Trash Movie Review
Written by Stuart D. Monroe
Released by PFG Productions
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
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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