Taut, tense and deliciously nasty – my little pony this ain’t.


Dir-Scr Cory Finley
Prod Kevin Walsh, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, Alex Saks, Andrew Duncan
With Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin
UK Distribution Universal Pictures

Two teenage girls reignite a childhood friendship to deliciously dark ends, in this witty contemporary noir. Electrifying duo Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) and Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) are Lily and Amanda, reunited when Amanda’s mum asks Lily to help her daughter study. Having personally euthanised the family horse, Amanda is notorious amongst the blue-blood community of her Connecticut suburb. It’s a fact Lily clearly finds fascinating. Neither is afraid to shock or offend, and their competitive trading in acerbic quips soon intensifies to the point where they jokingly plan to kill Lily’s loathsome stepfather Mark. However, in their attempts to impress each other, the plan soon becomes serious and together they dupe a small-time drug dealer (the late Anton Yelchin, imbuing his role with the perfect amount of pathos) into helping them. Les Diaboliques and Heavenly Creatures are clearly reference points here, but Thoroughbreds is no imitation. Playwright-turned-debut filmmaker Cory Finley embraces cinema’s full potential, directing with muscular energy. As Lyle Vincent’s camera prowls through Mark’s mansion – accompanied by Erik Friedlander’s unsettling percussive score – Finley’s finely-toned script is offset by smart visual cues, nudging the audience towards the dreaded dénouement. Thoroughbreds is a pedigree treat.

Tricia Tuttle

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Cory Finley, Director; Olivia Cooke, Cast

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.