Horse Girl (2020)

28 Feb

Smith’s Verdict: ***1/2

Reviewed by Tanner Smith

I’ve seen this film three times on Netflix–I’m still not entirely sure I “get” it, but I am still intrigued by it.

“Horse Girl” is a strange……STRANGE film about a person who…is strange.

Alison Brie, who also co-wrote the film’s screenplay with director Jeff Baena, stars as Sarah. Sarah is sweet, polite, sensitive, and smart–she’s also socially awkward and tends to make those around her somewhat uncomfortable. Wonder if it has anything to do with these weird dreams that feel all too real. Or the lapses in her memory. Or the constant nosebleeds. Whatever the case, Sarah’s not doing so great right now. What could be the problem? Well, as Sarah digs deeper into her own issues and her family’s mental health history, she starts to suspect there may be something otherworldly happening all around her…

It’s right about here where a low-key indie character study of a disturbed awkward misfit takes a turn for the weirder. For example, what if Sarah’s dreams about possible alien abduction are accurate? If that’s true, who can she truly trust? She goes from a little off to REALLY disturbed as neither she (nor we) knows what’s going on here!!

I still don’t know for sure–was that real? was it all in her head? It’s a fascinatingly abstract, surreal look into this person’s life made even more fascinating by the way Brie presents the character. This story was inspired by Brie’s real-life family’s history of mental health issues and her own experiences with depression. The more I think about what Brie was intending to accomplish with her co-writer/director Jeff Baena, the more intrigued I am by their film. I haven’t really been a fan of director Baena’s work–I didn’t like “Life After Beth,” though “The Little Hours” is growing on me a bit. “Horse Girl” is his most accomplished work. It’s also Alison Brie’s most accomplished work as an actress–I loved her in shows like “Community” and movies like The Disaster Artist and The Rental; this is the role she’s been working towards.

Whatever you believe is real or not in “Horse Girl,” just keep telling yourself…well, at least Sarah believes it’s real.

I know, this isn’t much of an analysis–maybe in the future, however, I’ll try my best with a spoiler review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: