Roommate falls short as psycho thriller

We have all experienced the nerve racking moment of roommate selection process and then the moment of truth on move-in day when you actually meet your other half for the rest of the year.  Hopefully your experiences are better than Minka Kelly’s character’s in The Roommate. This thriller starring Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester boasts a gorgeous cast, but as a thriller movie, it is a little worse than disappointing. The genre of the film may be “scary movie thriller”, but there is nothing scary about the movie.

The film is centered around small town girl, Sarah, who is played by Minka Kelly, and her college experience with her pyscho roommate Rebecca, played by Leighton Meester. The movie screams average even with the opening scenes as Sarah is moving in. She meets a girl on her hall named Tracy, played by Aly Michalka, and is given an immediate invite to a fraternity party. Sarah agrees and goes out, not yet having met her roommate. The anticipation grows in the audience as Sarah experiences her first college fraternity party. Upon getting back from the party with a drunk Tracy in tow, Sarah finally meets her roommate Rebecca.

Sarah and Rebecca become fast friends, due in large part to Sarah’s open and trusting personality. As the plot thickens it becomes evident to everyone except Sarah that Rebecca is becoming obsessed and clingy. Her psychotic side is brought into the spotlight when she secretly attacks Tracy in the shower and rips out her belly button ring. She threatens Tracy’s life if she tells anyone, causing Tracy to move to another hall.

Sarah finds herself a new beau in Steven, played by Cam Gigadent, while simultaneously having problems with an ex-boyfriend back home. Sarah’s relationship with Steven infuriates and further pushes Rebecca to obsess about the roommates’ relationship.

Rebecca continues to keep Sarah close to her, even tricking Sarah into going home with her for Thanksgiving instead of to Steven’s house. At Rebecca’s house Sarah begins to learn a little bit about Rebecca’s past, and it was not a happy one.

Leighton Meester fans, beware of overacting. Although she may be the cute but evil girl on Gossip Girl, she tries too hard in her role as Rebecca, and it is very evident. Even when she tries to kill someone she is still seen as petty and not quite as evil as she should be. Sarah, the small town girl from Des Moines, Iowa is supposed to be completely average, but Minka Kelly is anything but average. Cam Gigandet, who has starred in hits like The O.C and The Twilight Saga, as her college boyfriend has mediocre plastered to his forehead. He plays the part of typical frat boy decently well, although it’s definitely not a far reach for him.

The thriller, suspense part of the movie is also average and mediocre along with its cast of pretty but bad actors. The plot twists are all transparent for the audience to foresee. The cinematography has some low points with awkward fights with no emotional impact. There are several scary movie clichés all over the film: the obliviousness of Sarah, the scary shower scene and the low lighting. With that being said, the movie is rated PG-13 for some violence and profanity, but minus that it is nothing the under 13 cannot stand to watch.

The director of the film is Christian E. Christainsen. There is no evident style coming from him in this teenage horror flick. The atmosphere he creates is not scary as there is no tension or fear in the the various scenes. What he does do is make the scenes appear normal, which is what you are not supposed to avoid with scary movies. He does not cast his leading stars well (Leighton has trouble with being evil and Minka Kelly has trouble appearing scared of her). He has not made a passable psycho thriller here.


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