The Brotherhood (2001)

   

Produced & Directed by: David DeCoteau

Written by: Barry L. Levy & Matthew Jason Walsh

Starring:

Samuel Page .... Chris Chandler (as Nathan Watkins)
Josh Hammond .... Dan
Bradley Stryker .... Devon Eisley
Elizabeth Bruderman .... Megan
Forrest Cochran .... Barry
Michael Lutz .... Jordan
Donnie Eichar .... Mikhail

Release Date: Direct-to-DVD: March 15, 2001 (Russia)

Rating:

 

Late at night, a fraternity student is murdered by a fraternity brotherhood cult led by someone named Devon Eisley (Bradley Stryker). The murder remains an unsolved mystery.
The next day, newcomer named Dan (Josh Hammond) becomes roomies with a teasing jock named Chris Chandler (Samuel Page) who tells Josh what happened the night before as it is told on the news.
They run into trouble with some frat guys and afterwards beautiful girl that Chris is attracted to invites them to a frat party hosted by Devon who wants Chris to join his frat brotherhood.
Somehow, Chris is tricked into joining Devon's fraternity and then drinks each others blood.
Chris is sleeping lots of hours afterwards till dark, has bad attitudes, feels more powerful and realises that he is turning into a vampire.
Because of this, Devon has deadly plans for him since he needs a new body or his brotherhood will die.
It's up to Dan to try and save Chris from Devon and his brotherhood from their evil grasp.

 

We spot an interesting dark prologue scene with a student part of the Brotherhood cult lead by Devon as there's a deep sounding type of voice which sounded a bit out of synch and fairly phony but yet this scene looked nicely shot with a dark blue light shining on the victim here which can be fun to watch and entertaining too. It for sure started the craze David DeCoteau created which lead him to doing other campus horror flicks that started off like this and leading his mysterious stories as we watch.
Also we spot a sharp moment with the lead character Chris Chandler suddenly having attitude towards his new roomate Dan which almost has a psychological feel to feeling unwelcomed and then him breaking that by showing that he was only teasing which came off fairly well too. Definetely gave the story a total brainteaser here.
Also a good setting with the Brotherhood searching for the right frat as there's of course a tpyical shot on Chris shirtless doing some stretches which is a nice gay theme shot for today's standards in DeCoteau's flicks. Some decent solid interactions with Devon talking to him which was well focused.
A perfect confrontation with Chris in front of some frat bullies while he tries to hit on one of their women showing some good bravery and not taking crap from them as this looked good and clear. Totally energised as well as looking courageous by him telling them off which was perfectly written in here. It makes you wonder if a fight will break out.
A good setting with Chris and Dan about to enter a frat party with a guard with an axe standing there almost preventing them from entering which had a good feel to the horror story but his axe you could tell looked like a total toy and obvious fake looking. Good moments with cheesy thunder and lightning happening giving it a good dark feel to it but it's a little too much just like what we spoitted in DeCoteau's other flick Witchhouse.
Some good dark setting with separate discussions between Devon towards Chris in the back entrance of the party with nice close up shots on this as well as the lead mistress Megan getting flirtatious towards Dan as you wonder if she's behind the Brotherhood cult by what we spot here.
A perfect still moment when we spot Chris taking his clothes off wearing nothing but his calvin klein underwear and then a mistress in a bikini with them making out as well as Devon joining in which looked exptremely effective and another typical scene for today's DeCoteau flicks inspiring to have other similar themes for his future horror films. However this scene was a wee bit trite and needed to be cut back a bit.
There's some impressive moments with Chris the next day getting up late and wearing sunglasses as well as acting not himself towards Dan along with him walking out as we spot more thunder and lightning but we can see the sunlight which looked very cheesy and the makers should've covered this up a bit more.
Some perfect moments with the bullies returning and cornering Chris with one of them holding a bat and taking a swing at him yet this didn't look as brutal as it should've been. However the fighting sequences with Devon and his gang coming in to save the day weren't as powerful like it was meant to yet looked overly exciting and well shot.
Perfect interactions with Dan explaining to Megan about the Brotherhood of them being immortal and not aging as well as what their evil deeds are to find a new body to take over during the decades of their fraternity sacrifices as this seemed cheesily but cleverly put in.
A good moment with the Brotherhood gang teaming up on Chris as this nicely drew into the horror story as well as showing the cult ceremony hosted by Devon along with all of them in their Calvin Klein underwear naturally. The moments here were well put together. Also we spot more surprising moments with Megan's dark secret while you'd think that she'd save the day with Dan coming in too to try and save his friend.
There's cheesy battling sequences when some people are attacked and hacked by the fake axe after when the guard screws up on attacking the innocent one's here as the slaughtering doesn't look grizzly or intense like it was supposed to have been.
Bottom line is that this was an interesting film to watch and a neat story. However, it is a bit stale and the ending is a little silly and obvious and the story is geared for young adults who enjoy reading books by R.L. Stine or Christopher Pike.
There is a good message in the flick to people who are outsiders that never been in a cool crowd which explains that you don't need to join an IN group in order to belong.

