In the new film “Goat,” based on the 2004 memoir by Brad Land, Greek life is laid bare with a stark expose of what goes on when campus fraternities “haze” their new recruits. The film, directed by Andrew Neel and starring Nick Jonas and Ben Schnetzer, was so real according to Land that it brought back the awful memories of his experience pledging to the Kappa Sigma fraternity at Clemson University in the late 1990s.
The film follows Brad as he enrolls in Clemson University, still reeling from a mugging over the summer. He joins the same fraternity as his brother (played by Nick Jonas) who watches as Brad is subjected to terrible humiliations and pain as the fraternity tests the new recruits. The pledges are called “goats” and are forced to behave like farm animals – fight each other, drink themselves into oblivion and even have sex with real goats. Under suspicious circumstances, one of the pledges even dies.
The film wraps things up quite neatly, but in real life both brothers left the University and enrolled at a college in their hometown to live with their parents. “Goat” brings attention to a scary and dangerous tradition on college campuses in the United States and opens in theaters on September 23rd.