Surprisingly, there haven’t been many movies that fully depict the increasingly sadistic and cowardly act known as “hell week” in fraternities nationwide. There are plenty of movies and shows about the bonding that goes on in these houses – most recently, Richard Linklater‘s sublime Everybody Wants Some!! – but the humiliating, painful, disgusting, and, most importantly, pointless acts that pledges are often required to take part in has rarely been given the same consideration.
That is, until Andrew Neel‘s Goat hit the festival circuit. Based on Brad Land‘s bestselling memoir of the same name, originally adapted by writer-director David Gordon Green, the film looks at the hyper-masculine, masturbatory world of fraternities and their shallow requisites for joining a house, through the eyes of Land (Ben Schnetzer) and his already sworn-in (actual) brother, played by Nick Jonas. From the looks of the first trailer, which you can take a look at below, things get pretty disturbing, and Neel, who directed LARPing doc Darkon, has a proven eye for the traditions and mythologies of groups like this. Let’s hope he doesn’t pull any punches.
Goat will be released in theaters in NY, LA & select cities and VOD on September 23rd. Click here to read Adam’s full review from Sundance, and click here for Steve’s interview with Jonas and Schnetzer.
Here’s the trailer for Goat:
Here’s the official synopsis for Goat:
Reeling from a terrifying assault over the summer, 19-year-old Brad Land (Ben Schnetzer) starts college determined to get his life back to normal. His brother, Brett (Nick Jonas), is already established on campus and with a fraternity that allures Brad with its promise of protection, popularity, and life-long friendships. Brad is desperate to belong but as he sets out to join the fraternity his brother exhibits reservations, a sentiment that threatens to divide them. As the pledging ritual moves into hell week, a rite that promises to usher these unproven boys into manhood, the stakes violently increase with a series of torturous and humiliating events. What occurs in the name of ‘brotherhood’ tests both boys and their relationship in brutal ways.
Directed by Andrew Neel (King Kelly, Darkon ), co-written by Neel, David Gordon Green and Mike Roberts, based on the acclaimed memoir by Brad Land, GOAT provides a searing portrayal of masculinity, violence and brotherhood. The film is produced by Killer Films’ Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa with Rabbit Bandini’s James Franco and Vince Jolivette.