Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Movie Review: Thoroughbreds

This strange psychological thriller has a slow build as the two main characters build a friendship in peculiar circumstances. Amanda (Olivia Cooke) does not feel any emotions so she finds it odd that wealthy Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) invites her over to help tutor her. Lily claims she isn't being paid but Amanda has her mother's email password so is aware of the negotiations. Still, Lily invites her back over after their awkward first session and this time she does refuse pay. It becomes apparent that they do have history but grew apart due to troubling events in Amanda's past. Hints start to reveal what Amanda was doing with a horse in the mysterious initial scene. They start to hang out more watching movies until late into the night when Amanda's stepdad Mark (Paul Sparks) notices her and asks how late she is staying.

Amanda immediately picks up that Lily hates her stepfather and proposes that she kill him. Lily is upset by this suggestion and avoids Amanda who does some digging to learn that many of the things Lily told her were lies. Lily decides to reunite with Amanda when she finds herself being shipped off to a boarding school after being expelled from her last school for plagiarism. Her stepfather is somewhat abusive towards her mother so she takes out her anger by loosening one of his bike wheels which results in an accident but only leaves him with some scratches. Mark also has the nasty and annoying habit of juicing and constantly using a machine similar to a rowing machine that creates a grating sound throughout the house at all hours of the day.

Amanda and Lily talk about the plot and decide that they need to have airtight alibis. Amanda also reveals that she emotionlessly killed her horse when she knew it was dying. Lily had encountered a strung out high school dropout drug dealer Tim (Anton Yelchin) and decides to seek him out. Amanda pushes him to get to the truth about his situation and finally reveals that he does own a gun. They take him back to Lily's house where he pulls the gun out in a threatening manner until Amanda hits him over the head with a vase. Tim quickly reveals that he lives with his dad and the two girls blackmail him into agreeing to kill Mark. They take his gun and tell him it will be in a grill near the house on the night that they both have trips planned. 

Mark notices a sensor light going off but Lily is shocked when he shows up at the spa to surprise her and her mother. Lily continues to get lectured by Mark and decides to take the plan into her own hands but Amanda talks her out of it. They stay away from each other for a while but then one night Lily calls Amanda over to watch an old movie. They are sipping screwdrivers when Lily tells Amanda that she drugged her drink. Amanda seems concerned at first when Lily reveals her plan that she would kill her father and make Amanda take the fall but then Amanda chugs the drink. She passes out and Lily goes through with the plan killing her stepfather. Amanda takes the blame but feels pretty happy with her life in a psych ward while Lily continues on with her life awkwardly running into Tim at the end.

This movie has some great scenes by two actresses that will be huge stars in the future if they continue their meteoric careers. The film has an extra air of despair as the loss of the brilliant talent of Anton Yelchin is devastating and it is evident how tremendous an actor he was from this performance alone. The film slowly draws viewers in but the payoff is pule pounding enough that it makes it worthwhile. The back and forth between Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke makes the scenes very entertaining and the climax even more shocking. I enjoyed this indie film quite a bit and would like to see more like it. 

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