PLEDGE (2018) Review, Fantasia 2018

Pledge Movie Review

Played July 24th – Directed by Daniel Robbins

A group of weird, unwanted freshmen are offered a chance to pledge what they believe is an exclusive fraternity.

Often times, we give a lot of credit to filmmakers who do the unexpected, who try to be original. And, of course, we should. But there is something to be said about the familiar. Think of FRIDAY THE 13TH, which made it through the first eight(!) films in the franchise by repeating the same formula over and over and over. And, you know, they are beloved by millions.

PLEDGE is not a slasher film, but it does use our expectations in ways that make us feel comfortable. A trip of nerds are rejected by a series of fraternities, and then suddenly accepted by a “cool” fraternity with attractive women that are actually interested in them? Surely, this cannot be real. And, of course, it is not. Up to this point, the “twist” is exactly what everyone expects.

But the beauty is how we play with expectations, how we make the old new again. What makes this fraternity different? What of the hazing? It starts bad, gets worse… and then what? And here is where it will succeed or fail. For me, it was a success, and with a quick pace and short running time, it easily holds a person’s interest. A cult favorite or classic it is not, but PLEDGE will be enjoyed by millions.

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