Glasgow Film Festival Review

Directed by first time filmmaker Cory Finley and produced by The Way Way Back directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, Thoroughbreds is a deliciously dark drama with outstanding performances from Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy.

Two teenagers and former childhood friends Amanda and Lily are reunited when Amanda's mother hires Lily to help tutor her after a violent incident with her horse leaves her a social outcast. Lily, living in an affluent home with her mother and boorish step-father, is initially shocked when Amanda asks if she'd ever consider killing him if she could get away with it. Reluctant at first she soon comes around to the idea and a plan is soon set in motion.

Cory Finley's gloriously black and visually exciting debut is an impressive film that benefits most from the inspired pairing of Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy. Cooke is compelling as the sociopathic girl that lacks any joy, empathy or guilt, going through life pretending to be a normal teen to the best of her ability and often failing. Her description of the violent incident involving her horse is chilling in its matter of factness. While Taylor-Joy builds on her promising role in The Witch with an enjoyably icy but more inwardly emotional turn.

Of the rest of the cast, House of Cards' Paul Sparks is all too believable as the douchebag step-father, while the film gains unexpected poignancy with one of the last screen performances from the always watchable Anton Yelchin as a local drug-dealer the girls draw into their plot.

As well as a showcase for two of the finest young actresses currently working today, it's also a great calling card for a promising new directorial talent.

Definitely recommended.

Thoroughbreds (15)

1h 32m

Director: Cory Finley
Starring: Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin, Paul Sparks

UK Release: Friday 6th April 2018

Thoroughbreds - "We Should Do It" Clip

Thoroughbreds - "The Technique" Clip