Haze is a 2008 documentary, which focuses on hazing and alcohol abuse that originates on college campuses. The documentary film was directed by Peter Schuermann and features Robin Wright. It also speaks with a lot of university students, who are entering into fraternities, getting wasted and making complete arses of themselves. According to the detailed description on Hulu, the film is inspired by the death of Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr., who pledged with Chi Psi Fraternity at the University of Colorado and died on September 16, 2004.
It is unbeknownst to me why the documentary would even give off the impression that they’re going to retell Bailey’s story, because they do not. Right from the very beginning, the documentary spirals off into the realm of a sexual education-esque video that you’d watch in high school. We learn about the impact of alcohol on the body and such. This is great and all, but why is the documentary titled Haze?
To me, hazing involves more humiliation and abuse. Should drinking yourself into a coma be classified as hazing? If this is the case, even non-fraternity college students would be hazing themselves on a daily basis. I suppose peer pressure could be involved, but the documentary ultimately identifies itself as something that it is not.
Still, this doesn’t mean that Haze is a total failure. On the contrary, it attempts to deliver a good message and could deter college students from wild alcohol parties. Another annoying aspect of the film is the fact that the “experts” want to blame the alcohol poisoning on the lack of a nutritional label on the party cups. God Forbid! Doesn’t anyone accept responsibility for their actions anymore? This somewhat defeats the purpose of the good deed that Hazing could serve.
With limited reviews on IMDB, it is somewhat baffling that the documentary has received a score over 7! It could be educational and helpful, but it is somewhat of an exploitation and cringefest, which wants to blame everyone and anyone for someone else’s fatal mistake. Animal House, Facebook and unlabeled party cups aren’t to blame. The kids themselves, who the documentary exploits so severely, are the only ones to blame.
In the end, Haze isn’t much of a watch. In fact, it is somewhat depressing to see the utter uselessness of the further educational system in America. For that, Haze deserves a 4.5 out of 10 and nothing more. Of course, if you’re bored with your life, the film can be watched for free on Hulu.