September means that thousands of incoming freshmen are settling in at colleges around the country, and a number of them will soon pledge a fraternity, if they haven’t already. And soon, Andrew Neel’s drama Goat will open right in the middle of that rush process, taking a hard look at the brutality and shame of frat hazing.
Based on Brad Land’s 2004 memoir, Goat stars Ben Schnetzer as Brad, an incoming freshman reeling from a terrifying assault over the summer. When he gets to campus, he decides to join his older brother Brett (Nick Jonas) and rush his fraternity, only to get sucked into the humiliating and degrading hazing process.
In this exclusive clip, Brad is left dazed after enduring a particularly nasty hazing ritual, and his brother Brett finds himself torn between loyalty to his frat brothers and his actual brother.
“I went through this myself,” he tells Brad. “They just do this to weed out the weak ones. Show ‘em you mean business, show ‘em you want to be here. You gotta be tougher. You can do this, dude.”
Co-written by Neel, David Gordon Green, and Mike Roberts, Goat opened to rave reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. James Franco served as a producer and also makes a cameo appearance as a former frat member.
“The film, at its core, is really about a lot of things, but especially this idea of brotherhood and masculinity,” Jonas told EW in January, before Goat premiered at Sundance. “It’s the desire to feel accepted by these young men — and the lengths they’re willing to go to.”
Goat opens on Sept. 23, hitting theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and select cities as well as opening digitally and on VOD.