What is real and what is not? Alison Brie struggles to tell the difference in Horse Girl

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

In Horse Girl, Sarah (Alison Brie), a socially isolated arts and crafts store employee, finds herself more content in the company of horses and supernatural crime shows than people. But when a series of strangely surreal dreams upend the simplicity of her waking life, Sarah struggles to distinguish her visions from reality. The film is a darkly humorous psychological thriller about a woman’s search for the truth, however abstract it may be.

The film stars Golden Globe nominee Alison Brie (GLOW), Debby Ryan (Insatiable), John Reynolds (Stranger Things), Molly Shannon (Other People), John Ortiz (Fast & Furious), Paul Reiser (Mad About You, Alien), and Jay Duplass (Transparent). It will also feature Robin Tunney (The Mentalist), Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds), Meredith Hagner (Search Party) and Dylan Gelula (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). (synopsis via Coming Soon)

We may like to think we have a firm grasp on what is real and what is not but as anyone who has ever had to deal with a crisis of any kind or been swallowed by trauma large or small or simply grown tired of the ceaseless monotony of their girl, telling the difference between the actual and the imagined can be a tough ask.

Sarah (Alison Brie) knows exactly how bewildering and then frightening this state of mind can be, and as she spirals further and further into the murky world that seems to exist between her lonely, predictable life in a craft shop, visiting her mum’s grave and going to Zumba alone and all kinds of weird and wonderful things happening to her, she begins to wonder if history is, in fact, repeating itself.

In the short space of a perfectly-judged trailer, we witness Sarah unravel, going from delighted and happy that some good things are finally happening to her to wondering if they really what they’re cracked up to be and whether she is, lke her grandmother, going to a terrible place from which there might be no return.

Horse Girl looks both quirkily clever and deeply unsettling but most of all, it feels very real since who of us hasn’t at some point or another felt like we are losing our grip on reality?

Horse Girl premieres on Netflix worldwide on 7 February.

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