11 February 2011
The Roommate 2011 - REVIEW
What's the difference between mainstream Hollywood horror/thrillers and Indie horror/thrillers? Money? Big names? Access to great locations? The answer is yes, all of the above. BUT, let's explore that a bit by using some of my favorite Indie horrors and comparing them to The Roommate.
We'll start off with one I recently watched, Raymond Did It, which had an estimated budget of 40K, a couple of scream queens and they used the crew's houses (if I remember correctly) as their locations.
Paranormal Activity burst onto the big screen on a budget of and estimated 15K, a cast of basically "unknowns" and was shot entirely in one apartment.
The Dark Hours had a little bit of a bigger budget of 500K (estimated), a more "known" cast and was done in a cabin in the woods.
Which brings me to Pontypool my Pontypool. It cracks the 1 mil mark and had the very well known Stephen McHattie in it but was done in the basement of a church.
You're probably wondering why I'm bothering you with all this useless knowledge? I promise, I'll get to that and then you'll understand.
Sara (Minka Kelly) is a small town girl who comes to LA to study fashion. She ends up rooming with Rebecca (Leighton Meester), who seems nice enough at first. It's not long before the obsessive and extremely psychotic Rebecca grows envoious of anyone else in Sara's life and decides she would be better off without them.
I am not a Meester fan. In my opinion being able to pout your way through the entire film doesn't qualify you as a good actor. I've seen several of her films and I can honestly say that I didn't like her performance in any of them. Kelly just kinda grinned the entire time and I'm honestly not sure if Cam Gigandet can talk with his eyes open or not. Yes, it's cute and the teeny boppers will love it but come on! Characters that could've elevated the level of the film were ignored, i.e. Billy Zane and Danneel Harris, to the point of one minute they were there and the next gone with some stupid, shitty explanation of what happened to them. Maybe the oddest thing about the whole thing is after going through all the trouble to get rid of all the other people in Sara's life, Rebecca doesn't even target Gigandet. No, giving him a stupid look through a bookshelf is not considered scary or creepy it's just... weird.
This film was just all over the place. Almost like it was shot one way and then someone who wanted to fuck with Christian E. Christiansen snuck in and chopped the fuck out of it. Scenes that could've and should've been left out dragged on for what seemed like an eternity. There was very little discussion of Rebecca's psychosis... HELLO MCFLY... isn't that the whole focus of the story? If someone is a fucking nut job there's always a reason for it, be it an outside influence or just being dealt a fucked up hand in life. Either way, explain it! Someone should tell Sonny Mallhi that a simple little pout or pissy look can't tell the story for him. And not only that, it can sometimes be mistaken for constipation. When it was all said and done, this was nothing but an over glorified CW show that should've just been made for TV. See how nice I am, I'm not even gonna point out the fact that this was merely a rip off of the far superior 1992 Single White Female... oops, I didn't it anyway. My bad.
So, back to my opening remarks... If Paranormal Activity and Raymond Did It can come off as good as they did with a budget of less than 40K and unknown actors, why the fuck is Hollywood still throwing money into huge productions and overpaying actors who wouldn't know what to do with a script if the directions were tattooed on their eyelids. The Roommate cost 16 million dollars to make and what did they end up with... A ripped off (Single White Female) belly button ring and no blood, a tumble dried little kitty and no blood, a murder and no blood and a sex scene so bland a Baptist preacher could sit and watch with his teenage daughter. Kinda makes you wonder where 16 million dollars went huh? Calling this film a thriller is like calling Twilight a horror film, no one will believe you and it's quite possible you might get hit.
Avoid this film, avoid the DVD, it's not even worth a free Netflix instant queue viewing.