In this provocative and high-octane action-suspense film, archery champion Lauren Pierce finds herself trapped inside a sadistic juvenile correctional facility, ironically named Paradise Trails, after she defends her best friend (and crush) Emily from her abusive boyfriend.
Remanded indefinitely to the youth prison, Lauren is immediately singled out for special attention from the misogynist and spiteful warden, Bob Patrice. Physical and psychological abuse is a daily ritual for Lauren and the countless young women alongside her. But things quickly reach a breaking point, and Lauren and tough-as-nails facility veteran Rebecca make a break for it and run for the hills, pursued closely by the men they are trying desperately to escape. Out in the wild, the tables turn, and Lauren’s knack for archery just may lead to a bit of justice for all of the prisoners at Paradise Trails, in this gripping and exhilarating take on a no-holds-barred bid for safety.
Director Valerie Weiss (A Light Beneath Their Feet), inspired by the “cash-for-kids” convictions of two Pennsylvania judges in 2011, creates a masterfully gritty portrayal of a crooked system, as well as the corrupt men of power working to make young people disappear. With a cast led by the steely-eyed Bailey Noble (True Blood) and Jeanine Mason, and complemented by the horrifyingly realistic Bill Sage (AWOL, Frameline40) and Michael Grant Terry (Bones), The Archer is sure to call to mind First Blood, Foxfire, and Thelma and Louise, while ultimately remaining a thrillingly queer story all of its own.
— SOPHIA LANZA-WEIL
- Premiere Status: Bay Area