Alison Brie and director Jeff Baena co-wrote and co-produced Horse Girl, a psychological thriller that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released widely to audiences through Netflix.
Sarah (Alison Brie) is a shy and awkward sales associate at a fabric store run by her friend Joan (Molly Shannon). Since she has few friends, she spends her evenings watching Purgatory and attending Zumba classes once a week. Her roommate Nikki (Debby Ryan) tries to help her have a good time, which leads to drinking and some drug use. Later, she sees one of the men from a recurring dream she has, a local plumber named Ron (John Ortiz). After this incident, Sarah begins to lose time, have bizarre dreams, and have mysterious blackouts. She tries to find solace with her horse, whose new owners don’t like having her around, but tolerate her. As the dreams turn to hallucinations, she begins to think she is a clone of her grandmother, which is why they have such a striking resemblance. Her behavior escalates, making her friends concerned.
While I did find Alison Brie’s acting is good, that is about it. This movie is incredibly slow. No, not a slow burn. Just slow. For one thing, nothing happens for the first twenty-three minutes of the film. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I imagine it was supposed to be an establishing arc so we get to know Sarah. We see how lonely, shy, and awkward she is. We know about her family’s history with mental illness. We learn about her obsession with the fictitious show Purgatory, which resembles Supernatural or something. It’s not that interesting.
After this introductory period ends, we see Sarah’s descent into madness. It is disjointed, but not in a way you would expect from a psychological thriller replacing intrigue with confusion. As stated earlier, the movie spends over twenty minutes trying to show how empty Sarah’s life is, only to show she has friends, a step-father, a roommate, and others who actually care about her. Which is it? Is she a lonely girl who only has a horse or a woman with family and friends who care about her.
I would like to point out that the music is so freakin’ loud at times, you can barely hear the dialogue. This was incredibly annoying because you want to know what is going to try to figure out this mystery. This was an editing issue that was distracting throughout the whole film.
Bottom line, Horse Girl is a movie that is incredibly confusing, disjointed, and while Brie’s performance was well-done, it does not save the film.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Strong Language, Sexuality/nudity
FAVORITE QUOTE: It’s not advice. It’s just the truth.
Check out the trailer below:
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