Vincent Grashaw’s “Coldwater” catapults its teen protagonist into a backwoods, for-profit juvenile reform center to white-hot result. The fictionalized, but based-on-fact drama is filled with enraging moments, starting with a mother’s “tough love” approach to having her drug-troubled son abducted in the middle of the night and transported to an unregulated wilderness prison camp. “We… are in the business of transformation,” the new abductees are told. The process is harsh, the ultimate results filled with rage. While accomplished in its relentless attack, “Coldwater” gave me unpleasant chills pretty much from start to finish. 104m. (Ray Pride)
“Coldwater” opens Friday, August 15 at Facets. A trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.