"The Roommate" Movie Review

2/05/2011 Posted by Admin

"The Roommate"

Movie Review

Directed by Christian E. Christiansen, written by Sonny Mallhi, 93 minutes, PG-13.

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

Women in horror are put in a tight spot. With characterizations ranging from the virgin to the harlot, everything surrounds sex and extremes.

The female-heavy slasher "The Roommate" is no exception. Set against the backdrop of a California liberal arts college, "The Roommate" follows two girls as they attempt to fit in at school. More precisely, "The Roommate” follows two girls as they fill out one of two archetypes: The oblivious and the insane.

Fresh from the boring mid-west, Sara Matthews (Minka Kelly) arrives at the Ritz-Carlton of fake colleges--ULA--with a smile on her face and a dream in her heart. Everything is falling into place for this aspiring fashion designer: She has a great new boyfriend, supportive professors and friends who really look out for her.

Sara's roommate, Rebecca (Leighton Meester), can be a bit overbearing, though. In true "Single White Female" style, Rebecca calls Sara incessantly, goes through her possessions,and puts her enemies in the hospital. Sara knows Rebecca cares, but as the film continues, she learns just how much.

For the most part, Sara is oblivious to Rebecca's dealings. She goes out every night and when she returns to their luxurious dorm, Rebecca is there to comfort and to disturb her.

Unfortunately, little does Sara know, Rebecca has been off her meds for weeks.

"The Roommate" never awards its characters anything more than simplistic clich├ęs. Even by low genre standards, Sara is a poor slasher heroine. Actress Minka Kelly brings little to the character and screenwriter Sonny Mallhi brings even less.

Rebecca, on the other hand, is simply insane, without much explanation or motivation. As Mallhi writes her, Rebecca is a rich, L.A. native, has parents who might be neglectful, and is a certified schizophrenic. Without her pills, Rebecca’s a monster, plain and simple. The film treats her to a vague, insensitive description, because apparently the last thing a needs use is a well-developed antagonist.

"The Roommate" is a pretty weak effort, failing to even deliver the gratuitous sex and violence people see these movies for. A memorable slasher uses the conventions to say something about an overarching theme. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" looked at overprotective parents by putting the killer in a world where parents could not go; "Halloween" explored voyeurism and folklore through the lurking presence of Michael Meyers.

As for "The Roommate," it explores that roommates can be, you know, like a total drag, sometimes.

Grade: D+

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  1. Anonymous said...

    This is a Great Review. Good job Bro