Review: ‘Pledge’, Some Clubs May Not Be Worth Joining

It’s been a little while since we’ve had a movie about the horrors of pledging a fraternity and Pledge is here to scratch that itch. Pledge begins following the exploits of David (Zack Weiner who also wrote the film), Ethan (Phillip Andre Botello), and Justin (Zachery Byrd) – three college students trying to rush different fraternities. The three of them… to put it gently… aren’t the cream of the crop. They get rejected from fraternity after fraternity, mostly in humiliating fashion before an attractive girl invites them to a party that night. It was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up – so even though the address led them to a creepy gate they had to jump over, and on a mini hike before finally getting to the house, they took advantage of it. What awaited them was the night of their lives – drinking, drugs, girls, and most of all – inclusion and a sense of belonging from some much cooler kids than themselves. The three brothers of the club – Max (Aaron Dalla Villa), Ricky (Cameron Cowperthwaite), and Bret (Jesse Pimentel) – seem nice enough; although there are some weird aggressive interactions, but not enough to keep David and his friends from coming back the next night to pledge. The three of them, plus two others in their pledge class Ben (Joe Gallagher) and Sam (Jean-Louis Droulers), show up to the house and almost immediately things take a sinister turn. Max, Rickie, and Bret drop their nice guy facade as the pledge process begins – the question is how much can the five new pledges endure, and is it worth it?

Pledge is pretty cut and dry, some loser kids finally get welcomed to pledge a fraternity after a lot of rejection, they, of course, accept after one night of attractive college girls talking to them, and then are subjected to a horrific pledge process that only gets worse and worse. The film is a quick watch, clocking in at just over 75 minutes, and there isn’t really a dull moment. Pledge pushes the limits, with some of the pledge process not being for the faint of heart. It can be tough to watch at times and will most definitely make your skin crawl. There really isn’t anything here to love, but nothing to hate either. When it boils down to it, it’s a run of the mill thriller with some less than stellar acting. Pledge has some interesting underlying elements, but to really enjoy it, you must suspend your disbelief and leave any questions about how the hell this can be happening at the door. It’s worth a quick watch if you happen to stumble across it, but nothing you need to seek out. Oh and a helpful hint, if you’re ever invited to a party that requires you hopping over a padlocked fence, and then walking through fields and trees with no driveway in sight to eventually reach a creepy house…just turn around and go home – it’s not worth it.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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