Although it's not a horror film, Goat still looks pretty scary. The film is about the hazing rituals some young fraternity pledges go through, and it's absolutely brutal. The trailer alone features all kinds of physical and psychological abuse, with all of it being normalized under the guise of "that's just what frats do." The film is based on the book of the same name by Brad Land, who's portrayed by Ben Schnetzer in the film, but where is the real Brad Land from Goat now?
Land's story in the book goes like this: Following his freshman year at his hometown college, Land is allegedly kidnapped and assaulted by two strangers after a frat party (they are both unnamed in the book). According to the Los Angeles Times, one of the assailants was sentenced to 75 years in prison, while the other escaped. Following this, he attends another semester at his school before transferring to join his younger brother Brett (played by Nick Jonas in the film) at Clemson University. Although Brett is a year younger, Land looks up to Brett, whom Land describes as better looking, taller, more athletic, and more successful. Land follows in Brett's footsteps and decides to join the same fraternity where his younger brother has already established himself as a member. Land then claims to have had a horrific hazing experience there, which is the main focus of the book and the movie.
After publication of Land's book in 2004, the president of the frat that Land pledged at Clemson, Kappa Sigma, told The Greenville News that the descriptions of activities in Goat didn't reflect the current Kappa Sigma members.
Because the book and film are about his life when he was only 19, what has Land been up to since then? It's hard to say. Land is not exactly what you would call a public figure, even though he's an author with a movie being made about his life. I was unable to find any social media accounts owned by him, and there's scarcely a picture of him anywhere online. He published Goat in 2004, when he was 27, and I haven't uncovered any interviews with him since that time. However, Land did author a second book in 2008. The book is a work of fiction, a novel called Pilgrims Upon the Earth, and it deals with some of the same themes as Goat. His publisher, Random House, gives this information about him on its site, but it again is mostly rooted in the past:
Brad Land studied creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he received his M.F.A., and Western Michigan University, where he served as nonfiction editor of Third Coast. He has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and now lives in South Carolina.
So as far as I can tell, Land still lives in South Carolina, and doesn't appear to have a career outside of being a writer. It's been eight years since he's published anything, but with a renewed interest in him thanks to Hollywood telling his story, perhaps now is the time for his next book to see the light of day.
Images: The Film Arcade/Paramount Pictures