16 year old Brad Lunders is woken in the middle of the night by men who handcuff him, put a bag over his head and throw him into the back of a van. His tearful mother waves him goodbye.
When he emerges, it is into the harsh light of Camp Coldwater – a private correctional institution for troubled teenagers, run by a retired marine. Life in Coldwater is tough, Colonel Reichart’s belief in military-style barracks, runs and punishments (solitary confinement, hosings, etc) can occasionally slide to the brutal, even sadistic, and his “sergeants” are no better, many of them former resident youths promoted through the institute.
Lead actor PJ Boudousque owns the screen like a young Ryan Gosling. Quiet, focused, and intense – Lunders’ stoic exterior only occasionally cracks to reveal the emotional turmoil within. Reichart starts the film as something of a stock character, but actor James C Burns (who may sound familiar to gamers) brings a depth to the role.
Beautifully shot in washed out, verging on sepia, tones, every frame of this film is an image of beauty, which makes it’s shocking content all the more powerful. A wonderful debutant pairing from Boudousque and director Vincent Grashaw. (James Burbidge)
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