TADFF16: Trash Fire

This review was originally published as part of my coverage of Fantasia 2016

A dysfunctional couple goes to visit family in Trash Fire. After being together for three years, Owen (Adrian Grenier) and Isabel (Angela Trimbur) are barely able to keep there relationship together, particularly due to Owen’s spiteful sarcasm and trust issues, stemming from a past tragedy. When Isabel reveals that she is pregnant, Owen wants to make the relationship work. However, as a condition for keeping the baby, Isabel tells Owen to reconnect with his religious zealot of a grandmother Violet (Fionnula Flanagan) and horribly burned sister Pearl (AnnaLynne McCord). It quickly turns into a decision that they’ll come to regret.

Trash Fire is the third film from director Richard Bates Jr. (ExcisionSuburban Gothic) and it deals with a couple with some serious issues. As a dark comedy with a touch of horror, Trash Fire isn’t a film that’s afraid to push some buttons. This is particularly true for Owen, who tends to say the most inappropriate things in conversations, which ends up driving Isabel crazy. However, Owen is a saint compared to his crazed grandmother Violet, whose devotion to God can easily turn deadly.

There is a moment that happens early on in Trash Fire that is both incredibly hilarious, yet horribly wrong. That is probably my description of the film in a nutshell, While Trash Fire might make you laugh at times, it will also make you incredibly uncomfortable. Adrian Grenier is way better in this film than he ever was on the television series Entourage and AnnaLynne McCord stands out as Owen’s emotionally damaged, yet still slightly sympathetic sister Pearl. Altogether, Trash Fire is quite a messed up film, but in a somewhat entertaining way.



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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).