‘Goat’ Red-Band Trailer: James Franco Gets Punched in NSFW Look at Dark Hazing Drama

     September 6, 2016


Paramount has unveiled a new red-band trailer for the fraternity hazing drama Goat. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and stars Ben Schnetzer as a 19-year-old named Brad who, reeling from a brutal assault after visiting his brother at college (Nick Jonas), enters his first semester and decides to pledge his brother’s fraternity. While the pledge process serves to assert Brad’s masculinity, the dark side of frat hazing and “brotherhood” is soon fully revealed.

I caught the movie at Sundance and it’s a solid debut from director Andrew Neel, whose account of fraternity life is mostly accurate if dramatically exaggerated. There’s a hypocrisy to the promises of brotherhood and love that come alongside mental and physical abuse as ritual, and in many cases serve to create a dangerous culture whose effects are severe and long-lasting. Schnetzer, who was seen this summer in Warcraft, proves to be a standout here with a truly terrific starring turn while Jonas surprises with a solid performance of his own.

This red-band trailer does a solid job of capturing the film’s vibe and teasing James Franco’s unforgettable cameo, although it treads awfully close to advocating the activities on display. No such advocating abounds in Neel’s film, which is dark and traumatic.

Check out the trailer below, click here to read my full review, and click here for Steve’s interview with Jonas and Schnetzer from Sundance. Written by Neel, David Gordon Green, and Mike Roberts, the film also stars Gus Halper, Virginia Gardner, and Jake Picking. Goat opens in select theaters and VOD on September 23rd.

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.


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