Trash Movie Review

Written by Stuart D. Monroe

Released by PFG Productions

trash large

Directed by Suzanne Etheridge
Written by Suzanne Etheridge (screenplay), Ian Etheridge, Nik Kavanagh, Heather Nice, and Alicia Rice
2019, 5 minutes, Not Rated
Blood in the Snow Film Festival Screening on November 24th, 2019

Ian Etheridge as The Creature
Braeden Alexander as Clean Up Kid
Michael Russer as Grumpy Man
Madison Seamone as Maddy

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The warning is made clear at the end of the film: Take care of your trash… before it takes care of you! Both relevant and poignant, it’s a message that applies to every country on the planet. We’re choking on the garbage we all create, and what better way to present a parable than in the context of the horrific?

On the outskirts of a small Canadian town blanketed in snow sits an old landfill. It’s an eyesore, smoldering and occasionally lighting up. The public radio tells us that the town has finally decided to switch to a newer, better facility elsewhere to handle all the refuse produced by the local population. The broadcast also tells us that seven children under the age of 15 have recently gone missing. Are the two issues related? Once we see what comes from the landfill, we quickly realize that the two are indeed related and it’s our fault.

Trash is a dark and ugly parable laden with powerful scenic imagery that contrasts the natural frozen beauty of Canada with the ugly byproduct of humanity. Five minutes isn’t a lot of time to make a point and tell a story, but writer/director Suzanne Etheridge does an efficient job of it. The Creature (Ian Etheridge) is a filth-coated monstrosity that’s never fully seen and is more effective for it. Nothing happens directly on camera; it’s not violent or explicit, but it’s still quite clear what is going on in the sleepy town.

Heavy-handed morality may not sit so well when you have to choke it down for an hour-and-a-half, but it’s a full-on assault of discomfort when compressed into the amount of time that it takes to, say, smoke a cigarette or eat that fast food meal that you’re about to throw out of the window. Wonderfully unsubtle, Trash still manages to maintain a fairy tale-esque quality that lingers once the credits appear. What acting there is in the film isn’t great, but as it’s essentially a narrated series of images and acts, it’s forgivable. You’re going to get the point, and the limited performances aren’t so bad as to be jarring.

Trash absolutely leaves you wanting more. It’s an idea that has a universal relevance combined with a nasty disposition. Fleshing it out to full length would be something that would turn more than a few heads and make some people think about how they handle their garbage.

After all, one person’s trash is another monster’s treasure.

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Movie: 4 Star Rating Cover

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Stuart D. Monroe
Staff Reviewer
Stuart D. Monroe is a man of many faces – father, husband, movie reviewer, published author of short horror, unsuccessful screenwriter (for now), rabid Clemson Tiger, Southern gentleman, and one hell of a model American who goes by the handle "Big Daddy Stu" or "Sir". He's also highly disturbed and wears that fact like a badge of honor. He is a lover of all things horror with a particular taste for the fare of the Italians and the British. He sometimes gets aroused watching the hardcore stuff, but doesn't bother worrying about whether he was a serial killer in a past life as worrying is for the weak. He was raised in the video stores of the '80s and '90s. The movie theater is his cathedral. He worships H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. When he writes, he listens obsessively to either classical music or the works of Goblin to stimulate the neural pathways. His favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead. His favorite book is IT. His favorite TV show is LOST.
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