This Place Rules review: A hilarious and incisive gonzo delight

HBO Max’s documentary ‘This Place Rules’ is Andrew Callaghan’s directorial debut in which he travels across the country, covering rallies and protests leading up to the January 6th riots at the U.S. Capitol.


Andrew Callaghan of ‘All Gas No Breaks’ and ‘Channel 5’ fame, kicks off his directorial debut documentary ‘This Place Rules’ with a boxing match between two viral micro-celebrities, rife with all the goofs and gaffs of a standard Callaghan joint.

Thereafter, the documentary shifts the tone a bit, albeit not that drastically. The first stop is in North Carolina, meeting a registered sex offender (revealed later on) who shouts at celebrities and politicians for being paedophiles, and his social media work for the same is quite prolific.

Callaghan then travels to Washington D.C. to cover the chaos of Election Day. There are culture appropriators, foreskin defenders, and Antifa.

That leads Callaghan and his crew to the origin of the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement and the rallies and protests that followed it. Taking a break from all the chaos and headache from the Trump rallies, Andrew kicks back in a brief babysitting refuge with his nephew.

Next up is Biden’s victory and the unrest thereafter. The documentary then delves into Alex Jones and his empire built on misinformation and efficient grifting. Then comes the ‘Million MAGA March’ and a reportage on the ‘Proud Boys’ and their virulent rallies.

The documentary then takes the viewers inside a suburban household where small kids, all bright and articulate, are brainwashed with a plethora of QAnon conspiracies, like their parents.

The documentary ends with the January 6th riots and the discourse that followed it, as well as a curtain-pulling section on the organisations and individuals who profited out of brainwashing and fear-mongering the proletariat.


The documentary tries to empathize with the people behind the extremist caricatures they sport, out of either fully aware malice and grifting, or hustles and informational illiteracy.

The aforementioned approach to addressing the socio-political polarity that exists in America and the people that suffer from said polarity — created and catalysed by mainstream media’s fear-mongering broadcasting — is not only unique but also refreshing and much-needed.


For some odd reason, ‘This Place Rules’ doesn’t quite exude the same level of frenetic zoomer-video-content energy as Callaghan’s prolific work on YouTube does.


Clout-chasing clowns, covid-truthers, QAnon conspiracy connoisseurs, and paedophilia-projecting sex offenders, ‘This Place Rules’ is a dive into the madness that American extremist fringes (and fringes in general) are, and it is equal parts hilarious and sad.

The documentary is also Callaghan’s plunge into America’s informational literacy problem, sensibly presenting some of the most serious issues plaguing all sides of the socio-political divide today.

This Place Rules
This Place Rules review: A hilarious and incisive gonzo delight 1

Director: Andrew Callaghan

Date Created: 2022-12-31 13:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Kaleidoscope (2022) ending explained: All episodes

More from The Envoy Web