Maggie is a mentally unstable woman whose husband is about to leave her. After killing him, she descends into utter madness, obsessing over a local televangelist and horrifically tormenting her children. Her abuse is worst at her daughter Carla, whom she regularly tortures and pimps out. Carla commits to escaping, but this tale is doomed to end in tragedy.
Not to be confused with Afflicted.
This film contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents:
- After Maggie kills her husband, she descends into a violent mania, beating her kids, making them work to support her and pimping out her eldest daughter.
- Pastor Jon mentions his father being a drunk who regularly beat him and his mother. Eventually John tried to fight back with a fire poker, but his father nearly killed him with it and abandoned them both.
- Maggie claims her father beat and raped her, but given that she only brings it up when she's trying to convince Kathy that what she's doing isn't abuse, it's unclear if this is actually true.
- Big Bad: Maggie, a religious fanatic tormenting her children.
- Corrupt Church: Pastor Jon Stackwell runs a really small-time version of this with his local TV show, where he puts on a cheesy, No Budget sermon and pleads for money for expenses that don't exist. Despite being relatively easy money, he hates his job. However, he has Hidden Depths, viewing Bill as a son figure and offering to take the fall when Carla kills Maggie after seeing what she did to her.
- Definite Article Title
- Downer Ending: After Kathy and Carla are killed by the abuse, Maggie pimps Grace out to keep the money flowing. This causes her to snap and shoot Maggie dead, also killing her brother due to mistakenly believing that he enjoyed being forced to beat Carla. Pastor Jon arrives just after this, and tries to convince Grace to let him take the fall for the killings, but she shoots herself instead.
- Force Feeding: Maggie, resenting Kathy due to her own body image issues, forces her to eat disgustingly fatty foods in an attempt to make her fat as well.
- Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Maggie claims that her father beat and raped her and that's why she's so cruel, but aside from the ambiguity as to whether or not she's telling the truth, Kathy states that she doesn't care what her excuse is, and the narrative never gives her any sympathy.
- The Fundamentalist: Maggie's an insane Christian who obsesses over a local televangelist and will do anything, including physical abuse, pimping out her daughter, or killing her husband, to keep her family under her thumb.
- Hate Sink:
- After killing her husband for trying to leave her, Maggie descends into religious mania and starts abusing them. Aside from beating them in random rages, Maggie forces her son into manual labour and her eldest daughter into prostitution while Force Feeding her middle daughter in an attempt to make her fat. When said middle daughter resists, Maggie shoots her in the shoulder before fatally poisoning her in an attempt to remove the bullet. After the eldest daughter escapes, Maggie makes her two remaining children beat her bloody before locking her in a closet to starve and pimping out her remaining girl.
- Randy is a Dirty Old Man and the only customer we see Maggie procure in her child prostitution ring. He regularly rapes the daughter, being especially happy that she's a minor. After said daughter dies, Randy gladly goes to the youngest daughter, roughing her up some before raping her. When he finishes, he tells Maggie to beat her for resisting him.
- The Hero Dies: Grace shoots herself after killing Maggie.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: All the madness starts on Carla's birthday.
- Human Traffickers: Maggie refuses to leave her house, so for money she forces her son to do odd jobs and pimps out one of her daughters.
- Karma Houdini: Randy never gets any punishment for raping Kathy and Grace.
- Kitschy Local Commercial: Pastor Stackwell does the televangelist equivalent of these as the "Cowboy Prophet." Highlights include him doing his sermon in front of a paper-mache set, singing about "old-time religion," and fake-fighting with a dude in a Satan costume who's supposed to be trying to take his Bible away.
- Offing the Offspring: Maggie shoots Kathy in the shoulder, and eventually decides to remove the bullet herself. She uses a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs as an anesthetic, which causes Kathy to die during the procedure. Later, she locks Carla in a closet for so long that she starves to death.
- Self-Made Orphan: The film ends with Grace snapping and shooting Maggie in the chest.
- The Sociopath: Maggie, a housewife who beats her husband to death when he tries to leave her. After hiding the body, she begins abusing her children, up to and including pimping the eldest daughter out, all while bursting to violence at utter random. She can pretend to be a kindly mother when others are around, manipulating them so that nobody believes the kids about the abuse.
- The Vamp: Maggie has her moments, namely when she seduces Pastor Jon into not looking into an attempt by one of her kids to tell him about her abuse.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Theresa Knorr, a psychotic woman who, after getting away with murdering her husband 1964, proceeded to start horribly abusing her many children, eventually killing one daughter in 1984, and another in 1985.