With her son being held captive by a criminal gang, police-officer Amanda Doyle, together with her ex-husband and three unlikely allies, takes part in a desperate plot to hold a wealthy ... See full summary »
Two wanted women decide to rob their wealthy psychotic friend who lives in the fantasy world they created as children; to take the money they have to take part in a deadly perverse game of make believe.
So I saw The Pledge a few weeks ago at the theater. I really knew nothing about the film, but the previews made it look like an interesting horror/revenge film. Overall I liked the movie, but it suffering from unoriginality and an inconsistent tone.
The plot of the movie starts out simple enough. A stereotypical group of cliche nerds go around campus trying to pledge at different fraternities, but are rejected at every opportunity. Finally they seem to have struck gold as they are invited to pledge at a secret fraternity that promises sex, drugs, and popularity. Of course nothing is as it seems and the film evolves into a mix of black comedy, torture, gore, and revenge.
The movie overall did a good job with its pacing. It had a very well-made opening scene that set the tone for the rest of the film. The film was quite short, but kept the excitement up with ample amounts of psychological and physical abuse. The movie had a few interesting twists thrown in as well that felt quite natural for the flow of the film. Plus it had a satisfying and well done final arc that was a solid payoff.
The first half of the film acted as the set up is a bit of a slow burn introduction to what will come. The film makes it quite clear from the beginning that the secret fraternity has ulterior motives. At that point it was simply a waiting game for all hell to break loose. It wasn't exactly suspense driven, but it did build a bit of tension and anxiety waiting for the fraternity to snap.
For a low budget film the movie was directed well. I didn't really see any major problems except for a lack of originality and and overuse of cliches and tropes. It's a fun film, but don't expect them to reinvent the wheel here. On top of that I can't say I was impressed with all the actors. A few of the performances in particular were quite cringe-worthy.
The biggest flaw of the film seemed to be that it didn't quite know what it wanted to be. It had elements of dark humor, torture porn, gore, psychological abuse, and horror, but never really pushed anything far enough. The film could have added more gore and blood for shock value or cut out the bits of dark humor.
I also really had a hard time with the internal believability of the film. Perhaps they were trying to make a statement regarding just how powerful peer pressure could be, but I just could not understand a few of the characters decisions. It really takes away from a film when characters make stupid decisions purely as plot devices.
The Pledge was a fun, but unoriginal and predictable film that could have benefited from a bit of polish. It wasn't a bad movie, but it never really found the right tone. I enjoyed the build up of tension and some of the gore, but it never really pushed anything far enough. A 6 out of 10.
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