The Roommate (15)

Starring: Minka Kelly, Leighton Meester, Cam Gigandet
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The Independent Culture

Minka Kelly plays the unsuspecting Sara, arriving at her college dorm in Los Angeles to find she has poor little rich girl Rebecca (Leighton Meester) as her roomie.

For a while you can cynically amuse yourself with spotting the warning signs of possessiveness, like the jealous looks Rebecca keeps shooting at the tarty Tracy (Aly Michalka), who thinks she can be Sara's new BF. A routine intimidation scene in the showers sees off Tracy. Then Sara falls for a second-year hunk (Cam Gigandet) who plays drums and actually looks a bit of a creep himself; soon Rebecca's spying on him in the library. The idea of anyone learning something at this college is a joke. You only to have to listen to Billy Zane as the resident "Professor of Design" to know that nothing of any intellectual usefulness will emerge from his mouth.

Once the prof starts making eyes at Sara ("I love the danger in your work," he tells her), you realise he's next up to be nobbled by Rebecca. As for the stray kitten that Sara becomes devoted to, let's just say that it escapes the fate of the bunny in Fatal Attraction, but not by much... Sonny Mallhi's screenplay exposes its feebleness in progressive stages, first by muffing all attempts at suspense and then fudging a hopeless back story to Rebecca's personality disorder. On a visit home, the girl's brittle mother (Frances Fisher) takes Sara aside and asks if Rebecca has been "taking her medication" – a bit late for that, and how would she know in any case? Later, in a coffee shop, Rebecca is cold-shouldered by a girl whose face she has repeatedly sketched, but the nature of their falling-out goes unexplained. All that remains is for the moment when Rebecca goes the extra psychopathic mile by dyeing her hair the same colour as Sara's. And by the time it comes you will be thoroughly fed up with its craven steals and pseudo-scares.