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The Roommate (DVD)

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5 Reviews

Genre: Crime & Thriller / Director: Christian E. Christiansen / Actors: Minka Kelly, Leighton Meester, Cam Gigandet / DVD release: TBA

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    5 Reviews
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      21.09.2012 18:17
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      Good film

      I have had this saved on my sky box for a few months now and despite being keen to watch it I have only just got round to seeing it! As I watched this on TV this is a film only review.

      ==Plot==
      The film begins with a young woman arriving at college with her belongings. No parents accompany her to check she settles in ok but she seems fairly happy and confident. When she arrives at her new room she realises that her new roommate hasn't arrived yet so she sets about unpacking until she arrives.

      A while later there is a knock at the door. It is a couple of other new students from down the hall and they think they should all start to party! Sara declines but within minutes she finds herself at the party and is already having a great time.

      By the time Sara stumbles back to her room her new roommate has arrived. She introduces herself as Rebecca but as soon as Sara lies down she is fast asleep. Over the following weeks Sara begins to settle in. She likes Rebecca but does find her a bit plain and strangely protective at times, telling her off for being home late etc. Is Rebecca simply a concerned friend?

      ==Opinion==
      For some reason after reading the plot I had assumed that Sara would be living in a student house with a male flatmate. I think that the fact Rebecca is female, a similar age, blonde, innocent etc makes the film feel chilling from the offset.

      It would have been hard not to have liked Sara. She was a lovely girl who was looking forward to beginning a new life at college. She was pretty, cheerful and passionate about her studies. Rebecca seemed a bit strange from the offset. Her body language was odd and this helped to heighten my suspicion surrounding her.

      I thought that the plot was interesting and I was keen to see the outcome. It was full of action and there was always plenty to see.

      The director did a fantastic job of building up suspense and telling us just enough to follow but not enough to know too much.

      The acting in the film was very good. I think that Leighton Meester as Rebecca did an absolutely superb job as she really captured Rebecca's personality and dealt with her issues sensitively yet effectively.

      I thought the film was the perfect length. I never found myself bored but I also felt that everything was covered in the right amount of detail. The ending was done well.

      ==Additional Information==
      The film was released in 2011.
      It runs for 91 minutes.
      It is rated a 15.
      It stars Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly.

      ==Summary==
      A very good teen thriller which is definitely worth a watch.

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      17.10.2011 23:18
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      Nothing to rave about

      **THIS IS A FILM ONLY REVIEW**

      This film is a psychological thriller rather than a horror film, but it does have some moments which have you jumping up in your seat and it keeps you in suspense throughout. That said, I found this to be quite predictable and the ending was a bit of a let down.

      --The Storyline--

      The film is set in the university of Los Angeles where Sara Matthews arrives as a freshman studying fashion. She gets paired up with roommate Rebecca, a seemingly straight laced and formal character who takes offence to having her name shortened or anyone having fun. She becomes quite possessive of Sara, and gets increasingly jealous when Sara develops other friendships with girls in their accommodation and enters into a relationship with another student called Stephen.

      The film develops with Rebecca's behaviour becoming increasingly irrational and obsessive, and Sara becomes a bit uncomfortable when she demands to know where she is all the time and starts copying her behaviour. At Thanksgiving, Rebecca takes Sara home to meet her parents, without telling them she was coming, and this leads to a very uncomfortable visit for Sara where she discovers from Rebecca's mum that Rebecca is in fact suffering from a personality disorder for which she has medication. On returning to college, Sara does some digging in Rebecca's drawers and finds out she hasn't been taking her medication. Surprise, surprise...

      The remainder of the film shows Rebecca's actions becomingly increasingly irrational and violent as she attempts to 'protect' Sara from things she thinks may harm her. This makes Sara uncomfortable enough to move out of the room and stay with her boyfriend for a while, which obviously just adds fuel to Rebecca's jealousy.

      The outcome of this film is a "Misery" style violent cat-and-mouse style scene, in which we are supposed to be on the edge of our seats to discover who will come out of it alive.......

