One line summary: Human trafficking victim attempts to escape life of crime and prostitution.
Film opens to rap music played with a black screen. Not a good start. Hyun Jae is tied up with her mouth duct-taped in the truck of the kidnapper who plays the rap music. It is clear that this is not going to go well for Jae.
Then we backtrack to one day earlier to Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1994. Hyun-Jae, teen daughter of Korean immigrants who own 'Gifts and Taxonomy.' Jae let herself be vulnerable: smoking, getting a false ID, going drinking while out against her parents wishes. Picking up men in bars turns out to be a very bad idea. The fireman who sends over two whiskeys to Jae and her friend turns out to be part of the machinery in finding and kidnapping at risk young teen-aged virgins. Also, he has many badges, not just a fireman's. He stops, talks to a comrade, then they take her. The comrade drives her to Arizona. He dumps her in a ravine at a man's ranch.
Bob Gault is part of law enforcement, but he also works with the kidnappers. They had left a transmitter on Jae's ankle, and Bob zeroed in on that. After making sure there were no witnesses, Bob kills the deputy the man had called, then the man. Bob takes Jae to the next part of the pipeline. She wakes up in a clinic; she's drugged and the old woman there removes her metal braces. When Jae wakes next, she's with other young women, all scantily clad in a make-shift barracks. Bob has each young woman pick out a kitten to centre their attentions. Then he turns to Jae. He has intercepted the missing persons report that her father had filled out. He makes it clear that nothing is going to come of it.
Bob renames her Eden from "Eden's Garden," the trailer park where her parents live. He makes it clear that she will be a prostitute, and that she is expected to bathe in the morning, in the evening, and after sexual congress. Bob reminds her that he knows where her parents live, that he's part of law enforcement, and he will cause trouble for the parents if she gets out of line. End of setup, 22 minutes in.
Eden attempts to escape early on, but is severely disciplined. She bides her time for a year, then attempts to gain Vaughan's confidence. That starts to go well, but Vaughan does his best to make her a fellow drug addict. He also teachers her to man the telephones, and to drive a truck. At one of the seminars that Bob gives, he is approached by an investigators for the two murders he committed when picking up Jae.
Will her new approach work? Will Vaughan's drug use hurt her chances? Will Bob or Vaughan be exposed for their criminal activity?
Cinematography: 10/10 Fine.
Sound: 10/10 No problems.
Acting: 8/10 Quite good. Beau Bridges is excellent as the equally affable and menacing Bob. Matt O'Leary was a bit off. Jamie Chung's performance was solid.
Screenplay: 8/10 Definitely an engaging story, and quite a scary one.