Thoroughbreds is a darkly comic satire that infuses its audience into the world of teen divas, embodied by their killer instincts.
This is more than your average cup of tea. Thoroughbreds is a well-blended breed of black comedy and indie-retro savvy. First time director, Cory Finley, gets his hands dirty in a film that juggles unpredictable outcomes. Thoroughbreds takes its time with our leading ladies, as we are introduced to both of them and their desires. Childhood friends Lily (a knockout Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (an electrifying Olivia Cooke) reconnect in suburban Connecticut after years of growing apart through their adolescence. Lily is a polished, upper-class teenager going through all the ropes before college; while Amanda is a social outcast with a dark sense of humor. The film's trailer suggests that "Amanda feels nothing, Lily feels everything."
Lily is giving Amanda tutoring sessions at the beginning of the film, when Amanda realizes that someone is haunting Lily. That someone is her oppressive stepfather, Mark (a cold Paul Sparks). Lily can’t take him anymore and so, Amanda causally says that she should just kill him… cue a juggernaut plot that will slowly set off a ripple effect for our two characters. This cinematic style pulsating throughout the film, gave me an American Psycho and a Heathers vibe. Plus, Finley’s extensive slow camera work panning throughout the scenes developed a sense of eeriness and patience. Along with the provocative sound design and score, you’re in for a roller coaster of emotions.
Finley perfectly draws the viewers’ attention off screen with his timely designed music, racking up the suspense and drama. Wrapping our emotions around every beat, Finley knows how to make us quench in shock and laugh-out-loud at the same time. It’s a delicious film that offers more than one viewing. Sadly, this was also Anton Yelchin’s final film after he tragically passed away in June 2016. Yelchin’s small role is one to admire and woefully appreciate after watching years of his hard-moviemaking-work on screen. He is an actor who will continue to live out many lifetimes on past film. So, does Lily and Amanda achieve their goal in killing Lily’s stepfather? I won’t tell. You’ll have to carefully unpackage this dark cinematic treat yourself.
Thoroughbreds is rated R (Restricted). For disturbing behavior, bloody images, language, sexual references, and some drug content.