The Hippo


Dec 6, 2019








The Roommate (PG-13)

By Amy Diaz

Leighton Meester is coming to get you — she’ll wear your favorite necklace and try on your perfume boooo scary in The Roommate, a college freshmen girl horror movie that yes does include a shower scene.

Two, actually, I believe.

One of the funniest things about this movie — and in that category, the competition is stiff — is how attractive everybody is at this college all the time. Getting ready for bed, going to class, hitting the town, getting a late-night snack. It’s like an island where sweatpants were never invented. While, yes, I’m sure late teen and young 20somethings clean up great, most of the time at my college the uniform (men and women) was sweatpants, oversized shirt, flip-flops (sometimes with socks) and a baseball cap. Sometimes the girls fancied it up and wore jeans and that kind of ponytail that looks like you were about to do a bun but got distracted. At this school, the characters are all polished and lip glossed to perfection at all times.

Sara (Minka Kelly, who looks like what would happen if The Gap tried to build its own Leighton Meester) is all a-giggle about starting her first year at Lipgloss U. She moves into her room before her roommate gets there and heads out to hang with dorm buddies. When she returns, Rebecca (Meester!) has arrived and moved in. She is a quiet lass, hanging her pencil drawings of some random girl (who also looks like a Meester variant) on the wall and keeping her sketchbook super secret. She does, however, enjoy prying into Sara’s life and learns all about a dead sister (whose necklace is Sara’s Most Important Possession — huh, wonder if that comes back in the plot) and ex-boyfriend, who wants her back. Because Rebecca’s from here (here being Los Angeles, I think) and Sara’s new in town, Rebecca shows Sara all the hot spots and the two become fast besties. Or at least Rebecca’s generic-version-of-Facebook page says they’re besties. Sara thinks that’s kind of fast, and remarks as much to the boy, Stephen (Cam Gigandet, a very poor man’s Hayden Christensen — twice as annoying but without the “charm”), she also met the first night at school and who, about halfway into the semester, she thinks about moving in with.

After Rebecca all but spells out “I am crazy” with clippings of her hair, Sara starts to catch on that something might not be quite right with her roommate. Is…is she, do you think she could be dangerous?

Ooo! The suspense is killing me!

Actually, maybe The Suspense is the name of the cold I had causing sinus pain and coughing while I was watching the movie. It would make sense, as The Suspense was not involved in the movie itself and had time to do other things. Would my sinus pressure go away? That was kind of suspenseful — dun dun dun! Maybe other people suddenly had hangnails, or a weird pain in their elbow. What’s going on? Will it end? Ah, you got me, The Roommate!

There isn’t a single scary or unexpected thing that happens during this alleged horror movie. But while it is scare-free, what it does have is the schlocky entertainment value of watching Meester seduce some skeevy teacher or stab somebody full in the chest. Meester takes to this role with vigor. She is so delightfully, campily great at being a catty villain that I hope she deeply enjoyed this. Nothing about this role is going to convince some director “hey, that Gossip Girl chick’s got range; let’s put her in Winter’s Bone 2.” This one was all for her, for her and, I’m hoping, a very big paycheck.

When, in like a week and a half, this movie hits the DVD shelves, I strongly recommend renting it, buying copious amounts of intoxicating beverage and coming up with one hell of a great drinking game.

Rated PG-13 for violence and menace, sexual content, some language and partying. Directed by Christian E. Christiansen and written by Sonny Mallhi, The Roommate is an hour and 33 minutes long and distributed in wide release by Screen Gems.

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