      --My Opinion--

      From the opening scenes of this film, it doesn't take long to figure out who the 'psycho' is going to be. Rebecca behaves in a very unusual manner from the offset, which makes it slightly unbelievable to me that her roommate wouldn't have suspected something was wrong sooner. If I put myself in Sara's position I think I'd have run a mile as soon as I was paired up with this girl!

      Although the film is quite gripping at times, I found the whole thing a bit clichéd. There is a shower scene which is intended to be Psycho-esque, and although this made me jump in my seat, it has been done before.

      The film has some really annoying aspects to it, including:

      · People not turning lights on when they're in a cat and mouse chase trying to escape a 'psycho' - WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS?!!
      · The basis of the film being someone who suffers from schizophrenia being portrayed as a psychopath. In this day and age, I find it difficult to believe that people who have recognised mental health issues are left to their own devices not taking their medication, without any regular check ups from health practitioners
      · All the college students are stunningly beautiful, I'm sure anyone who's been to college/uni will confirm this is just not the case
      · The clichéd shower scene - it's been done before many many times
      · The assumption that you could live with someone who has serious mental health issues and not realise something about their behaviour is a little odd

      The violent end to the film was ironically the bit that engaged me less than other parts of the film. I find the more subtle scenes more disturbing (for example Rebecca pierces her own ears because Sara has given her some earrings to wear and she doesn't want to tell her she hasn't got her ears pierced). This had me squirming in my seat because I could imagine how painful it was, but the cat and mouse style chase at the end got boring very quickly, and by this time I wasn't really bothered who lived or died, who got hit on the head or fell out of the conveniently open window. This obviously shows I had very little connection to the characters.

      The acting was quite good and I did feel some empathy towards Sara, especially as she has a bit of a sad family story. I didn't feel much connection to the other characters, although they weren't badly acted. I didn't recognise any of the actors or actresses names to be honest, but for information the main characters are as follows:

      Sara Matthews - Minka Kelly
      Rebecca Evans - Leighton Meester
      Tracy Morgan - Aly Michalka
      Stephen - Cam Gigandet

      The film lasted for 91 minutes and is rated 15 which is probably about right considering the level of violence and there aren't too many scenes of sexual nature.

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      07.08.2011 22:30
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      A good thriller

      == About the film ==
      The Roommate is a 2011 thriller film which was directed by Christian E. Christiansen, a Danish filmmaker. The film was released on 4th February 2011 at the cinema with the DVD being released later this year. The Roommate has a rating of 15 due to scenes of a sexual nature, uses of profanity as well as scenes of an intense and violent nature. The film has a run time of 93 minutes.

      == Plot ==
      Sara Matthews is just starting her freshman year at ULA. Excited to meet new people and have a good time, she has no idea what is in store for her. The first people she meets are a lively, blonde party girl (Tracy) who is always up for having a good time and an extremely hot drummer (Stephen) who she hits it off with straight away. Then there is the roommate, Rebecca, who is ready to be best friends and share everything with Sara. While she is quiet and not at all like Tracy, Sara and Rebecca get on fine.

      Tracy, however, senses that something is off with Rebecca and doesn't hesitate to tell Sara. When bad things begin to happen to everyone around her, Sara cannot help but take in Tracy's suggestion. In order to have the normal college experience she has been so excited about, Sara must get to the bottom of what Rebecca is all about... and fast.

      == Cast ==
      Minka Kelly as Sara Matthews
      Leighton Meester as Rebecca Evans
      Cam Gigandet as Stephen
      Danneel Ackles as Irene Crew
      Matt Lanter as Jason Tanner
      Alyson Michalka as Tracy Morgan
      Katerina Graham as Kim
      Cherilyn Wilson as Landi Rham

      == What I thought ==
      I love any film that is horror/ thriller related so I was quite excited about seeing this one although due to the lack of publicity, I didn't exactly have high hopes but I was still willing to give it a try.

      Strangely, the main character, Sara (Minka Kelly) was the least known to me. After looking her up, I still have no idea who she is. However, she does do a pretty decent job as Sara but unfortunately, out shined by other cast members. I don't know whether it was the character or the actress but I just didn't like her and I'm not really too sure why. I didn't care if anything bad happened to her and I wasn't too concerned about her safety with the roommate. Still, that didn't take much away from the enjoyment of this film for me. While I didn't like Sara much, the rest of the cast made this film what it is.

