The Daily Evergreen

Movie Review: Animal House

This classic film delights, amuses, depiction of frat life not entirely accurate

MORGAN LESTER, Evergreen columnist

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Then, as of this moment, they’re on double secret probation!”

And it is with this idiotic use of administrative jargon that National Lampoon’s comedic romp “Animal House” begins to unleash the comedy that has since made it a timeless film about college life.

For me, there are few comedies that have made me laugh quite as hard as I did with this film, with moments ranging from what happened to a poor horse to the final charge of the Deathmobile.

For those unfamiliar with the classic comedy “Animal House,” it follows the story of Delta Tau Chi, which is made up of the rejects and undesirables of Faber College. The movie follows them as they deal with Dean Vernon Wormer and the smug and snobby Omega Theta Pi in mischievous exploits as their enemies try to get them shut down.

For me, the combo of its humor and impossible happenings made me laugh and enjoy it even more. Additionally, what the Deltas make of the town at the end of the movie is something that amuses me on a childlike level. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

However, this humorous portrayal of Greek life isn’t representative of reality, and many fraternities hate it. “Animal House” created the image that they are either drunken idiots engaging in rampant nonsense or snooty snobs tasting their father’s scotch for the first time.

Nevertheless, there is more to the houses on Greek Row than their stereotypes they have to break through with each passing day or parent. One of the more interesting aspects of “Animal House” to me was how fraternities interacted with one another. While some frats try to get along, there can be some strain, according to Jonah Nitisapon of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

“If you look at other houses on campus, like Phi Sigma Kappa and Fiji, there’s always some sort of tension between them,” he said. “They’re chucking beers in [each other’s] backyard, but other than that there isn’t as much intensive competition.”

Supervision works differently here in Pullman than it does in “Animal House,” as each fraternity is placed under three levels of oversight: one from the university, one from the Greek Council they are a part of and the final from their national headquarters.

“Some houses aren’t very big fans of [Interfraternity Council], so they will be in minimal contact,” said Nitisapon.

However, this minimum contact does not necessarily mean these houses are heavily supervised. IFC’s policy states that all houses are under the same supervision, regardless of how much involvement the frats have within the IFC, he said.

Nitisapon also went on to say that between movies like “Animal House” and the impressions left by the more rambunctious fraternities, there are a lot of things people can miss about what Greek life is actually like.

“I saw [this movie] before I came to college, and it made me think that the frat stereotype was [similar to] the guys in Animal House,” Nitisapon said, “But it turned out that the fraternities aren’t like that as much.”

Sometimes our favorite movies and pieces of pop culture can leave us believing stereotypes, like with Greek life being portrayed as party animals. However, movies can leave a lot out.

So if you’re interested in discovering more information other than the stereotypes, venture out and rise above them.

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Movie Review: Animal House