98 min minutes

This film, the third by Megan Griffiths, a rising star in Seattle’s filmmaking scene and winner of the 2012 Genius Award, doesn’t have one dull moment in it. Not one. From its first image (pure blackness) to its last image (a reflection on a pay phone), your attention is gripped by its nightmarish story: a Korean American teengager, Hyun Jae (Jamie Chung), is kidnapped and forced into sex slavery. Hyun doesn’t come from a poor family, is close to her parents, and is about to graduate from high school. She is not a runaway, or abused by her father, or from a third-world country. She is, in a word, normal. And so her fall into the underworld of porn, prostitution, murder, and corrupt cops is as sudden, as unexpected as you or I being struck by lightning. Griffiths handles her story with the mastery of an old pro. She's always thinking one or two steps ahead of your expectations. Nothing you saw in her previous feature, The Off Hours, will prepare you for this one. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

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Film Credits
Megan Griffiths