"Abused Teenager Finds Healing "
UNBRIDLED follows a 16-year-old girl named Sarah on the journey to freedom from sex trafficking, at a horse therapy ranch with other girls with similar stories. It’s based on true stories at Equine Assisted Therapy centers, including the Corral Riding Center in North Carolina.
The movie begins by showing horses running in an open field and fades into the bedroom of 16-year-old girl named Sarah. Sarah tries to sneak out of the house for school but is stopped by her mother’s creepy boyfriend, Roger. A male friend of Sarah’s named Kenny stops by looking for her, but Roger tells him Sarah won’t be at school. Karen, Sarah’s mother, appears with a bruise around her eye, and Roger implores that this “business trip” is very important for him. Moments later Sarah appears in business casual attire for someone much older than 16 and hears Roger cryptically discussing his plans on the phone with a business partner. Meanwhile, Detective Mitchell Sangrin talks on the phone with a colleague trying to get to the bottom of an illegal sex trafficking case involving his missing daughter, Allison.
The next week, Kenny sees Sarah throw lingerie down a street drain on the way to school. Due to her many absences, Sarah is behind on her school work. After class, Kenny tells their teacher what he knows of Sarah’s sketchy home life. Later that evening at the school, Detective Sangrin thanks Kenny for sharing what he knows. Kenny tells the teacher, Miss Bowdren, about Unbridled, a therapy home for recovering abused teenagers.
Detective Sangrin arrests Roger, and Karen is ordered to attend a parenting class. Meanwhile, Sarah is sent to Safe Haven, a home troubled teenagers, but she feels uncomfortable there. When she tours Unbridled with her teacher Miss Bowdren and social worker, however, she stumbles upon Dreamer, a beautiful tan horse who also was rescued from abuse. Sarah’s connection to the horse prompts her to stay, but the adjustment isn’t without its challenges. The other girls at the camp, namely one named Mary, are skeptical of her trustworthiness, but as the days pass, this improves.
A nervous Karen drags herself to file a restraining order against Roger. Yet, somehow, he gets out of jail and makes his way back to the house while she’s gone.
Trying to put the pieces of her life back together, Karen comes to visit Sarah telling her about sobriety and her parenting classes. Although the exchange isn’t terrible, Sarah finds more comfort and safety talking to Felicity, Unbridled’s director, about her similar pain and experiences.
Karen arrives for her parenting class but she’s five minutes late and is told she won’t receive credit for being present. Frustrated, she heads back home only to find a note from Roger with a bottle of alcohol to tempt her sobriety. She gives in and pours herself a glass.
Back at Unbridled, Mary is found laying on the floor from an apparent suicide attempt. In hysteria, the girls call for an ambulance. In the next scene, Sarah and Dreamer continue to bond, learning new riding skills, helping her clear her mind from her current stress. With encouragement from Kenny, Sarah tells Detective Sangrin what she heard Roger say on the phone to his colleague about a girl who could potentially be his daughter, Allison.
Roger comes to Karen’s new place of work and tries to dazzle her with a gold necklace. In the next scene, Sarah and the powers that be meet with Karen to discuss whether Sarah will return to live with her mother again. Sarah refuses, noticing she’s drinking again and probably lying about her ability to keep her safe.
Now, that he seems to have Sarah’s mother under his thumb once more, Roger decides to do the same with Sarah. Can Sarah, her friend Kenny, or Detective Sangrin stop Roger?
UNBRIDLED has a strong Christian worldview with a few scattered biblical references and uplifting moments including depictions of reconciliation and joy. UNBRIDLED’s pacing sometimes feels a bit uneven and other times seems perfectly clear. The cast gives solid performances, but the music in a few scenes distracts viewers from events happening on the screen. Camera shots of horses and scenery are breathtaking but don’t take away from the other points. Due to some violence and conversation about sexual abuse, MOVIEGUIDE® suggests caution for sensitive teenagers.
UNBRIDLED follows a 16-year-old girl on a journey to freedom from sex trafficking at the hand of her alcoholic mother’s boyfriend, Roger. After Roger is arrested, Sarah finds healing at a horse therapy ranch with other girls with similar stories. While there, Sarah connects with a horse who was also abused. However, when Roger gets out of jail and threatens to kill the horse, Sarah is faced with the challenge of how to respond.
UNBRIDLED has a strong Christian, biblical worldview with a few scattered biblical references and uplifting moments, including depictions of reconciliation and joy. UNBRIDLED’s pacing sometimes feels a bit uneven and other times seems perfectly clear. The cast gives solid performances, but music in a few scenes distracts audiences from events depicted on the screen. Camera shots of horses and scenery are breathtaking but don’t take away from the other points. Due to some violence and conversation about sexual abuse, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for sensitive teenagers. UNBRIDLED is based on true stories at Equine Assisted Therapy centers, including the Corral Riding Center in North Carolina.