x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

The Roommate

This horror-thriller has a turgid and preposterous plot and it deals with serious issues in an uncomfortable way.

Leighton Meester, left, and Minka Kelly star in The Roommate.
Leighton Meester, left, and Minka Kelly star in The Roommate.

The Roommate
Director: Christian E Christiansen
Starring: Minka Kelly, Leighton Meester
*

Set in the party-driven societies of American academia, the horror-thriller The Roommate is the story of Sara (Kelly), a freshman arriving at her new college. She becomes close with roommate Rebecca (Meester) but begins to see all the people causing her sadness in her life (an amorous professor, her ex-boyfriend) suddenly coming to harm, and it soon becomes clear that Rebecca is obsessed with her new friend. The Roommate is a poorly made film that never piques your interest enough to be concerned about the characters' welfare. Kelly and Meester do their best with what they have, but a turgid, preposterous plot holds them back. In particular, playing with serious issues such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (to explain Rebecca's obsessions) feels uncomfortable, and the various ways in which Rebecca attempts to keep Sara from leaving are at times laughable. The older members of the cast are also a let down, particularly Billy Zane in a horrific turn as Sara's sleazy professor. The director Christiansen is found wanting when given a bigger canvas to work with, as the direction of the film is fraught with problems, and one feels that the promising young cast deserved better than this.

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