Ewan Graf’s review published on Letterboxd:
Horse Girl is Writer and Director Jeff Baena’s fourth feature film and launched on Netflix this Friday after premiering at the Sundance film festival in late January. This is the second collaboration between Baena and lead Alison Brie after 2017’s The Little Hours. Horse Girl tells the story of a socially awkward woman with a fondness for art and crafts, horses and supernatural crime shows who increasingly finds herself in ludic dreams that trickle into her waking life.
Alison Brie mentioned in interviews that she was inspired to write this story because of her personal family history with mental illness. She questioned if her relatives' conditions could suddenly spark up in her as well. Brie’s performance comes across as genuine, raw and honest. The film, however, is never able to match her performance and dedication. Most secondary characters are one dimensional and never serve a bigger function that illustrating Sarah, Alison Brie’s social awkwardness and lack of self-awareness.
The movie starts off somewhat grounded and reasonable but shifts gears in the latter half towards a crash of an ending. The introduction to our protagonist Sarah, a saleswoman at a crafts store called Great Lengths also takes a great length to introduce us to her unusual quirks and daily life structure. At that point, it becomes clear the story is relatively slow and panders in awkward social encounters for the sake of awkwardness and spends time on a love interest subplot that does not lead to a meaningful conclusion.