+ Recommended – R, Drama, Thriller
Thoroughbreds will feel like a drag for some, I imagine. Unfortunately, general audiences have been built for fast-paced, action set-pieces and snappy storytelling. That’s not necessarily a bad trait as tastes do change over time. However, I appreciate writer-director Corey Finley for not being afraid to tackle long-sequence shots and prolonged storylines; and he does so with style.
If you’re looking for a plot with depth and complexity, this might not be the movie for you either. Even as the film does present itself in a art-house manner, the plot is pretty straight forward. Which is not to say that the actors’ performances are not impressive. Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Split), Olivia Cooke (Ouija), and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) are exceptional within the bounds of their role, especially since Cooke and Joy come from horror backgrounds. And of course, I got chills seeing Yelchin for the last time on the big screen.
The plot follows Lily (Joy) and Amanda (Cooke) as they reconnect their friendship after years of being separated. The two suburban teenagers must learn to handle the difficulties of growing up and learn to accept each other for who they really are. The synopsis might seem void of any plot, but the film does eventually progress even if the story remains thin; a combination that works oddly enough. When reflecting upon other aspects of the film that I thought were done exceptionally well I couldn’t help but remind myself that Corey Finley likes to tell rather than show.
In a day and age where it seems that violence permeates from people’s skin, it’s sometimes hard to go into a film that you know will show gruesome acts of violence. In Thoroughbreds, it’s all about what we don’t see and that ends up having the most impact at the end of the movie. Accompanying the solid camera direction is an impressive soundtrack that incorporates a smorgasbord of instruments that even interweave in-between dialogue; it’s catchy and it’s memorable. If nothing else, I would recommend you at least take a listen the soundtrack from Bryan Lurie.
Overall, I will recommend you see Thoroughbreds for Yelchin’s last performance and for the impressive sound design. If you are someone who enjoys a slower-paced film where the characters intentionally simmer but avoid boiling, then this movie is for you. However, if slow-burn storylines and films only irritate you, then this would not be the right choice for you to see this weekend. Luckily we have Tomb Raider coming out to fill that action hunger as we head into the nicer spring weather. Sound off in the comments below and let us know whether or not you liked the film.