      Leighton Meester is most definitely the stand out cast member in this film. For anyone who is a fan of Gossip Girl, you will know her best as Blair Waldorf. While in this role, she is a bit of a menace but nothing close to the psycho that she is in The Roommate. I hadn't really heard much about this film before seeing it but I was definitely looking forward to seeing Meester doing something different and she pulls off this role extremely well. Many thrillers similar to this are normally all about guys in masks etc but not this time. Now, it is the pretty, sweet sounding and quiet girl that is the major threat so not someone you would normally suspect to be insane. I loved the passion and intensity behind Meester's performance and she actually really creeped me out. I would not want her as a roommate of mine at all!

      As for some of the other roles, Cam Gigandet, Danneel Ackles and Alyson Michalka do a great job. Gigandet is a favourite male actor of mine at the minute and I don't think he can really do much wrong in my eyes for now. I do wish that his character, Stephen had a bit of a bigger role in the film instead of only being the hot boyfriend as he is a lot more capable than this. It was nice to see Danneel Ackles (or known as Danneel Harris) again though. She used to be in One Tree Hill but I haven't heard much from her since then. Again, she doesn't have a large role but she was extremely good for the time she did get on screen. I was very sad to see that Matt Lanter only had a tiny roll in this film though and he's another I would have loved to have seen more from.

      As much as I liked this film, a lot of it was extremely predictable. I could tell who was going to get some kind of hassle from Rebecca next and the ways in which she is, lets say mean, to them wasn't original at all for the most part. There was one scene though which is quite obviously taken from Psycho though and this was a good one for me. While it wasn't the same, it was recognisable but with a bit of a twist. As this is a thriller, not a horror, it isn't scary but there were a couple of moments that made me jump a little bit, mostly due to creepiness of Rebecca. As a whole, the film is dark and dangerous with a slight hint of reality which was something I liked. I'm sure many girls in college have ended up with roommates they didn't like but luckily, probably not many have psychos for roommates.

      Overall, this is a really entertaining film that was much better than I had expected it to be. I am so happy that Meester can play something else other than a spoilt rich girl and I now look forward to seeing her in other roles.

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        25.05.2011 16:06
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        A predictable thriller...

        (Film only review)

        Yesterday I read an article in Company magazine, which featured Leighton Meester. Having loved her portrayal of Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl, I was glad to learn that she had a new film out, 'The Roommate'. After watching the trailer I knew that this would be my sort of film... a mix of thriller and Miss Meester sold it to me. Here's what I thought:

        Plot Overview

        When Sara Matthews starts her freshman year at ULA, she meets partygoers Tracy and Stephen and they attend their first house party of the year. When Sara arrives back to her room late that night she meets her new roommate Rebecca. Initially they get on well, but soon Rebecca starts to show signs of jealousy when Sara socialises with other people. She almost becomes obsessed with her and makes it her job to keep those that might hurt Sara out of her way. This includes brutally attacking her friends and ex-boyfriend. Rebecca invites Sara to Thanksgiving at her house. In a conversation with Rebecca's mother, Sara finds out Rebecca should have been taking the medication Zyprexa, used to treat Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders. Eventually, Rebecca takes it one step too far when she gets an identical tattoo to the one Sara has. The film ends in a dramatic climax before the peace is finally restored in ULA.

        Main Cast

        Leighton Meester as Rebecca
        Minka Kelly as Sara
        Cam Gigandet as Stephen
        Matt Lanter as Jason Tanner
        Alyson Michalka as Tracy
        Billy Zane as Professor Roberts

        My Thoughts

        For a film released in 2011, 'The Roommate' did not seem to have a lot spent on advertising. Before reading the interview in Company magazine I had never even heard of it, let alone seen the trailer and promotional material. The film itself was not well received in America (it currently has a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) so I'm guessing this is the reason they were dubious about bringing it to the UK.

