Posh, porcelain Lily wants to kill the stepdad (Paul Sparks) who rules over her palatial home. And since the guy's a vision of moneyed, muscled menace, you, of course, might be tempted to welcome this.
Thoroughbreds' best trick is to convince us, through the aching stillness of its stars' eyes, that it might not actually be a twisty, twisted noir inspired by the likes of Strangers on a Train. The film, much like teen lives, centers on performance: performance of self, performance of friendship, performance of the perfect life that we might believe at first Lily enjoys. When Lily suggests that they collaborate on the murder of her stepfather, it's hard to tell which of the girls is nudging the other -- and even, at first, whether they're even serious.
For all the fluid camerawork and exquisite exploitation of cinematic suspense technique, Finley is a playwright with a shrewd sense of act structure, of power dynamics, of revelations that prove as inevitable as they are shocking.
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