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We Got This Covered
Trash Fire blazes with pitch-black wit and a dark, volatile story of redemption so good you'll be laughing your way straight to Hell.
The A.V. Club
While it doesn’t include any literal blazing piles of garbage, Trash Fire is spiteful and unpleasant from beginning to end, using every technique at its disposal — from stinging dialogue to grotesque prosthetics to morbid black comedy — to make the audience uncomfortable.
Some of it is tonally inconsistent and the end feels rushed, but strong performances, especially from the great Fionnula Flanagan, along with Bates’ unique voice keep it engaging.
Consequence of Sound
Neither Bates Jr.’s assured direction nor the strength of the performances can salvage the narrative, which feels overly convoluted and spackled far too much finery.
The Hollywood Reporter
Loaded with dark humor, Bates’ script faces considerable challenges developing sympathetic characters.
Bates (Suburban Gothic) plays with horror tropes, juggling black comedy and suspense in scenes that tease a gory release but ultimately only emphasize how much members of the creative class can underestimate their backward kin.
Trash Fire is too quick to burn through its ideas.
The performers are mostly out to sea without a paddle trying to make sense of hateful characters, but Trimbur at least shows some comic spark and strikes a few sympathetic notes.
Los Angeles Times
Flaming out from the get-go, Trash Fire represents another soggy batch of Southern Gothic horror-comedy from writer-director Richard Bates Jr. that spews out pitch black smoke with little combustible substance.
The New York Times
I didn’t think I had see a worse fiction film this year than that other failed American Guignol, “Clown.” I may have been wrong.
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