Movie Review: Pledge


Movie Review by Siobahn Harris

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Well, Pledge me to my very core. Wow. I’m torn between being psyched because I loved this movie so much and being sad because of what I just watched. It’s oddly unsettling.

I heard about this Pledge last year on Twitter. Unfortunately, I found it around the time that I stopped blogging, so I missed the opportunity to write this review. Then I found it while scrolling through Hulu and figured I had another chance to review it, but stupidly, I kept putting it off. However, while watching the movie Goodbye Old friend, I spotted one of the lead actors from Pledge. It felt like too many signs for me to ignore so I finally sat down and watched it!

The breakdown is simple for this one. Nerdy college kids want in fraternity, but popular frat bros won’t let them in (jerks), but then they are offered acceptance into an elite fraternity that turns out to be too good to be true.

Short and sweet, but let’s get into the twisted details!

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Three college freshmen, David (played by Zack Weiner), Ethan (played by Phillip Andre Botello), and Justin (played by Zachery Byrd) are scrambling to find a fraternity during rush week.

A beautiful woman approaches and offers them a house to join. Still feeling defeated, they are on the fence about the offer. Their hype man, David, convinces them to take a chance on the last house, so they head off to the mysterious address.

Right away, three members happily welcome them inside to join their party. Max (played by Aaron Dalla Villa), Ricky (played by Cameron Cowperthwaite), and Bret (played by Jesse Pimentel), shower them with booze, drugs, and beautiful women. After a long night of partying they are asked to leave along with two other guys who have joined them, Sam (played by Jean-Louis Droulers) and Ben (played by Joe Gallagher). Before they can leave the house, they are asked to come back and become members of their club. After a night like that, how could they say no?

The guys go home, pack their bags and head back later that night. However, it is clear when they show back up that the mood has changed. Upon returning to the house, they atmosphere felt different. No more smiles. No more friendly feel. The hazing has begun. The five guys must then endure 48 hours of torture before becoming a full member of this exclusive club. Can they handle it? Are they strong enough? Whose fucking idea was this again?

Pledge is not for the squeamish! I’m not a fan of gratuitous violence, it not only makes me sick, but it makes me doubt the creator’s ability to make a strong film without the excessive violence. This may seem odd considering some of the films I’ve reviewed and loved, but it all boils down to whether the violence is necessary to the scene. Pledge definitely pushed the violence close to my limit, but right before I could say something about it being too much, they stopped. It was like they knew that one more hit would be too much.

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Can I just point out that there are so many red flags that these guys should have seen? When you are trying to find a frat house, but you have to pass through a chained fence and walk forever away from the college, it’s best to just head home.

There were red flags everywhere. I mean literally, these guys were partying with girls who were wearing red dresses and drinking red drinks. It may have been the creator’s way of showing lust and desire, but I took all of them as beautiful dancing red flags! Even at a moment when Max was starting to show his true colors, he was interrupted by a woman in a red dress as if the story was trying to warn Ethan to get the fuck out of there. I loved seeing little things like that throughout the movie!

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My favorite character was Max because he left me so flipping confused! I wanted to hate him; I really did. But every time he flashed a smile, I smiled with him and then had to remind myself that he is a fucking bad guy! It makes for a great villain because it gives us all a false sense of security.

The cast and crew for this movie did a great job! The acting was fantastic. When the characters were feeling something, I felt it too. The soup scene alone was enough to make you never want soup again, and that’s just based on the reactions the actors brought to the table.

Was there True Fear? Yes! True Fear was everywhere throughout this movie. I didn’t particularly connect with the characters. I just felt a sense of concern and worry for their well-being in general. This turned my stomach into knots. I was actually scared for everyone involved because in this movie, no one really wins.

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Siobahn Harris graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with honors, earning her bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and English with a concentration on fiction writing. She worked for three months editing non-fiction books for Motivational Press and now runs a blog page sharing horror themed short stories and movie reviews. While she enjoys editing, her true passion is using her creativity to create new and unique stories that can truly scare her audience. Her dream is to one day put her writing skills to the test and work with a team to develop a horror themed video game or movie. She plans to continue learning as much as she can about the writing industry to perfect her skills and someday rule the world.

2 thoughts on “Movie Review: Pledge

  1. Wow great review and thanks for the warning!! 😀 I know I would have been screaming at the screen for them to just run the other way. But I guess the draw to belong is a strong one! Definitely would be a movie I would watch from behind my fingers!!

    1. That’s exactly right! I think there cast and crew of this film really nailed it when it comes to showing the desperate need to fit in. Really, all the characters just want to fit into one group or another, which is what adds to the sadness of it all.

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