The movie Goat is gearing up for its wide theatrical release later this year. It debuted back in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received notable praise from both audiences and film critics.
Goat gives viewers a more in-depth look at the shocking nature of college fraternities. It tells the story of a 19-year-old boy, who previously fell victim to a terrifying assault that enrolls into the same college as his brother. While there, he decides to also follow in his brother’s footsteps in pledging to his fraternity. Unfortunately, things go awry, when the boy is put to the test in order to become part of the “brotherhood.”
Actor Ben Schnetzer (Happy Town) stars in the movie, portraying the lead character Brad Land. Former boy band member Nick Jonas (of the Jonas Brothers) takes on the role of Brad’s older brother Brett. While Nick has had numerous TV roles (Scream Queens, Kingdom, Hawaii Five-0, etc.), his appearance in Goat marks one of his few ventures into the movie world. In addition to Nick and Ben, the film also stars highly established actor James Franco, who is known for his roles in movies such as 127 Hours, Spring Breakers and This is the End. Along with starring in the movie, Franco also worked as a co-producer on Goat.
The movie itself is actually based off of a memoir of the same name, written by author Brad Land. In it, Brad exposes the incredibly shocking truths of fraternity traditions. As a former pledge of Kappa Sigma, Brad was immersed in a world of physical and psychological hazing. Unfortunately, the experiences Brad underwent during rush week brought back memories of a previous attack, in which he was brutally beaten by two strangers after consenting to give them a ride home from a college party.
In anticipation for the theatrical release, Paramount Movies has released a short trailer to give viewers a sneak peak of what Goat is all about.
The trailer begins with Brett (Jonas) talking to his brother Brad (Ben) about an upcoming party his fraternity is throwing. Brett, evidently already comfortable with the arguably intimidating frat atmosphere, talks to Brad about the event as if it were just your everyday, friendly group get-together. However, when Brad arrives he is immediately introduced to the frat lifestyle – reckless partying, excessive alcohol, drugs and big egos included.
In an attempt to follow in his older brother’s footsteps, Brad ultimately pledges to become part of the fraternity. Brett warns Brad that he is going to have to make it in on his own merits and not simply because his brother is already one of the frat’s established members.
As the movie gears up, Brad is seen going through the trials and tribulation of rush week – otherwise known as “Hell Week” if you are a frat pledge. Brad, and his hopeful counterparts is put through a series of tests that are not only difficult but in most cases cruel. From shoving alcohol down the pledges’ throats to publicly embarrassing them, the senior frat members do whatever it takes to ensure that all of the “weak” pledges are “[weeded out].”
The trailer gives a bit of a tease of the wedge that develops between Brad and Brett, as the demands of rush week intensify. Brad is torn between following in his brother’s footsteps and maintaining his own self-worth.
The glimpse into Goat definitely establishes a huge departure from Nick Jonas’ previous on-screen appearances (recall his Disney Camp Rock days). However, it seems as though the young star is taking his venture into acting seriously, as he really embodies the merciless frat boy – even when it comes to his character dealing with his very own blood (his brother). While Jonas was obviously never part of a frat himself, he did previously confess to drawing upon his relationship with his 3 brothers in order to prepare for his role in the male-driven film.
At a time where college hazing is frequently popping up in the media (and will likely do so as the 2016-2017 school year starts up), Goat tells a story that has been kept relatively under wraps for decades. While the movie may seem like a dramatization, there are surely thousands of young college men out there who could tell you otherwise.
You can catch Goat when it hits theaters and on Video-On-Demand on September 23, 2016.