Frat House

Photo Courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival

Review, by Richard Schwartz

Most people's image of fraternities revolves primarily around their well- documented festivities (parties) and libations (beer). Undoubtedly, these events do take place. However, those of you hoping for a frolicking celebration of toga parties and beer bongs are in for a rude awakening. Frat House exposes the seedy underbelly of the male Greek system, hazing. If you thought it consisted of a little good-natured ribbing or some strenuous exercise, think again.

In the fall of 1996, Todd Phillips and Andrew Gurland set out to document what really goes on in fraternities. Little did they know how much they would have to suffer for their art. They went to all costs to capture the horrors of pledging. By immersing themselves (quite literally) into houses at two universities, they bravely ventured where no filmmaker has gone before.

Rather than a thorough examination of the sociological effects of frat life on young men, Frat House is an expose of a world hitherto unexplored, due in part to a code of silence maintained by the people who go through the system. Breaking through this silence reveals a world of psychological manipulation, violence, and misogyny which frighteningly transcends stereotypical images.

Impeccable editing, cinematography, and music contribute to a wonderfully crafted and disturbing descent, which culminates with the all-to-appropriately named HELL WEEK. Not for the faint of heart, Frat House is a powerful and disturbing film that should be seen by parents everywhere.

-Trevor Groth

Directed by: Andrew Gurland, Todd Phillips
Produced by: Andrew Gurland, Todd Phillips
Original Music by: J.F. Coleman

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