk about you. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Do you do this cause you’re lonely? Do you not have any friends? Did you want to post as my girlfriend to be liked or to have something like that? And she, of course, comes back at him, you know, that she broke up with you. She didn’t love you. Why would you? Why are you even here? And he says, I’m going to call the police. And CW says what that you punched a woman and tied her up? And she tells them, I saw those messages. You hit Madison several times. And Ryan says you sent those texts to yourself from her phone. And CW says, who are they going to believe? Honey, I don’t know what the police are like in Thailand, but I’m saying here, the police, wouldn’t give a fuck— 

 

Alison Leiby: About women. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Like. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah—

 

Halle Kiefer: Oh, no. They’re gonna believe a woman—

 

Alison Leiby: —victim, ever. 

 

Halle Kiefer: What? What? Who? In what world? No, they’re going to be like, we’re not dealing with any of this. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right.

 

Halle Kiefer: So it’s just funny, like, maybe the nineties, you see that in a movie, you’re like, oh, whatever. It’s like, now seeing it’s like

 

Alison Leiby: Now—

 

Halle Kiefer: Call the police. They’re going to give a fuck you hit a woman like, what are you talking about? 

 

Alison Leiby: Right? That’s their whole thing. 

 

Halle Kiefer: They, they they’re going home to hit their own. 

 

Alison Leiby: They all do that. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And this is not an indictment of like people in Thailand, obviously. I mean, like, this is—

 

Alison Leiby: No, no, no, it’s American police. 

 

Halle Kiefer: You know what I mean, yeah, like they’re going to be like, oh, that’s a great idea. Yeah, I forgot to hit my wife. I’ll go home and do it like what are you talking about?

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah I’ll go home and take care of that now. Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Any who. I also honestly think it would be more interesting if he did hit Madison, like to reveal that—

 

Alison Leiby: And then have it this very complicated. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. 

 

Alison Leiby: Abusive relationship is actually part of it where it’s like, oh, actually now her disappearance could be like, but he didn’t and he’s just getting framed for it. 

 

Halle Kiefer: That’s less little interesting to me because also it’s like if he was abusive and he was controlling her finances. So like, that element was there. If you go whole hog, that to me explains why she would be vulnerable to somebody scamming her or to be. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Because she doesn’t have anyone and she is alone because she wasn’t. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Like, it’s like and unfortunately that is what happens is like you, you experience abuse and then you are more vulnerable to abuse in the future.

 

Alison Leiby: You’re isolated in a way yes. Absolutely. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So I think that was more interesting. But whatever were going like nineties thriller where it’s like, no, he’s an innocent man. 

 

Alison Leiby: Sure. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Kind of. But basically he’s like, this is all well and good and takes out a knife and he says, you’re going to fucking tell me where Madison is and what you did to her. And she says, I can’t tell you, but I can take you there. He keeps her hand, her hands tied, and they walk out to the motorboat near the dock. Alison just as they’re about to get in, CW knocks him into the water. He still has the knife. But of course, in the confusion, she’s able to wrap her legs around his throat. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And is able to hold him under water until he drowns. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh, boy. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And we do blood. When she takes a long victorious shower and sort of the blood from her head wound falls into again, she is victorious. 

 

Alison Leiby: All the way to the drain. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. CW goes to the Internet and posts on Madison an account that Ryan Evans, her boyfriend, was physically and emotionally abusive. So she’s posting as Madison. 

 

Alison Leiby: Also just like this guy’s dead already. Do you have to also like [laughter] his reputation as a like person? Like.

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah I mean, I think that’s a great point. And the answer is, yeah, because she’s fucking evil. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And we see CW go through Ryan’s backpack and she finds an engagement ring that he brought with him. 

 

Alison Leiby: [gasps] Oh. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Which is what the roses and the tea candles, you know, were about and we see all these people commenting like I knew he was a piece of shit. And we see Jay post a video to Instagram stories that he says like I always knew Ryan was a predator. I never trusted him. Meanwhile, the day before he told Ryan, you could do better than Madison. 

 

Alison Leiby: You could do better than her. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Look how fake everyone is. 

 

Alison Leiby: Both sides, asshole. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And she CW loads up Ryan and Jessica’s body into the motorboat and heads to the island to bury them. Alison. She pulls up on the beach. There she finds the remains of a bonfire, several hollowed out coconuts, and then sort of like plastic bottles that have been cut in half. And what I assume was that they’re used uses like rain catchers. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Alison on the log. There are 38 scratches. 38 days.

 

Alison Leiby: Oh the scratches were days, not people. 

 

Halle Kiefer: They’re days. 

 

Alison Leiby: Wow. 

 

Halle Kiefer: But I mean, the problem is, if Madison’s still alive, this fucks up CW’s whole thing. She runs to the boat. 

 

Alison Leiby: I mean. 

 

Halle Kiefer: She gets her shovel. She’s going to kill Madison with the shovel. 

 

Alison Leiby: I mean, at this point. 

 

Halle Kiefer: So she she tracks down, the island is very small. She makes it to the top of a cliff and she finds two crosses. So I was like, did she put crosses for people in the past? I genuinely didn’t know. They’re like little like rough hewn. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Stick crosses. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. Would she have done that or is that something that, like, did Madison find those graves and, like, do that? 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Maybe that makes more sense, but you don’t really— 

 

Alison Leiby: Maybe that.

