If there’s anything that we know about teenage girls, it’s that they could be beautiful, vengeful and cruel. The girls in Thoroughbreds certainly embody that. The movie is about a pair of girls, Amanda (Olivia Cooke) and Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) plotting the murder of Lily’s stepdad coolly, calmly and without an ounce of remorse.
Amanda suffers from a disorder that renders her emotionless, and her mother tried to get her to reconnect with her childhood best friend, whom she drifted away from after the death of Lily’s father. As the girls spend more time together, Lily opens up more about her life, especially about her dislike for her abrasive step-father, Mark. Very soon, the pair started to hatch a plan to kill Mark, by hiring a drug dealer (Anton Yelchin in his final movie). It didn’t go very well, so the pair decides to take things into their own hands.
Despite looking like a teenager slasher flick, Thoroughbreds is more a psychological thriller and not quite for the faint of heart. The movie explores the depths of our humanity and reveals what we are capable of when devoid of any empathy, remorse or emotions. And that is a very scary thought.
If watching Thoroughbreds opens up your thirst for more sinister teenage murder movies, here are four more gems.
Tragedy Girls (2017)
Tragedy Girls follow two seemingly death-obsessed girls who utilise the power of social media to send their mid-western town into a frenzy. BFFs Sadie (Brianna Hildebrand) and McKayla (Alexandra Shipp) are determined to boost their social media following as amateur crime reporters. And they think that following the trail of a deranged local serial killer is going to help them get the numbers up. They go about it by somehow capturing the killer, holding him hostage, and making him pay.
Tragedy Girls makes use of trending issues plaguing the youth of today and incorporate them into the storyline, adding a layer of relatability to the story. Teens watching the show may see a sliver of themselves, about a pair of girls seeking fame online at whatever the cost.
Hard Candy (2005)
Ellen Page is known for her roles as a pregnant teenager in Juno (2007), Kitty Pryde in the X-Men series, and as part of the Inception (2010) crew. But she will be most remembered for being Hayley Stark in Hard Candy. As a 14-yeard vigilante who’s on a mission to hunt down paedophiles, Hayley engages with a man named Jeff (Patrick Wilson) online and lures him into a date with the intentions of teaching him a lesson. She bounds and gags Jeff, forcing him to admit to being a pervert and the whole process gives us a sense of satisfaction that no court’s justice could give.
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Before Peter Jackson became the king of Middle Earth, he made thriller movies in his native New Zealand. And he sort of discovered Kate Winslet, for Heavenly Creatures was Winslet’s feature film debut. Winslet and Melanie Lynskey are two teen girls with wildly imaginative minds who form a strong bond. As their friendship goes deeper, they develop an “us vs the world” mentality. As they feel more and more oppressed by the world, and by their parents, who are always trying to separate them, they begin to do something really drastic to their parents. Heavenly Creatures is actually based loosely on real events that happened in Christchurch, New Zealand, back in 1954.
This might just be the original teen murder flick that triggered a cascade of similar movies. In this black comedy and cult classic, Winona Ryder stars as Veronica, who, like many high-schoolers before and after her, was bullied by a bunch of mean girls all sharing the same name of Heather. But she’s had enough. Enlisting the help of her boyfriend J.D. (Christian Slater), the new bad boy in town, the pair goes on a vengeance spree that doesn’t just target the Heathers, but with plenty of collateral damage in between. Heathers is the high school revenge story that still looks good thirty years on.