In ‘Thoroughbreds’, a bizarre but enjoyable indie, two teen girls turn homicidal after being forced by their parents to rekindle their friendship.
Trying to describe Thoroughbreds to someone who hasn’t seen it isn’t easy. Why? Because the movie is part thriller, part comedy, part drama… but 100% quirky and undeniably enjoyable. We first meet Amanda (Olivia Cooke) when she’s clearly planning to do something absolutely horrific to a horse. While director/writer Cory Finley graciously leaves Amanda’s act to the imagination, we are constantly reminded through the film of what Amanda did which helps sets the dark thriller tone. However, when Amanda is reunited with her assumed childhood friend, Lily (Anya-Taylor Joy), a comedic tone is seamlessly weaved in. As a viewer you’re left questioning their relationship, but also baffled by how different the two are — at least in the beginning.
It doesn’t take long for Amanda, a blatantly obvious sociopath, to admit she feels absolutely nothing. This throws Lily for a loop because Lily is the prissy popular rich girl who works very hard to make sure her life and appearance always look perfect. But Lily is clearly fed up with the life she’s been living and is almost, dare I say, inspired by Amanda to drop the act. Around this time we meet Mark (Paul Sparks), Lily’s stepdad. He seems harmless at first but the tension between Mark and Lily is so strong it oozes it’s way out of the screen and creeps up inside of you. Their relationship is extremely unclear at times, even after Amanda calls out Lily for despising the man who married her mother (Francie Swift). The more Mark bothers Lily the more it seems to bother Amanda, which is when she proposes the idea of murder.
Things get topsy-turvy from here on out, especially as you start to realize that maybe Amanda isn’t as emotionless as she once believed. There are moments where it’s clear she cares about Lily, even if it’s just the slightest spark of emotion, which would be impossible to notice if it wasn’t for Olivia’s incredible performance as the allegedly hollow teen. Once Amanda and Lily decide that murder is the way to go they enlist Tim, portrayed by the late Anton Yelchin in a raw final performance. Chaos ensues, especially once Tim is brought into the picture, but Amanda and Lily are left to their own devices when things don’t exactly go as planned.
Thoroughbreds might be dark, but it’s a pure delight to watch. The twists and turns of Lily and Amanda’s friendship, as well as the hints of their seemingly normal upbringing and past, are extremely fun to navigate as a viewer. Make sure to check out Thoroughbreds in theaters starting March 9.