 

Halle Kiefer: Madison like, I think is suppose to be a sweet person, but you know, they don’t go out of their way to say she’s Christian, which I thought would be interesting. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Like if you establish she’s really Christian, that we saw those, then it’s like, okay, she. 

 

Alison Leiby: Okay, she knows what’s up. 

 

Halle Kiefer: CW turns and an incredibly fucking sunburned Madison clocks across the head with the branch. 

 

Alison Leiby: Amazing. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And knocks her to the ground and Madison her face is a wreck, she tells CW, you bitch. And then she lifts the branch up and smashes her in the head. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Madison manages to stagger to the motorboat. And this is where I would die because I would not be able to get that motorboat started. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And she lifts a blanket and sees Ryan’s dead body. Alison. 

 

Alison Leiby: Oh, God. How about, like, just like, God? She’s been, like, surviving for over a month and is, like, finally defeats her captor to go back to civilization. And it’s like, well, your boyfriend’s dead. I killed him.

 

Halle Kiefer: Your boyfriend who, at least in your mind, is safe in L.A. Actually, he’s here. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And he’s fucking dead. 

 

Alison Leiby: And dead. Oh, God. 

 

Halle Kiefer: On the island, Alison, CW wakes up bleeding from her head wound. She runs to the beach just in time to see the motorboat driving away. And Alison. She smiles as she starts laughing. And I love that because that bitch will figure out a way to survive. She’s gonna get off that island. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 100%. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Now we see Madison as our final girl. Of course. She instead of this, like, naive, you know, like innocent. She now has this steely gaze as she motors away again. I would motor directly into the ocean and expire. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. Bye.

 

Halle Kiefer: But she is a woman determined to survive, the end. 

 

Alison Leiby: Wow. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. What a treat, huh? I really like this movie. 

 

Alison Leiby: This is fun as hell. 

 

Halle Kiefer: What are some fatal mistakes you think people have made in the movie, Influencer. 

 

[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 

 

Alison Leiby: Going off with a total stranger. Once your documents have been st— When your passport’s missing, like you stay at the hotel, like there’s enough, you have enough money you can, like, eke by. Figure it out. Like this is not one you like. Leave. The area that you’re the most familiar with, with lots of people who are like, invested in you not being in danger. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: Like, I think if she had just stayed at the hotel. There would have been no like. No chance to be abandoned on an island by a crazy person. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah, it’s just sort of like the idea of trusting someone you just met. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And I think it does rely on, like, these are young, white, cis women who meet another young white cis woman. And was like, well, based on what I’ve been told by society, this person can never hurt me. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And it’s like, well, but she got a plan. And the plan is—

 

Alison Leiby: And she’s going to. 

 

Halle Kiefer: —you die. But then in reality, people would eventually figure this out, like. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: If this happened multiple times, because these people are people who do have a following. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah.

 

Halle Kiefer: I just feel like. 

 

Alison Leiby: And it’s important not to be in the background of enough photos. Like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. 

 

Alison Leiby: I think like if you’re in an area where people are non stop taking photos, which is like what a resort in Thailand I imagine is even if it’s not the people who you’re engaging with, like just living in New York or L.A., like I’m sure you’re in the background of a ton of photos that you don’t know exist. Yeah. And it’s like. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Right. 

 

Alison Leiby: Like that. Like you’ve she hasn’t never been captured on film. Like, she certainly has been in the background of photos, probably. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Right. Everyone at every bar is taking photos. Everyone is on vacation. Everyone’s taking photos of their food and drinks like. 

 

Alison Leiby: Right. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And again—

 

Alison Leiby: If you’re hanging around, you’re in those.

 

Halle Kiefer: A distinctive looking, woman. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yes. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Somebody is going to eventually be like much like Rupert at the resort be like, wait a minute. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: But you know what? She I guess she was. She was there for a good time. Not for a long time. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: And finally, where would you put Influencer, on the spooky scale Alison? 

 

[voice over]: A spooky scale. 

 

Alison Leiby: I feel like this was so fun. And there some pretty, like, gruesome. The high heels through the eye is is pretty. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah, that was great.

 

Alison Leiby: Tough. I think a four. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I think that seems right because it was a blast, but I don’t think it was necessarily scary. And I think that a lot when I see a movie that’s from the villains perspective. 

 

Alison Leiby: Mm hmm yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Because the thrill of it is like, is she going to get away with it or who’s going to figure it out versus—

 

Alison Leiby: Not so much like all of the terror of being in a victims position. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. So four feels right [both speaking] but an absolute blast. 

 

Alison Leiby: Ten out of ten for fun. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 

 

Alison Leiby: And this is on Shudder?

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. This is on Shudder. 

 

Alison Leiby: This feels like like I could I think I could watch this. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. This is because it’s more of a thriller. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Yes. This is definitely, if you’re someone who’s like, I can’t necessarily watch, you know, sort of ghosts, some, you know, anything like that. I would say if you’re if you can watch a thriller, please do. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Please do. 

 

Alison Leiby: Yeah. 

 

Halle Kiefer: Well, great. Thank you, everyone. And until next time, please.

 

Alison Leiby: Keep it spooky. [music plays]

 

Halle Kiefer: Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcasts and Crooked Media for show updates. And if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production, we’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. The show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy, and Ewa Okulate.