From Writer-Director Cory Finley comes Thoroughbreds, a tale of rich girls gone bad. But is this a film that gets by just on shock value?
Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Olivia Cooke) are two childhood friends that have awkwardly reconnected in high school. However, these girls aren’t your everyday high schoolers. Amanda literally has no emotions, but she’s good at faking it, while Lily has a stepfather (Paul Sparks) she detests and would love to bump off. So, why not try it? With the help of nascent drug kingpin Tim (Anton Yelchin) they can’t go wrong, right?
Thoroughbreds features a fantastic cast and a thoroughly messed up premise. It’s a very funny film, but extremely dark in its subject matter. Taylor-Joy and Cooke are a magnificent screen duo and they light up the screen even while playing disaffected youth. They have great chemistry together, but part of that is due to Finley’s whip-smart script. Taylor-Joy is a rising star in Hollywood and I’ll watch just about anything Cooke is in. The film’s score by Erik Friedlander is also unique and inventive. Yelchin is also very good in what is, sadly, his last screen role.
The only issue I had with the film was that I wanted more about Sparks’ character. He’s definitely an asshole and there is the implication of possible abuse, but we never see it and I wanted a little less ambiguity there, especially since the girls plot to murder him.
If you like pitch black comedies, you’ll probably enjoy Thoroughbreds. It’s a really solid film with a great cast and it marks Finley as a filmmaker to watch.