Minka Kelly from Friday Night Lights. Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl. Cam Gigandet from The Twilight Saga. Alyson Michalka from Hellcats. Nina Dobrev and Katerina Graham from The Vampire Diaries. Matt Lanter from 90210. Put them all together and what do you get? An estimated $15 million on opening weekend at the box office, but does that mean you made a good movie?
Sara has just moved into a dorm for her freshman year in college. With her new roommate yet to arrive, she goes out for a night of fun with some of the other girls from the dorm. It turns out to be a pretty good night for her, as she has some drunken fun with new friends, and meets her soon to be boyfriend. Upon arriving back at her dorm room, she briefly meets her new roommate, Rebecca, before turning in for the night. Sara wakes up the next day to the nightmare that is her new roommate.
As soon as I saw Sara walk into a dorm room, I was a little disappointed. I didn’t think the movie could get too scary in a dorm room, and on a college campus. However, I do understand the need to make the setting a little different from a movie like Single White Female. Along with the young cast, the college campus turns out to be the logical choice for this movie to take place, and they seem to make the most of it. Also, it helps that they eventually move some of the scenes off campus towards the end.
The movie follows Sara, and starts off slowly, as she splits her time between going to class, and spending time with her friends. Whenever Rebecca is around, there is a weird vibe coming from her. She is particularly nice to Sara, but gives the cold shoulder to Sara’s other friends. Sara goes out for another night of fun with Tracy. At one point, Tracy ditches her, leaving Sara with no choice but to call Rebecca for some help. This starts to fuel Rebecca’s obsession for Sara, as she insists that Sara spends the next day with her. The obsession starts with some odd behavior such as, waiting up all night for Sara, and wearing Sara’s dead sister’s necklace.
As the odd behavior continues, it finally becomes more physical, and scary. Rebecca gets to the point where she defends Sara against anyone she feels has taken advantage of Sara. Tracy is the first to experience how crazy Rebecca is when Rebecca plays a game of hide and seek with her in the dorm showers. This is where you really realize this movie is PG-13. Instead of bashing her brains in, Rebecca scares Tracy enough that she moves out of the dorm. This is exactly why I was disappointed with the movie taking place at a college campus. There just wouldn’t be any murders, or brains bashed in.
While Rebecca becomes stranger and stranger, Sara begins to think there might be something wrong with her. It isn’t until they spend Thanksgiving weekend at Rebecca’s parents home that Sara is really tipped off. Sara overhears an unusual conversation between Rebecca and her father, where her father asks her if she is taking her medicine. This is new to Sara, as she has not seen her take any pills. Then it gets weirder as the two girls go into the town to get coffee. Rebecca has an awkward run in with a so-called former friend. Rebecca approaches her like they are friends, but the girl makes it clear that they were never friends. While the medicine and this encounter are clues for Sara, the movie misses an opportunity to really dive deep into why Rebecca acts the way she does. Sara doesn’t seek out this supposed friend to find out what happened between Rebecca and her. Sara does find out what the pills are for, but the movie doesn’t go into what happened to Rebecca in order for her to need the pills. Basically it is a weak excuse for her to be crazy.
I am split on the acting in this movie. Sara seems like the easier role to play, but I didn’t care for Minka Kelly’s performance. I never really felt sorry for her, and thought her character was too innocent. On the other hand, I was fully expecting Leighton Meester to have a hard time escaping her Gossip Girl character, but she did a nice job. She handles the transformation from nice and caring Rebecca to going completely nuts at the end. Some people feel that the movie should have been shown from Rebecca’s perspective as opposed to Sara’s. That probably would have made the movie better particularly from an acting standpoint.
Another performance I didn’t care for was by Cam Gigandet, who plays Sara’s boyfriend. Whether it is the character, or him, I was hoping Rebecca would get rid of him first. Alyson Michalka did a descent job as Tracy in the limited amount of scene time she had. Speaking of scene time, you really know they were casting certain people to bring in fans when they cast Nina Dobrev, and Matt Lanter in roles where their scene time wasn’t much more than 2-3 minutes. Anyone could have played those characters.
Not long after the movie began, I started to wonder what I expected to see from this movie. There probably wouldn’t be any great death scenes, and it would pretty much stick to the storyline of someone having a crazy roommate. I couldn’t really expect it to be anything more could I? For those of us that saw Single White Female, it is a similar themed movie. With the use of all the actors mentioned, the movie is just a way to make some money, and get some exposure for these actors. If you are a teen, or young adult who never saw a movie like Single White Female, you may enjoy this movie. For the rest of us, I can’t say you will think of it has anything more than just another movie, so I give it 2 pools of blood.