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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 4.76%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 28.57%
Total Crap66.67%

2 reviews, 9 user ratings

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Roommate, The
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by Daniel Kelly

"How to make friends and terrify people."
2 stars

Iím not sure thereís a soul in the world who could be consistently scared by the flaccid efforts of Screen Gemsí latest thriller, "The Roommate". An extraordinarily vanilla affair, "The Roommate" takes pride in shamelessly recycling basic themes from over a half century of cinema, the result being a pot-boiler of immeasurable unoriginality. Peppered with a cast of hot television actors and helmed by a Danish director making his Hollywood debut, "The Roommate" is simply lifeless.

Sara (Minka Kelly) is a college freshman, eagerly anticipating her first year at university. Her roommate is Rebecca (Leighton Meester), a talented artist who openly admits to having endured an affluent but tumultuous upbringing. The two form a close bond, Rebecca apparently possessing an overprotective streak, jumping to Saraís defence at even the faintest whiff of trouble. Eventually Rebeccaís intense attachment starts to grow creepy, Saraís boyfriend Stephen (Cam Gigandet) starting to fear for his partnerís safety. When Sara begins to express an interest in moving out, Rebecca snaps, showcasing her rage in increasingly violent ways.

"The Roommate" isnít an offensively dreadful movie, but it is tedious. Director Christian E. Christiansen has constructed a photogenic endeavour, his glossy visual aesthetic and nubile young stars at least making the film easy on the eyes. The screenplay on the other hand is severely lacking in creativity, whilst the performances and boo moments are below average. Christiansen shows little aptitude for sustaining suspense, and the projectís anaemic PG-13 sensibility disallows any proper bloodshed or titillation. In that way "The Roommate" is comparable to another Screen Gems product of not so long ago, 2008ís "Prom Night". "The Roommate" isnít quite as ghastly overall, but both films suffer from an inherent lack of viscera, unhelpfully removing viable stakes and audience interest in one giant misjudged swipe.

Leighton Meester feels miscast as the productionís clingy antagonist; even on a superficial level the actress appears too cute to be scary. As "The Roommate" unravels Meester unapologetically ramps up the crazy, a foolish choice which renders her screeching turn during the finale almost comedic. Minka Kelly looks much too old to be a freshman (sheís 30 in reality), and delivers a flavourless leading performance. In fairness the actress genuinely gives it a wholehearted try (she never resorts to cheesy cleavage shots or faltering damsel mode), but the character just isnít engaging, and Kelly doesnít yet possess enough skill to convert such a weakly written figure into a well formed screen persona.

"The Roommate" attempts to provide a buffet of genre set-pieces, but none of these unfold as intended. The most egregious misstep is a bloodless shower scene, in which a boisterous party girl (Aly Michalka, "Easy A") is stalked through a dimly lit bathroom by Rebecca. Not only is the sequence derivative and tame, but it also goes out of its way to highlight the movieís lack of credibility as a horror picture. Thereís no gore evident, and more tellingly Christiansenís camera is seemingly desperate to get a decent shot of Michalka in the nude, but due to the imposed teen friendly rating he continuously has to control himself. When you consider these factors it actually becomes a pretty amusing scene to watch, but when analysed against the directorís intentions itís a total bust.

"The Roommate" of course concludes predictably, Christiansen closing the film with a muzzled burst of carnage, involving at least one character we barely know. I suppose 12-year old girls might be spooked on occasion by what Screen Gems is pushing here, but theyíre genuinely the only demographic I can imagine this feature impressing.

"The Roommate" was decimated by critics and posted only a middling box-office return. It wonít be remembered beyond this year, so thereís no reason why you should bother checking it out.

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originally posted: 05/22/11 02:34:15
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User Comments

10/04/13 Trisha Wirt I thought this movie as great the roommate was obsessed that's all! 4 stars
11/07/12 Lia M I wasn't impressed. 1 stars
6/20/11 Andy Movie not excited. Very slow paced 1 stars
6/08/11 mr.mike Complete waste 1 stars
5/23/11 Ming Thie movie is boring..Nothing excited or scarely except the ending 1 stars
5/15/11 AEB My expectations were low, but it wasn't even a fun cheesy "scary" film. 1 stars
3/16/11 John clark sucked from acting to scares to script, inept in every way 1 stars
2/14/11 Alex Gagnon I expected this movie to trip over itself as soon as the commercials came out. 1 stars
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  04-Feb-2011 (PG-13)
  DVD: 17-May-2011


  DVD: 17-May-2011

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