The acting is no award winning but the cast seems to do not too bad of a job. Josh Hammond (Chris Chandler) did his job quite smoothly and nicely as the hunky guy next door new to the fraternity in which he seemed okay acting like a tease when you think he's stern and serious on a situation and then getting sarcastic and lightheaded. Knew fairly well on how to come across this way in a nice fashion. He also does well acting courageous when learning to stand up to others which also looked sharp and energetic too. Also does a nice job acting out of it at times as well as fairly convinging acting silly and happy while being drunk too. Nice odd moments when he gets short with someone coming across that he is not the same anymore. Also does a good job acting out of it while the ceremony starts to occut really getting into this. Plus had the right looks and motive for his role.
Josh Hammond (Dan) was perfect acting high string and came across nicely as a clown along with being dweeby like too. He was a ball of energy and was right on the dot within what he did here. Plus was great really stressing situations when he tries to find out information on stuff showing a great seriousness within all of this. Does a nice job with his energy while struggling against his onscreen foe's near the ending of the film too. Deserves a good pat on the back for giving it all he can within his performance.
Bradley Stryker (Devon Eisley) I seemed to enjoy role as the head Brotherhood type vampire who is good with his manipulation along with showing a good emotionless behavior and drawing into a great seriousness. Plus does nicely with his creepy charming type of behavior. However there's many moments that he seems a bit too stiff with whatever he does here which is my criticism. Otherwise his looks, motives and how he came across onto the camera looked greatly done looking powerful with his personality.

Elizabeth Bruderman (Megan) was the best out of the whole cast here showing off a great outgoing personality as well as being believeable by being bubbly and giggly too. Just brought it out with her partying type of behavior plus knew on how to have that charm that she is a possible suspect by how she came across to her fellow actors. Also knew on how to act intelligent like as well as seeming innocent too by what she does in other situations. Shwe brought out a great versatality close to the end of her performance by acting wicked and vicious too with her icy speaking. Yes she was a perfect character actress with the perfect beautiful look too which was a plus.

A couple people spit out bits of blood but that's about it.

Jeffrey Walton does a fine job in the film as the composer. Has a strong classical score as well as smooth echoey types of chantings and harmonising especially for the opening credits. Also we hear some heavy drum rollings as well as an odd deep bell chiming sounding very suitable for the plots that unravel here. For some mellow moments there is a nice peaceful high clarinet type of sounds too. Plus we hear some nice clear chiming sounds which really made the moments suitable along with a high pitched sliding violin type sounds which really sounds good for a surprising moment in the story making it seem very jumpy when you least expect it. Plus we have some good deep heatbeat sounds too especially for when the sarcrifice is about to happen. Everything in this film sounded strong and powerful. He composed terrifically during the make out scene as well as in the closing credits. He also composed music for the first sequel of this film as well as many other direct-to-video and DVD horror films.

Chris Chandler: I already told ya... I'd never join a goddamn fraternity