In this week’s installment of On the Radar, we have college thriller Pledge, a nasty piece of work that was the talk of this year’s Fantasia Fest (Montreal) and FrightFest (London). From director Daniel Robbins and writer/co-star Zack Weiner, this film depicts three hapless freshmen who, in their attempts to rush a fraternity to improve their social standings, wind up in the hands of sadists who run them through a brutal gauntlet of abuse and torture and may perhaps have no intentions of allowing them to survive the ordeal. Despite his debut feature Uncaged having failed to gain much love or attention, Robbins appears to have hit the mark with this vicious exploration of a culture driven by toxic behavior and paired with a crushing pressure to conform. With a score of 7.8 on IMDb and 80% on Rotten Tomatoes so far in its festival run, Pledge has been acquired by IFC Midnight for release sometime next year.
Here’s what a few of the critics have had to say:
“With a smart and savvy script – rich with genuine characters and the matching dialogue and a breathless pace of twists and turns – I have zero hesitation in offering up a very high recommendation. 4.5/5.”
- – Michael Klug, Horror Freak News
“Pledge is a mean and disgusting home run of a horror film…Don’t miss this one.”
- – Luke Rodriguez, Modern Horrors
“It’s not gore for gore’s sake…but you may need a strong constitution to last the duration. This film is a bloody and brutal burst of masculinity that packs a punch. 4/5.”
- – Kat Hughes, The Hollywood News
“Pledge sets a model example of what an indie effort can accomplish simply through solid production value and remarkably strong casting…It’s just a clear-cut slash of traditional thrills biting off only what it can chew with entertainingly sharp teeth. 85/100.”
- – Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt
IFC Midnight generally makes all its releases in simultaneous limited theater/VOD style or straight to VOD and disc, so we’ll be looking out for when they lock in a solid date next year and are looking forward to experiencing this alleged “Green Room meets Saw” stomach-churner.
On the Radar
- 10/23/18 – Possum