Thoroughbreds: What You Need To Know
Described as “Heathers meets American Psycho”, a new black comedy form a previously unknown writer-director began making waves when it premiered at Sundance Film Festival early in 2017 and was soon snapped up for distribution by Focus Features, eventually arriving in UK cinemas earlier this year.
This week Thoroughbreds makes its way into stores on DVD and Blu-ray, here's everything you need to know about it...
Who's in it?
Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy lead a cast that includes Boardwalk Empire's Paul Sparks, Outsiders star Francie Swift, The Path's Kalli Vernoff and the late Anton Yelchin.
And who's directing?
The film is a feature-length directorial debut for up-and-coming director Cory Finley.
What's the plot?
The story revolves around two teenage girls named Lily (Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Cooke) from the same wealthy suburban neighbourhood in Connecticut. Although they've known each other from a young age, the pair drifted apart during their school years and in many ways their personalities have become polar opposites.
Amanda has recently been released from a psychiatric facility after euthanising a crippled thoroughbred horse belonging to her mother in grisly fashion with a knife. Lily suggests that the pair get together at her house, ostensibly for a 'study date', but Amanda discovers that her mother has paid Lily to hang out with her in the hope she will keep Amanda out of trouble.
Despite their differences, the pair begin to rekindle their unlikely friendship, bonding through a mutual hatred of Lily's overbearing stepfather, Mark (Sparks). A bullying control freak who keeps a giant portrait of himself wielding a samurai sword in his study, Mark has already taken over their sizeable mansion and is now trying to get rid of Lily by threatening to send her away to boarding school.
Amanda jokingly asks Lily if it wouldn't be easier just to kill Mark, but before long the joke has become an idea, then a plan. The pair recruit a local twenty-something drug dealer named Tim (Yelchin), who reluctantly agrees to carry out the hit. However, although Tim arrives at the house as planned, he subsequently loses his bottle and leaves without killing Mark, leaving the girls to take matters into their own hands.
Does it deliver?
From out of nowhere, Cory Finley has arguably delivered one of the year's best independent films. His script for this black comedy is packed with razor-sharp wit and the wonderfully deadpan delivery from Cooke and Taylor-Joy makes them a perfect fit for the young director's debut feature. Paul Sparks is enjoyably detestable throughout and even if you can't help feeling a pang of sadness at seeing Anton Yelchin in his final film, his comedic performance here is an absolute joy to watch.