Jeff Baena’s ‘Horse Girl‘ is a genre bending, nerve-wrenching tale of a woman losing herself and her sense of what’s real. It’s an incredibly ambitious project, filled with mind-bending complexities, that offers an empathetic take on mental illness. The film centers around Sarah, played impressively by Alison Brie, who is a socially awkward woman working at a crafts’ store. She is a warm-natured introvert who spends her spare time with her childhood horse or watching her favourite sci-fi show.
As the film progresses, strange things begin to happen to Sarah. She has a history of mental illness in her family, and often finds herself sleep-walking. But soon things begin to escalate as Sarah finds herself in a white void. She loses her sense of time, and her dreams begin to melt into her reality.
The ending of ‘Horse Girl’ is perhaps one of the most poignantly poetic and bizarre conclusions I have witnessed in recent years. The bittersweet and surreal nature of the ending leaves the door open to multiple possibilities. Is there more to explored here? Could there be a sequel to ‘Horse Girl’? Here’s everything we know.
Will There Be A ‘Horse Girl’ Sequel?
To understand whether or not ‘Horse Girl’ could (and should) get a sequel, it is important to discuss that helluva complicated ending, and what it means for Sarah. As discussed in depth in the Ending, Explained article, the conclusion to Sarah’s story leaves room for multiple interpretations. The ending works in a more poetic way as it serves as a happy ending for Sarah in the guise of a truly tragic one. Of course, the two possible interpretations to the conclusion are related to either Sarah suffering from a severe mental illness. Or, that she is really being abducted by aliens, and is stuck in a time loop.
‘Horse Girl’ offers space to explore both these possibilities. In the end, Sarah believes that she is her grandmother from another time. This works in a metaphorical sense as she inherits her grandmother’s illness. But it could also be true if she was indeed stuck in a time loop. Does this mean if Sarah went back in time as Helen, she would give birth to her mother, and see her future self? This could prove to be an incredible idea to explore if there is ever a sequel. But again, on a more logical note, the final scenes could merely be result of Sarah’s delusions.
It is ultimately the film’s ambiguities that leave such a lingering impact on the viewers. Not knowing what happened is what haunts us. There is definitely more that could be explored with a potential sequel. Especially since not much is revealed about Sarah’s past (and what happens to her), or Helen, or even about the two people she sees in her dreams. But further explaining or extending something as haunting and incomprehensible as ‘Horse Girl’ might just do more harm than justice to all that its makers tried to do.
Another factor that could influence the future of Sarah’s story is Jeff Baena’s relatively young career. It would make more sense for him to explore original stories in the near future before deciding to go back to his older projects.
Of course, the possibility of a sequel to ‘Horse Girl’ majorly depends on how well the film does. While it is too soon to say how the public likes it, the reactions from critics have been largely mixed. Most critics praised Brie’s brilliant performance and found the film intriguing. But they weren’t satisfied with the way the story unravels. While others sang high praises and devoured all that it had to offer. Had the film been a ‘Bird Box’ like success, one could have easily imagines ‘Horse Girl’ getting a sequel. But considering all factors, ‘Horse Girl 2’ seems unlikely.
Read More: Where Was Horse Girl Filmed?