Murtaugh: “The Roommate” could have been scarier

Taysha Murtaugh

A couple of weeks ago, “The Roommate” premiered in theatres. When I first saw the previews, I expected this Christian E. Christiansen thriller to strike fear in the mind of every high school senior preparing for college.

I mean, how could it not? The whole concept of going off to college to meet your random roommate is nerve-racking enough; add an apparently violent and crazy bitch to the equation, and you should have yourselves a decent horror movie, right? Wrong.

Not according to the reviews, anyway. From what I’ve read, most people didn’t find the movie frightening, or creative or well-written, for that matter, either.

After reading a synopsis of the movie, I see why. Basically, Leighton Meester, who plays a schizophrenic, bipolar freshman, becomes obsessed with her new roommate, Minka Kelly; so obsessed that apparently *SPOILER ALERT* she begins attacking her friends and boyfriend. That’s it. What’s the big deal? Can we really blame Meester’s character for becoming obsessed with the gorgeous Minka Kelly?

I’m only kidding, of course. Obsession like that truly is creepy and absolutely unacceptable, but the movie could have been made a lot scarier by adding some more realistic and equally-frightening examples:

Instead of the shower scene where Leighton’s character rips the belly button ring out of Kelly’s friend, for instance, the writers should have recreated the times where your roommate lets the shower run for about 10 minutes before actually getting in. I’m sorry, but there is no way the shower takes that long to “warm up,” and that’s just a terrible waste of good, clean water.

The same is true for leaving the lights on in the apartment, and I do mean all the lights. If you have to go into her room and shut off her lamp, her closet light, her bedroom light and her bathroom light, and she’s been gone all day, you’re not going to be happy.

When you get your utility bill and see the ridiculous numbers? Now that’s hair-raising.

Even more disturbing is the sink filled with her moldy food underneath all of her dishes that she refused to wash for about two weeks. Meanwhile, she continues to add to the dirty stack of pots and pans when she cooks a three-course meal for herself, every day. Whatever happened to “Cup of Noodles?” It’s quick, easy, and most importantly, it’s disposable.

If you thought that mold in the sink was smelly, how about the mysterious smell coming from the pantry? It’s okay; it turns out your roommate has just hidden three full bags of trash in there, because I guess the dumpster is just too far away.

“You can borrow anything that you want,” says Leester’s character to Kelly’s.

Borrowing is all fine and good, if both roommates agree on it. Imagine you don’t, though — you’re extremely territorial and it’s just not okay — and you’ve made that perfectly clear to your roommate.

When she comes to your room with a top you haven’t worn in over a year and says she “found it in her laundry” and “you must have left it in the dryer when you last dried your clothes,” how are you going to react?

What about when she goes into your room without asking and borrows your DVDs and then leaves them strewn about the living room, out of their cases.

Keep in mind, you are not friends to begin with, so on what planet would it be okay for her to become so comfortable with your stuff and then lie about it?

Beyond Meester’s character’s obvious issues with psychotic obsession, couldn’t the writers of “The Roommate” have given her some more common personality flaws seen in college roommates?

For instance, the character could have been more like your roommate, who talks about herself incessantly. When you manage to squeeze in a few short remarks to break her endless stream of mindless chatter, she finds a way to prove herself superior, or “one-up” you.

Then at 2 a.m. when you’re trying to sleep, she’s laughing and talking with her friends at a seemingly inhuman decibel level. It doesn’t matter if she’s on the other side of the apartment or right outside your bedroom door, you can pretty much hear her incredibly clearly no matter where she is.

Try not to pull your hair out when she forces you to help her pick out an outfit that her conservative boyfriend will “approve of.”

You’ll hear about her boyfriend in every conversation in which she’s involved too; apparently getting married as an incredibly immature 20-year-old just so you can finally consummate the relationship is something to admire.

Considering all the things she could have done, Meester’s character was really not all that bad. If the screenwriters for “The Roommate” really wanted to scare incoming freshmen, they should have taken examples from real college students.

As it is, I will not be seeing this movie; I’m already living a horror movie.