[Short Film Review] Ariel Hansen's CLOUT (2020)
"Some people are dying...to be liked."
If you have scrolled or even took a small peak at social media in the last few years, you will see Influencers everywhere, like EVERYWHERE. "This totally works!", "Follow me for more lifestyle tips!", "DM me for collabs!" and some wonder "how is this person's life always so... perfect?". The perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect job, perfect partner, everyday seems like an absolute bliss....until some weird neon green bug comes along and bites you.
(Courtesy of Bad Cookie Pictures)
Ariel Hansen's CLOUT (2020) will give you a sneak peak into the life of well-known influencer/model, Lyra (Ariel Hansen) who is spending her day taking selfies for her followers along with her also influencer boyfriend, Tom (Catlin Franks). As Lyra finishes doing her influencer daily thing and the day comes to an end, she gets bit by a glowing bug. Days go by, her follower's concerns grow but her platform doesn't so Lyra finds herself falling into the many pressures that come with being a famous influencer. But one day, her boyfriend gets invited to a very exclusive event by himself, where she was not invited but she feels the need to still show up and show everyone that she can still remain relevant in the influencer world. After all, it's just the silly algorithm that's broken.
(Courtesy of Bad Cookie Pictures)
"But what about that bug that bit her?"
We don't wanna spoil it all now, don't we?
CLOUT may be a short with a runtime of a bit over 15 minutes but I would absolutely LOVE to see this as a full length movie or even be part of an anthology series! We always hear about the horrors of the influencer world along with what social media can do, how someone's relevancy can affect their work, affect you overall as a person and I want to see more of that if this becomes a full feature. I do wish they would had gotten a little more personal with Lyra's life like why did she become an influencer, was the photo from a previous life she currently misses...or someone she misses? Listen, I'm just invested and I wanna know.
Ariel Hansen did such a wonderful job directing this short (I might had gone and binged more shorts after this at Bad Cookie's YouTube channel) and portraying Lyra that I absolutely cannot wait for her next project whether is directing or acting. To make a short film and include such a difficult topic such as the dark side of influencing that not many are able to see (which is already a Horror of it's own) and still managing to put your own twist to make it even more terrifying than it already is, it's definitely a challenge but not one Ariel Hansen and her crew couldn't tackle.
Overall rating: 4/5 knives🔪
Keep an eye out for CLOUT on the Bad Cookie Pictures website and follow them on Twitter @BadCookiePics to stay updated! To keep updated on Ariel Hansen's upcoming projects and other rad things, you can find her on Twitter @HansensHorror and Instagram. Check out more short films directed by Ariel like Nepenthes and The Man in the Rabbit Mask!
CLOUT is currently in the festival run.
Thank you so much for reading, until next time!
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A note from Natalie: Please continue on supporting so many wonderful actors and filmmakers in your local scene and others within the Horror community. I am absolutely excited to have found about Ariel Hansen's work thanks to a tweet and about other Horror friends of her. Keep supporting and watch the community never stop growing!