Horse Girl

Horse Girl ★★★½

Neither the drab title nor the Netflix description gives you any idea what a surprisingly interesting, imaginative, and challenging film this is. Alison Brie delivers a phenomenal performance as Sarah, a socially awkward, emotionally damaged, and mentally ill young woman. The story calls to mind Donnie Darko, in that you're often unsure whether what's happening on the screen is only taking place in the mind of Sarah or whether it is actually occurring in the reality of the narrative. The film takes its weirdness a little too far towards the end, however, at which point it unfavorably calls to mind another film about a crazy lady, William Friedkin's Bug. I would have preferred a few less bizarre plot developments and a little more back story. We only get about three seconds of flashback to explain why Sarah is so enamored with her horse, for example. Nevertheless, despite some of the strange twists and turns, Sarah's mental illness is always treated with respect and sensitivity and never played for a joke. Brie's moving performance makes this well worth watching.

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