The Sundance Film Festival is nearly upon us, and the film industry will begin teasing the tantalizing features that will make their way to theaters and streaming services as the year ramps up. Sundance often blends high-powered stars with challenging material, and that’s certainly one way to describe the bizarre yet intriguing Horse Girl, which stars Glow and Community star Alison Brie as a woman who can either communicate with the future, or is going insane.
Check this crazy trailer out, and we’ll try to breakdown what we are seeing afterwards:
Oh boy, the trailer for Horse Girl throws a lot at us, and begs us to process it all in a short amount of time. Alison Brie’s character, Sarah, is celebrating a birthday. But it’s clear that she’s a loner. She’s still struggling after the death of her mother, despite the support from her dad (Paul Reiser). But things potentially turn a corner when her roommate (Debby Ryan) sets up a blind-date situation… which leads to more problems.
After that, it’s a laundry list of issues that could be plaguing Sarah. We hear of “alien abduction.” We learnt that her grandmother (who looks an AWFUL lot like Sarah) also experienced mental confusion, and Sarah looks like she’s wondering if these issues run in the family. And in the weirdest moment from the trailer, Sarah answers a phone call from an Unknown Caller, and hears what Molly Shannon is about to say, before she says it.
“I can hear the future,” she whispers, and that probably means that Sarah has gone off of the deep end.
It’s difficult for us to predict what’s coming in Horse Girl, because it’s basically a one-man show behind the scenes, as Jeff Baena is credited as this film’s writer, director and main producer. Baena created waves with his 2014 horror comedy Life After Beth, where Audrey Plaza played a dead girlfriend who comes back to “haunt” her former flame (Dane DeHaan). So his sensibilities as a storyteller are unconventional, and Baena appears to be going all in with Horse Girl.
But I was more intrigued by the title card in the trailer that teased it as coming from the producers of The One I Love and Safety Not Guaranteed. Those are two film-festival standouts that played with time travel, and reality-bending fiction. So at the very least, expect this Netflix film to be very unexpected.
The good news about Horse Girl is that you won’t have to wait very long to see it. After making its debut at Sundance on January 27, the movie reaches Netflix on February 7, when you will be able to dive into the movie’s many mysteries.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.