Review: Thoroughbreds

Corey Finley’s directorial and screenwriting debut is absolutely mesmerising. We follow two upper class school friends, Amanda (Olivia Cooke) and Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy), who have fallen out of contact. As they begin to bond again, it becomes clear that Lily’s step father is a complete asshole. So, thanks to Amanda suggesting the idea, the two plot to kill him. The plot is a recipe for one of the best black comedies of recent years, and the two leads each give their best performances of their careers.

When a film completely transforms you into the world it’s created as effectively as this, it’s a towering achievement.  

Olivia Cooke (recently seen in ‘Ready Player One’) is fascinating as the emotionless Amanda. With every scene she’s in, she owns the entire space, whether it be through wandering aimlessly through the house, or pushing others buttons. It is easily one of the best performances you’ll see all year. However, don’t let this take away any plaudits that Ana Taylor-Joy deserves too. Lily is a character that in other films would come across as pretentious and entitled. Joy makes her morally flawed, but never unlikable. The two young stars lead the film with the kind of perfection you’d expect from someone like Meryl Streep.

It’s impossible to speak about this film without raising the tragic fact this is the last role we’ll ever see the late Anton Yelchin in. While he rose to fame in ‘Star Trek’, it was his ability to pick roles outside the mainstream that really set him apart from others. Todd is a weak minded soul who really stands no chance when Amanda and Lily begin to manipulate him.

One of the strongest debut features for quite some time, featuring two young actors destined to become household names.  

While ‘Thoroughbreds’ is a brilliant film for character development, credit also needs to go to Finley’s direction and cinematographer Lyle Vincent. From the opening shot of Amanda entering the house, to one of the most haunting shots later on, this film looks and feels incredible. It transfixes you into the world, which isn’t easy feat for such a grounded film. It taunts the viewer into feeling unnerved at the simplest of actions. When a film completely transforms you into the world it’s created as effectively as this, it’s a towering achievement.

‘Thoroughbreds’ is a film that hasn’t received a wide enough cinematic release and is going to be missed by a lot of people. If there’s a showing near you, check it out before it disappears. One of the strongest debut features for quite some time, featuring two young actors destined to become household names.

8/10

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