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Thoroughbreds [2017]: Cory Finley’s directorial debut, Thoroughbreds, offers a foray into the romanticized and often unpredictable world of youthful rebellion, as two former best friends Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Olivia Cooke) rekindle with one another to carry out their plans to murder Lily’s stepfather. As they grow closer, it becomes more evident how time has changed the two teenage girls and that some things can never be the same.

Growing Pains: Delving deeper into the relationship between its sardonic leads, the film excels at introducing the audience to a couple of teenage girls whose banter and self-deprecating commentary of their lifestyles capture the allure of the story. Lily is raised in an upscale neighborhood but remains distant with her family, especially her stepfather. She has been troubled since the death of her father and longs to escape from the control of a parental figure she secretly despises. Amanda also comes from a privileged background but has fallen from grace after killing the family horse. Her inability to feel any emotion works to her advantage as she gains a better understanding of the people around her. The chemistry between the two actresses works brilliantly for scenes of dialogue that both propel the plot forward and provide insight into their disillusioned young minds.

Wild Horses: Sprinkled throughout this Heathers-style thriller is the mention and appearance of horse imagery. Used to represent a wild vivacity that has been domesticated and held captive, the symbolism is a reference to Lily and Amanda’s place in society. They are meant to roam free in the ruins of the complacent expectations that have been assigned to them, and as their murder plot begins to take form, so does the exploration of their characters. Interactions with a local drug dealer whose main customers are minors (played by Anton Yelchin in the last performance before his death) emphasize this even more, as Lily and Amanda compliment each other to form a team unbreakable in their approach.

Thoroughbreds is a black comedy that bleeds over pastel-colored adolescence in the most captivating way.

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Thoroughbreds is featured on Borrowing Tape's Best Films of 2017 list.

What's the story behind Thoroughbreds?
Read our interview with Thoroughbreds Director Cory Finley.

Follow our coverage of the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival

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