Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Archer

The Archer, dir. Valerie Weiss, 2017 USA, 86 min. 💖😱
Friday, June 16, 6:30 p.m., Castro Theatre: Bay Area première
Friday, June 23, 9:30 p.m., Piedmont Theatre, Oakland

The Archer
First, an important caveat: if you avoid movies with graphic violence, or movies that dwell in the dread of some looming horror, knowing that hell is about to rain down upon the protagonists, this film is definitely not for you. That’s why I put the “screaming in horror” emoji on this review alongside the sparkle heart.

That said, if I haven't already scared you off, and if you want to see an indie film from an avowedly feminist movie studio, that looks like it had ten times its actual budget, directed by a woman, with strong female protagonists and pulse-pounding suspense, this definitely is the movie for you. Also worth noting is that all of the sympathetic characters are female. Most of the film takes place in a juvenile detention camp, with the warden played by Bill Sage, whom festival audiences will recognize as the creepy baseball coach in Mysterious Skin. Lauren (Bailey Noble, True Blood, pictured) is sent there for defending her archery teammate Emily from Emily’s abusive boyfriend. The warden and staff do their best to crush and/or exploit their charges, but Lauren teams up with Rebecca (Jeanine Mason, So You Think You Can Dance) to fight back. Of course, the bad guys don’t give up easily, so the action careens from hope to foreboding, from exultation to outrage, from tender to cold-blooded, until, much to your relief, it finally reaches the crescendo.

MUST SEE — unless you really hate thriller/horror/violence sorts of films.

IMDb pagetrailer (SXSW) •

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