Directed by Jeff Baena and starring Alison Brie (How to be single), Horse Girl is one of the weirdest movies I have seen not only this year, but even since I started to write this blog, and even more, since I started watching movies.
The end of Horse Girl is so weird, that it literally seems we need some extra scene, to finally decide what the hell was happening to the main character. But if like everyone who saw the movie, you ended up very confused at the end, do not worry, because now and without further ado, we’ll analyze and explain Horse Girl in depth .
1 ^ Does Horse Girl have any post-credit scenes?
If you were perhaps hoping that the director would save some additional scenes to kind of explain what happened to Sarah at the end of the movie, I’m afraid that is not the case. This movie doesn’t have any post-credit scenes.
2 ^ Are aliens real or is Sarah definitely crazy?
Director Jeff Baena said in an interview that the ending is open to interpretation, meaning that you can decide to believe if Sarah is crazy or not. But in the same interview the director says that Sarah is an unreliable narrator, which means that in the movie, we are seeing what Sarah BELIEVES is happening.
In other words, with this movie Baena wants to show us how real it feels for patients with mental problems, to be a slave to what their minds want to show to them. The explanation of the aliens makes sense, once we reach the end; but the film is far from being about science fiction, and circular journeys in time. That reality is simply the reality that makes sense to Sarah.
3 ^ Sarah’s Mental Health
At the beginning of the film we believe that Sarah is a normal girl, but as the minutes go by, we see that her life is a tragedy: first, her grandmother dies like a homeless person, after suffering serious mental issues; her mother commits suicide on account of a depressive condition; her best childhood friend suffered an accident on the horse that left her mentally incapacitated; and the only effective consolation he has ever known is that of a TV show. And yes, although there are people like Joan or Nikki who try to help her integrate more, to meet people, Sarah has to deal with people like Brian, or Joe, who simply despise her.
Now, the point is that Sarah is so focused on not ending up like her mother, that she begins to deny that in effect, the tragedies she has lived are taking a toll on her and every time someone, like Joan, mentions the possibility she is suffering the same condition, she immediately goes into denial. It is difficult for people around her to help her with a problem, which she flatly denies having.
4 ^ So what disease does Sarah really suffer?
The website specialized in psychiatry psycom.net indicates the characteristics of a pathology called Psychotic Depression as follows:
Typically, the person with psychotic depression exhibits a low, sad mood, with poor concentration and feelings of lack of self-worth and guilt. The person hears or sees voices and things that are not real, which are hallucinations, and believes things that are not real, which are delusions.Source: https://www.psycom.net/psychotic-depression-what-you-should-know
These are all the symptoms that Sarah shows.
5 ^ Why is the mare important? Why is the film’s title related to horses?
The film places a lot of emphasis on the matter with Willow, the horse that once belonged to Sarah, and not without reason. In fact, what the film wants to show us is the fact that at the moment that Sarah loses her horse, she loses the only being she really loves on Planet Earth, and her only pole to reality.
Without Willow, Sarah’s only connection to the world is her roommate, who with her presence alone reminds her of how insignificant she is, and whose boyfriend always looks at her with contempt; Joan, her co-worker, who despite having a good relationship with her, reminds her that her mother was mentally ill and Gary, her mother’s ex-husband, who even forgot her birthday.
The film’s title reflects precisely that, Sarah is not a girl who loves humans, because no human seems to really care about her, only Willow, that intuitive horse educated in the English style, with whom she shares birthdays, is capable of showing sincere affection to her. And she no longer has access to it.
6 ^ And the scratches, Ron, Sarah’s roommate, and grandma’s picture? What about all the evidence in favor of alien abductions?
Remember that I told you that Sarah is an unreliable narrator? And about psychotic depression? From minute one of the movie, we are seeing the way in which Sarah’s mind is processing her reality, so it makes sense to her, without having to face the simple and simple fact that she is completely alone.
Logic would indicate that during his stay in the psychiatric hospital, Sarah reorganized all the events of her last days and fit all the pieces so that they made sense. In reality, surely Sarah’s grandmother has a resemblance to her, but is not exactly the same; the scratches in the apartment and the car, or were made by herself, or never existed; she became obsessed with Ron to the point of harassing him, and she heard all the information about the alleged abductions from her roommate.
7 ^ So what does the end mean?
I am very afraid that the ending for Sarah is not encouraging. The final scene shows that Sarah – convinced that she is her own grandmother and dressed just like her – is about to be taken by the aliens to the past. That way all her delusions and hallucinations make sense. Sarah pulls Willow from the stables and takes her to a forest, where she throws herself on the floor, and sees a light in the sky. In the following picture we don’t see Sarah, only Willow wearing the necklace she made for her.
A curious fact about this scene, is that the lights she sees in the sky, are marked in the subtitles as «Mark of Hades», the same character from Purgatory, Sarah’s favorite TV show, and where she got the idea she was a clone. Sarah finally gave herself totally to her fantasy, leaving behind the only thing she had indicated she loved: her horse, and her love for crafts. She has left behind any connection with reality, and in doing so it will be unable to take care of itself, and to activate its conservation instinct. As the psynet.com article indicates, in these cases, the patient’s life is at risk.
The final picture indicates that Sarah continued walking without Willow, completely disconnected from reality, at the mercy of the inclemency of the forest and the weather, waiting only for death.
8 ^ What is the message of the movie?
Like Todd Phillips’ Joker, Horse Girl is a film that speaks about mental illnesses and how we – as a society – and the health system, approach to them. And what we conclude is nothing encouraging: we are a society that is not prepared to recognize someone who presents this symptomatology, we are not prepared to behave around these patients and finally we have no idea what we should do in these cases .
All this literally becomes the worst purgatory that a person can experience, suffering a condition that only worsens because there is no one around who can understand it.
More questions, doubts, or insults? The comments section is open just below. If you liked the post, please share it on your social media. See you at the next Ending Explained, here on El Sabanero X.