If you’re like me and have never tried psychedelic drugs, a fine substitute would be Netflix’s new original movie, Horse Girl. The film straddles different genres with pleasing, albeit confusing, results.
Horse Girl’s star, Alison Brie, plays the socially awkward young woman who works at an arts and crafts store. Brie—who has starred in Mad Men and Community—shines and stands in stark contrast to the glamour of some of her previous roles. Brie’s Sarah is socially inept and obsessed with a horse she rode as a child. While also making braided anklets and bracelets the way an eleven-year-old might.
Cracks soon begin to emerge in Sarah’s dull routine as her behavior and imagination begin to run wild. Initially, this seems to be innocuous, perhaps some kind of sleepwalking, until the incidents become more and more bizarre; Waking up blocks from home in the middle of the night with her pajamas on backwards, abandoning her car in the middle of traffic, and vivid hallucinations. These hallucinations are of alien abductions, and start to blur the line between make-believe and reality as she obsesses over whether or not they are in fact paranormal in nature.
The dilemma for the audience soon becomes something I literally shouted at the screen: what is going on?! The last half hour of the movie might be called a fever dream as it’s not entirely obvious what is real and what is in Sarah’s head, though more ridiculous events can be presumed to be imaginary. What works throughout the entire rollercoaster plot is Brie’s portrayal of Sarah’s spiral into complete instability. As a former police officer, I encountered people with profoundly disturbing mental illnesses, and I can tell you that her manic compulsions are so realistic that the movie seems bound to be award-winning. The ending is open to some interpretation, but despite this ambiguity and at times confusing scenes, the movie works because of how realistic the acting is and how it keeps you guessing. You might consider a second viewing to analyze events, but regardless of the destination, the journey is worth taking.
—Antonio Rodriguez, Blogger.
Antonio Rodriguez’s Bio:
Joliet native Antonio Rodriguez is a jack of all trades, having worked in several careers since obtaining his bachelor’s degree ten years ago. An obsession with Mad Men and a love of advertising has led him to focus on studying Marketing at Lewis University, which he balances with walking his two rescue dogs. If either the zombies or machines rise up, he’s the man to find.