I've never been that big of a fan of punk rock. Not saying that I can't appreciate its raw energy and emotion, particularly if it's really fast (the type of punk that I'd probably gravitate to anyways if I did listen to it). In fact, right now, I'm probably more likely to appreciate punk more than I've ever done in the past, I just need to find that gateway punk band to get me into it. One of my closest friends in school loved punk, he listened to NOFX, Pennywise, The Offspring, stuff like that. I used to make fun of him for liking punk because I was a metalhead. This was all well-natured and he made fun of me as well. Let's be honest, if you and your friends do not make fun of each other, then you're probably not real friends to begin with. Regardless, at the time, I didn't understand why he liked it and, at the time, I probably wouldn't have understood referring to a movie, such as this, as punk rock in nature. I don't mean like SLC Punk, which is openly influenced by that culture. I mean it as something more like in its feel and execution, particularly during the second act, when this goth character is introduced and how she, and the people she lives with, play into the climax of this story. As far as this movie is concerned, honestly, it sort of defies description. I find that to be a good thing. I don't wanna say it's genre-bending (like Save The Green Planet) or genre-defining in any way, but it is a movie that's difficult to describe in a few words because, inevitably, that means that you're gonna leave something out that might be relevant to the narrative and its characters. Interestingly enough, I guess the best way I could describe this movie would be to say that it is a subversive exploration of abusive relationships. Chip's relationship with Liza is, clearly, abusive as Liza constantly belittles him, berates him, physically assaults him during sex without his consent. In short, Liza is like Miss Piggy and Chip is like Kermit, except it's not as funny and Miss Piggy isn't exactly as verbally abusive, to Kermit at least, as Liza is to Chip. Thing is, however, that Chip is completely infatuated with Liza and he'd do absolutely anything she says just to make her happy, including stealing $68,000 dollars from Liza's sugar daddy. Of course, Chip, is easily manipulated into agreeing with this, as Chip has a non-confrontational attitude to things, he fails to stand up for himself. So he agrees to this and, of course, nothing goes according to plan as Liza kills her sugar daddy and his wife, while they also kidnap Violet, a young woman who Liza's sugar daddy had his eye on, while they worked together. Violet rebuffed his advances, so he fired her and, through his connections, got her kicked out of her apartment. So, now, naturally, in order to get by, she has to do what he and his wife ask of her, for money, of course. Wonderful people, these two. Regardless, Chip feels an actual connection to Violet and their plan, after Liza faints twice after catching up to Chip, is to take the money and just escape from this life. Not as simple as that, of course. Violet ends up dead after an encounter with this goth chick at this gas station, where she, the goth lady, was trying to extort some money from Chip in order to keep her mouth. Here's the thing about the movie, honestly, I was sort of on the fence about it. Like, prior to the Violet's murder, I would have struggled to say whether I thought this film was good or not. I just didn't feel one way or another about it, I was sort of in the middle. It was certainly not bad or anything, but it never really clicked for me. Parts of it were good and parts of it were average and, to me, unless the good parts are really good, they're not gonna be enough to make up for the average. Another issue I had was the fact that the movie had some jarring tonal shifts, like it didn't know if it wanted to be funny or if it wanted to be serious or if it wanted to be something resembling a horror movie, which it does have elements of. And that's why I mentioned, at the beginning, that I didn't find it easy to describe this movie in just a few words. It's a lot of things at once and, honestly, in some parts, it doesn't really know how to mix and match all the genres it is juggling. With that said, however, when Monica, the goth lady from the gas station, and her group of trailer trash friends are introduced, I feel that this is when the movie is at its best. While I do think that Violet and Chip's relationship was nice and sweet, at least compared to what Chip was used to, I feel that, after their escape, the movie was sort of aimless. Like you didn't know what direction it was gonna go in and what the endgame of it all as. You knew Liza was gonna come back sooner or later, you just didn't know how sooner or how later that was going to be. And, really, you could make the argument that this is a good thing and it can be, if there's still a clear direction in mind. However, I don't think that the movie had a clear direction in mind at this point. I mean, it clearly did since that was what was written on the script, but it just gives off the appearance that it's not really going anywhere, because nothing really seems to happen. And I do suppose that these quieter moments were meant to establish Violet and Chip's relationship and how Violet is the type of woman that Chip should actually be with, I just wish it wasn't so directionless. But when Monica and her friends are introduced, I do think the movie gains its focus again, because now you know that, at the very least, now Liza is gonna show up and she and her brother Dwayne are gonna fuck Monica and her friends up. This is where the punk rock aspect of the movie comes through, in these scenes with Monica and her trailer trash friends. It's just dirty, grimy and gritty. I feel this is when the movie really sort of finds its own identity, instead of just juggling through multiple genres not knowing what it wanted to be. Ultimately, to me, the introduction of these trailer trash characters ends up being the saving grace of the movie as I felt that, in spite of its flaws, this added up to a pretty good movie. I also liked the more dominant and assertive roles the women in this film take and that's why I feel it's more a subversive examination of abusive relationships where Chip, in this case at least, takes role that, in media, is traditionally reserved for women, where she's controlled and dominated by all the men in her life. Chip is meek and is easily manipulated by Liza to do everything that she wants just because he feels like he's so lucky to have her. I don't wanna say Chip is useless but, until the third act of the movie, the people who drive the movie forward are the women and, again, I liked that approach. It's a fresh take and, to their credit, AnnaLynne McCord, Alisha Boe and Sheila Vand (Liza, Violet and Monica respectively) all knock it out of the park, particularly AnnaLynne, who's tremendous here. Matthew Gray Gubler is also really quite good and I've always enjoyed his work and the fact that he really seems to be invested and into whatever role I've seen him in and, really, most of them are smaller, independent movies, which I respect and admire since, as a series regular on Criminal Minds, which I'm certain is a cushy job, he doesn't really NEED to do anything else and yet he does and he does it quite well. So props to Matthew for clearly being passionate about the movies he's in and he's great here as well. Another thing I liked about the movie was how it was not afraid to be in your face, not necessarily with its violence, per se, though it does get quite violent in the third act. I just mean with its portrayal of its characters, like they're not afraid to show the absolute worst of these people and having them completely revel in it. Not afraid to show its characters uglier traits. With that said, this movie has its flaws for sure and I've gone over them here, but in spite of its identity issues and its directionless second act, I feel that this adds up to a pretty good movie. Not gonna reinvent the wheel in anyway, but it has enough fresh ideas to warrant a watch.