        I would not call this a horror; even though the images over the Internet seem to point to this genre... it is more a thriller. The fact that America has placed a PG-13 rating on it shows you there's not that much in it that will give you nightmares. There are scenes which build up suspense and have you thinking 'seriously don't do it' but that's about it. There are moments, which would make some people jump, but you can often see it coming a mile off! The horror of the situation is built up over the duration of the film, until it reaches its final scene... but I'll leave that one for you to discover!

        Apart from Leighton Meester and Billy Zane, I had not heard of the other cast members before, therefore I had reservations before watching. It was interesting to see Leighton adapt to her role as a psycho, when we're so used to seeing her as a spoilt rich child! She did the role justice in my opinion. In thriller and horror movies, I think we have come to expect people in masks with huge weapons; therefore it made a change to see the 'bad-guy' being played by a beautiful, innocent-looking female. Leighton and Minka Kelly look scarily similar in some of the scenes. However, I am convinced this is on purpose... perhaps to show how absorbed Rebecca is with Sara. Minka played her character really well, although I think if this was happening in real life, I'm sure half of us wouldn't stick around for as long as she did!

        Most of the plot is predictable, which brings the film down significantly. One of the main scenes focuses on one of the girls in the shower, which is quite clearly taken from Psycho, only a little less brutal! Furthermore, some of the ideas have been done before, like Sara's story of the family tragedy. It might be there to get us to sympathise with Sara, but it is really old now... time for some innovation! Some of it reminded me of the recent blockbuster hit 'Black Swan.' There are parts where Rebecca starts hurting herself and one 'erotic' scene that were so similar to scenes from 'Black Swan'. I don't think this was intentional but nonetheless, it wasn't particularly unique.

        The actual storyline is great. I really enjoyed it, and although I said it was predictable I wasn't entirely sure how it would all end eventually. The main scene before everything is restored to reality is worth the wait and the director did a great job filming the chaotic violence. Without giving too much away, I think it would have been better to leave this as the last scene. Others might have different opinions but I doubt Sara could have gone back to ULA quite as quickly as she did. The ending doesn't leave much room for a sequel. I doubt they would consider it anyway given the bad press, but it's a good film to be left on its own.

        I would definitely consider watching more films by director Christian E. Christiansen, even if he has got a repetitive name!! I think Leighton Meester was a great actress, and this was a good role to take to show others she can do more than spoilt, rich children. If you like films similar to this (such as Prom Night) then give it a go, but I could understand some people's reservations.

        Running Time: 1hr 33mins

        [Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123]

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          17.04.2011 22:05
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          This is not my typical sort of film, I generally tend to go for romantic comedies but the fact that it had Leighton Meester in made me want to see it because I really love her in gossip girl. The trailer gives a really good impression of the film and gave me quite a few jumps, but its not quite to the extent of a horror film, as it is described as a thriller.

          Sara Matthews starts her freshman year of college and ULA, she goes on wild parties with Tracey who she meets when she arrives along with Stephen who is a drummer at the frat party she goes to, they later date. When she gets back to her dorm late and night she meets her roommate Rebecca, she seems really nice and they start to become fast friends. To the audience her manipulations become clear, she is desperate to have Sara all to herself going to such extreme measures as threatening Tracey when she is in the shower and ripping her belly bar out. However at first Sara doesn't notice anything and just goes along with it, until little things start creeping up after they go to Rebecca's parents house for thanksgiving, the thing that pushes her over the edge is when she gets an identical tattoo so she moves out and breaks all ties with her. But its already gone too far, will she ever be rid of Rebecca or will she always be lurking in the shadows?

          While its not really my sort of film I did quite enjoy it so I might be looking to watch other films that are like this! it was really fast paced and had so much suspense in it, particularly in the shower scene, you wonder when anything is actually going to happen but just at that point it does, giving you such a shock! I think it was made worse than the likes of paranormal activity by that this is just more likely to happen in real life than being haunted. I think that the cast really carried this along, they were so good particularly Leighton Meester, she have such a good performance and was scarily believable! The chemistry was also really good between the two leads, how it changed from the start to the end, however it did confuse me that Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly looked so alike, I was constantly thinking that it was the other! The rest of the cast are recognisable, for example Alyson Michalka and Matt Lanter. It got really bad reviews but I like it, possibly if you're really into horror films then you won't like it but for someone who is used to tamer stuff it is good.

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