Bates presents a near gothic horror story with a tale of a difficult man and is far too good for him girlfriend visiting the surviving members of hi family; the family he wrote off after a tragic fire years ago with good reason. While not up to his earlier film 'Excision' this reps an above average genre film and features a strong turn by Annalynne McCord and an abrasive one by Adrian Grenier.
It starts brilliantly and moves like a freight train, up until it all comes crashing to a halt. There are too many ideas and none of them become fully realized. Adrian Grenier is great and proves that he can be someone else besides Vincent Chase. This is a big improvement over his previous Sundance film "Excision" and shows potential for Bates Jr. as he continues to develop and grow.
Bates is back to the dark humor that he did so well in the masterful Excision-- after Suburban Gothic and its off, cutesy humor-- and the first act of Trash Fire builds a damaged relationship dynamically with memorable scenes and even better nasty albeit hysterical jokes. Yet, when it moves to Owen's family's house, the film starts to feel repetitive and its pace grows stagnant. Grenier is fantastic, though.
there's something about his films that recalls to the world of video games: the revisiting of the same locations over and over again, the over the top characters, the general stillness of it all... and somehow it's working, this time to greater degrees than Excision