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Film / Trash Fire

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Home, sweet hell.

Trash Fire is a 2016 film starring Adrian Grenier, Angela Trimbur, AnnaLynne McCord, and Fionnula Flanagan.

It follows a man named Owen Roberts, and his girlfriend Isabel Sullivan, and their attempt to reconnect with the former's family, specifically his grandmother, Violet, and his sister, Pearl. Owen is revealed to have survived a fire which killed his parents, and disfigured Pearl. Violet, it should be noted, is a religious fanatic who forces the lovers to sleep separately. But it turns out that her fanaticism does not end there.

Spoilers are Unmarked!

Provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Ending: Pearl snaps and kills Violet before she can kill Isabel and her unborn baby, but also finishes off a dying Owen. Pearl hugs Isabel's stomach, leaving Isabel wondering whether she is her closest family or her worst enemy.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: At first, when Owen finds out that Isabel is pregnant, he callously tells her to get an abortion. However, he has a change of heart, and eventually tries to prove his worthiness as a father by reuniting with his grandmother, Violet, and his sister, Pearl. Deconstructed when Violet turns out to have plans to kill everyone else, specifically Owen, Isabel, and Pearl, calling into question whether Isabel's pregnancy was beneficial to Owen and Isabel.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Violet steals Pastor Sterling's rattlesnake and hides it in the toilet in order to make an attempt on Isabel's life, showing that not even animals are safe from suffering from her abuse.
  • Blackmail: Violet cows Pastor Sterling into submission by reminding him that he molested Violet's daughter at 15.
  • The Can Kicked Him: Violet attempts to murder Isabel by hiding Pastor Sterling's rattlesnake in the toilet.
  • Churchgoing Villain: Violet is a religious fanatic who holds her grandson's girlfriend in contempt for being pregnant out of wedlock, and held her own daughter in contempt for the latter's promiscuity. Owen, her grandson, questions how she can call herself a Christian.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After suffering years of abuse at Violet's hands, Pearl finally kills the former when Violet has Owen and Isabel at gunpoint.
  • Egocentrically Religious: Violet claims to Pastor Sterling that God told her to kill her family. She rejects the idea that she is delusional, and blames Sterling molesting her then 15 year old daughter for the fire she caused, which killed said daughter, as well as the daughter's husband, and disfigured Pearl.
  • Evil Matriarch: Violet is a religious fanatic who treats her grandchildren like garbage, and plans to kill them along with Isabel.
  • Evil Old Folks: Even in her advanced age, Violet is horribly abusive to Pearl. She also intends to kill her surviving family.
  • The Fundamentalist: Violet is initially presented as a stock religious shrike, calling Isabel a whore and whatnot, calling Pearl an abomination. She later claims that god told her to kill the rest of her family.
  • Gruesome Grandparent: Violet, Owen's grandmother, who raised him after his parents died, is a cruel religious fanatic, who tried to drive Owen to suicide as a teenager by making him blame himself for the fire that killed his parents. A fire Violet herself actually started.
  • Hate Sink: Violet is presented as a textbook example of a self-righteous abuser, and a sociopath. Violet constantly verbally abuses those around her, and secretly plots their demise.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Owen may be callous to Isabel's friends and family, and even to Isabel herself, but eventually he decides to try and make up with his sister in order to prove himself worthy as the father of Isabel's child.
  • Kill It with Fire: Violet set a fire in the house of her daughter and son-in-law, and attempts to set a fire to kill Owen as well, but fails.
  • Knight Templar: Violet has delusions of righteousness, despite being a textbook example of an abuser.
  • Medication Tampering: Violet sabotages Owen's epilepsy medication, eventually causing him to collapse.
  • Offing the Offspring: Violet murdered her daughter and her son in law via arson, and intends on killing her grandchildren, as well as the grandson's girlfriend.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Violet is an unpleasant old woman, and makes no attempt to hide her disdain for others at all.