Nice girl Tracy is led by friend Evie into drinking, committing petty crimes and scaring her stuggling mother Melanie with her downward spiral into teen hell.
This LA-set drama could have been entitled Every Mother's Nightmare or, possibly, Cinematic Contraception.
No-one in their right mind would consider having a child - especially a girl - after seeing what a horrible, scheming, back-talking slut she could turn into, as Tracy does when she falls in with cool (and emotionally distressed) kid Evie.
What makes this movie more disturbing - if watching two 13 year-olds attempt to seduce a grown-up male neighbour isn't alarming enough - is that it was co-written by Nikki Reed, who was 13 when she put pen to paper, and 14 when she played the role of Evie.
The film is based on her own experiences (director Hardwicke was dating her dad and suggested she wrote down her teenage problems as a way of working through them), so no matter how many times you tell yourself that the things you're watching don't really happen, she's walking, talking, screeching evidence that it does.
Hunter is superb as the alcoholic mom trying to keep her life from falling apart, and Wood and Reed are scarily convincing as delinquents.