Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy and the late Anton Yelchin shine in Cory Finley's sharp dark comedy debut
Thoroughbreds sees the electrifying duo of Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy play Amanda and Lily, two upper-class teens and former childhood friends in suburban Connecticut, reunited when Amanda’s mother pays Lily for some tutoring. Rumoured to have euthanised her family’s horse, Amanda is an intelligent, self-aware psychopath; the more emotive Lily finds her a fun confidante with whom to exchange acerbic quips. Their rapport soon intensifies to where they jokingly discuss killing Lily’s odious stepfather (Paul Sparks). But then the jokes lead to a very real plan.
A muscular debut from writer-director Cory Finley, Thoroughbreds is a sharp social satire that blends dark comedy with quasi-horror flourishes, while also serving a portrait of female friendship that’s strangely touching. It’s like if American Psycho and Heavenly Creatures had a beautiful sociopath child.
And this is not just a case of talented actors – including the late Anton Yelchin in his final released film – relishing a screenplay packed with zinging dialogue; Finley demonstrates a skill with heightened sound design, in particular, that most veteran directors of contemporary thrillers lack. [Josh Slater-Williams]
Thoroughbreds screens at Glasgow Film Festival: Fri 23 FEB, Cineworld, 8.45pm | Sat 24 Feb, Cineworld, 3.30pm
Thoroughbreds is released 6 Apr by Universal Pictures