Dying to Belong

Watch Dying to Belong

"Every sisterhood has its secrets"
  • TV-14
  • 2021
  • 1 hr 27 min
  • 6.1  (158)

Dying to Belong, a dramatic thriller released in 2021, is a gripping cinematic portrayal of the dark and often unacknowledged side of sorority life in American colleges. A remake of the 1997 film of the same name, which starred Hilary Swank, this updated version weaves in contemporary issues and reflects the cultural shifts that have taken place in society over the decades. The film, directed by Gail Harvey, stars Shannen Doherty, Karen Holness, and Jamie Kaler in leading roles, each of them bringing depth and nuance to this cautionary tale.

The narrative focuses on journalism student Riley (played by Favour Onwuka) who is investigating the sudden and mysterious death of her roommate, Taylor. Taylor’s passing is reported as a suicide, but Riley suspects that there's more to the story. When she learns Taylor was trying to pledge to the prestigious sorority Delta Beta Theta, known for its powerful network and philanthropic efforts, Riley begins to delve into the sorority's practices and the dark side of Greek life on campus.

In her quest for the truth, Riley decides to pledge to Delta Beta Theta, getting a closer look at the seemingly glamorous world of sisterhood and service. The film explores intense themes around hazing, loyalty, and the lengths to which individuals will go to fit into elite spaces. As Riley becomes more entangled within the web of sorority life, she encounters a spectrum of characters, from the well-intentioned to the ruthlessly ambitious.

Shannen Doherty plays Professor Amy, a strong advocate against hazing at the college who provides Riley with support as she navigates her investigation. Doherty's character serves as the moral compass of the film, shedding light on the harmful practices that are often masked by camaraderie and tradition. Her passionate portrayal of Professor Amy emphasizes the importance of standing up against systemic issues and the potential consequences of silence.

Karen Holness stars as Detective Erica Billings, a seasoned and skeptical law enforcement officer who plays a crucial role in unraveling the truth behind Taylor’s death. Holness brings an air of professionalism and earnestness to her character, demonstrating a commitment to justice even as she faces resistance from the college's administration and the powerful sorority sisters.

Jamie Kaler portrays Officer Scott, who interacts with various characters throughout the investigation and adds layers to the unfolding mystery. His balanced performance adds to the tension and uncertainty that Riley faces during her quest for answers.

The film takes viewers through the highs and lows of college life, touching on social events, personal ambitions, and the external pressures that young individuals face. The intensity ratchets up as Riley uncovers secrets and finds herself in mounting peril the closer she gets to the truth. Dying to Belong not only acts as a cautionary tale about the potential for corruption within revered institutions but also raises awareness about the need for reform and vigilance against dangerous traditions that ostracize and even endanger individuals.

The university setting is richly drawn, with the film capturing both the idyllic beauty of college campuses and the suffocating claustrophobia that comes with institutional gatekeeping. It is a place where futures are made, and reputations matter, a backdrop that amplifies the stakes of Riley's investigation. The influence of social media, peer pressure, and the never-ending quest for acceptance and prestige are woven throughout the plot, providing a timely commentary on the forces that shape the lives of modern college students.

Themes of friendship, betrayal, and the complexity of group dynamics play out as Riley forms alliances and confronts adversaries. The social hierarchy of the sorority and its impact on the individuals involved serves as a microcosm for larger societal issues. Each new revelation in the film adds to a compelling critique on the power structures that exist within academic settings, showcasing the resilience required to challenge and dismantle them.

Dying to Belong is a film that does not shy away from tough subjects. It serves both as entertainment and a prompt for reflection on how the pursuit of belonging can sometimes lead to dire consequences. The solid performances from the cast, coupled with a thought-provoking script, make this film a potent experience that resonates long after the credits roll, prompting viewers to question just how far is too far when it comes to fitting in and upholding tradition.

Dying to Belong is a 2021 tv movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1.

Dying to Belong
Where to Watch Dying to Belong
Dying to Belong is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Dying to Belong for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 27 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (158)